We are on day 4 of blogging through the Bible using the Murray M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan
Jesus is led by the Spirit into the wilderness to fast and pray. If you are in a wilderness, ask God why. If God led you there to prepare for the next season, then ask Him what you need to learn. If you are in a wilderness, because you have wondered away from what God wants you to be doing – then you need to come back and allow Him to put you on the right path again.
I love the understatement of v2 after fasting 40 days and nights, “He was hungry”! Satan comes to tempt Him three ways
1) Physically – you are hungry, feed yourself. The Spirit had led Jesus to a season of prayer and fasting and Satan tries totempt him out of it, to look after no1. Jesus answers with Scripture (learn memory verses!). Its not just about the physical, its the spiritual. It’s not just physical bread we need but spiritual bread that comes from time with the Father.
2) Spiritually – Satan changes tack. Prove you are really spiritual by throwing yourself of this high building. God wil rescue you – notice Satan quotes Scripture way out of context to tempt him. Jesus answers with more Scripture – don’t test God. Note we are only allowed to test God in the area of giving – Malachi 3.
3) Bow down and worship me for a moment and I’ll abdicate is the gist of the third temptation. The most outrageous – don’t suffer, have it all now, just worship me. Note this is coming from the prince of liars and he promises kingdoms – earthly warring divided kingdom, where Jesus came to bring teh kingdom of God.
Jesus doesn’t succumb to temptation and begins His public ministry preaching the Kingdom is near and healing people.
He calls the first disciples to follow him and be fishers of men. Notice relationship first, ministry second.
Peter and John preach of the back of yesterday’s healing and get themselves in trouble preaching teh resurrection of Jesus. The Saducees don’t believe in resurrection (that makes them sad-u-cee!) and put them in jail despite the fact the preaching bears fruit of another 2,000 disciples!
With Holy Spirit boldness Peter goes for the preaching jugular. You crucidied Jesus and God raised him from the dead, that’s why this man was healed.
Salvation is found in no other name than Jesus.
The religious people see their courage from having been with Jesus, despite a lack of education. Don’t let a lack of Knowledge put you off serving God – spending time with the Lord counts for so much more!
Peter and John are threatened and then released.
When they get back to the rest of the church, what follows is one of the most amazing prayer meetings in history!
- They acknowledge the sovereignty of God v24
- They remind God of what He has already said v25-28
- They ask for more power to carry on doing what he has called them to – speak the Gospel and heal the sick
- The Holy Spirit falls, shakes the room and
- They go out boldly to get on with the job
The last thing this passage shows is the incredible grace of generosity upon the church, sharing as had need to the point of selling surplus land and property to meet needs. Wow!
Hundreds of years before Acts 4 the people of God are also facing threats and accusations against rebuilding the Temple. Opposition is part of the package. Jesus said “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
The people fo God faced opposition by…
i) Inflitration – the enemies tried to come and “help” them.
ii) Discouragement – they tried to discourage them with words.
iii) Accusations – they brought accusations against them with the authorities. This one was successful for a season.
The work of God, in building the Kingdom of God through the Church will face opposition, setback and delay. The enemy hates it. We must keep praying and being courageous.
Why does God prefer Abel’s Sacrifice to Cain’s offering? Is it because one is meat and the oher is grain? No. Abels’ brought the firstfruits -which requires trusting God for the second fruits, whereas Cain just brough some of the fruits of the soil.
God tells Cain – “Sin is crouching at you door, it desires to have you, but you must master it”. That’s the way with sin, it entangles, drags down and kills. Thank you Jesus that sin shall not be your master, because of the grace of God in Jesus! Romans 6:14 “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace” – that verse describes our position, our state and is not a command! Hallelujah!
Cain sadly alows sin to master him, and kills his brother. That thin edge of the wedge of Adam eating the forbidden fruit has grown to murder in the next generation.
In v18 Enoch is born, we will learn about him tomorrow!