Text: Luke 4:6-8
And the devil said to him, ‘To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.” ’ (NRSV)

I find this text a little scary.  If what the devil says to Jesus is true, then the devil has been given authority over the world’s kingdoms and can hand the keys over to anyone he pleases.  I guess that this goes a long way in explaining why there is so much evil in this world and why Paul, John, and Peter spend significant time reminding the followers of Jesus to not focus or invest themselves in the things of this world.

It is clear that we all have the capacity to choose that on which we will focus.  I don’t think I’m going to far to say that, in this case, it is the same as worshiping.  What we focus on, what we invest ourselves in, what we make a priority in our lives, is what we worship.

According to the offer the devil made to Jesus, if we worship the things of this world, we can become successful as the world counts success but, there is a clear path set by Jesus in this temptation.  When Jesus responds with the words, “It is written…” he indicates that the path is to accept the word of God as the authority for how we live our lives.  And when we live our lives worshiping God and not the things of this world, we may not be successful as the world counts success but, we will be successful as God counts success.

Where is your focus?  In what do you invest your time and money?  What are your top priorities in life?  Whom do you worship?

Pray with me:

God of love and God of power feed me with your word that I might know the truth of life and worship you as I move through this world into life eternal.  AMEN.

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