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9 August
Aug 9
9th August 2017

40 Days with the Fathers: Available to order now! 40 Days with the Father: a daily reading plan by Luke J. Wilson   The time has finally arrived: my new book is now available to order!I'm so excited to share this with you after many months of work, research and editing. I hope that you enjoy reading the book as much as I did writing it! Order your copy now from my new website: to get it at a reduced rate. If you order today then it should arrive just in time for Christmas!If you do enjoy it, don't forget to leave a review on Good Reads or on Amazon.Keep in touch and receive updates about me or the book at my new Facebook page: Luke J. Wilson  Order Your Copy Today ↣       _________#outlook a { padding: 0; } body { width: 100% !important; min-width: 100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%; -ms-text-size-adjust: 100%; margin: 0; Margin: 0; padding: 0; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } .ExternalClass { width: 100%; } .ExternalClass, .ExternalClass p, .ExternalClass span, .ExternalClass font, .ExternalClass td, .ExternalClass div { line-height: 100%; } #backgroundTable { margin: 0; Margin: 0; padding: 0; width: 100% !important; line-height: 100% !important; } img { outline: none; text-decoration: none; -ms-interpolation-mode: bicubic; width: auto; max-width: 100%; clear: both; display: block; } center { width: 100%; min-width: 580px; } a img { border: none; } p { margin: 0 0 0 10px; Margin: 0 0 0 10px; } table { border-spacing: 0; border-collapse: collapse; } td { word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-hyphens: auto; -moz-hyphens: auto; hyphens: auto; border-collapse: collapse !important; } table, tr, td { padding: 0; vertical-align: top; text-align: left; } html { min-height: 100%; background: #F3F3F3; } table.body { background: #F3F3F3; height: 100%; width: 100%; } table.container { background: #FEFEFE; width: 580px; margin: 0 auto; Margin: 0 auto; text-align: inherit; } table.row { padding: 0; width: 100%; position: relative; } table.container table.row { display: table; } td.columns, td.column, th.columns, th.column { margin: 0 auto; Margin: 0 auto; padding-left: 16px; padding-bottom: 16px; } td.columns.last, td.column.last, th.columns.last, th.column.last { padding-right: 16px; } td.columns table, td.column table, th.columns table, th.column table { width: 100%; } td.large-1, th.large-1 { width: 32.33333px; padding-left: 8px; padding-right: 8px; } td.large-1.first, th.large-1.first { padding-left: 16px; } td.large-1.last, th.large-1.last { padding-right: 16px; } .collapse > tbody > tr > td.large-1, .collapse > tbody > tr > th.large-1 { padding-right: 0; padding-left: 0; width: 48.33333px; } .collapse td.large-1.first, .collapse th.large-1.first, .collapse td.large-1.last, .collapse th.large-1.last { width: 56.33333px; } td.large-2, th.large-2 { width: 80.66667px; padding-left: 8px; padding-right: 8px; } td.large-2.first, th.large-2.first { padding-left: 16px; } td.large-2.last, th.large-2.last { padding-right: 16px; } .collapse > tbody > tr > td.large-2, .collapse > tbody > tr > th.large-2 { padding-right: 0; padding-left: 0; width: 96.66667px; } .collapse td.large-2.first, .collapse th.large-2.first, .collaps...

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11 March
Mar 11
11th March 2018

So now we are at the end of the temptations that Jesus endured in the desert, and I wanted to look at what happens at the end. So often I think this aspect is overlooked when we read of this time in Scripture. Let’s take a look at the text: Matthew 4:11Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him. Luke 4:13When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time. The two Gospel accounts both give us a varying perspective with different details. Afterwards, the devil leaves and angels “suddenly” come. This is almost a temptation in itself; one to think we are all good and safe now we've won the battles. But look: the devil left him “until an opportune time”. We are never beyond being tempted, or far from that tempter who ‘prowls around like a roaring lion’ (1 Peter 5:8). Christ withstood his temptations, and as a model for us, so can we. But it's a constant battle. 1 Corinthians 10:12So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. As Paul writes in the quote above, we must watch ourselves and not get too confident that we think we're strong enough not to get tripped up. Temptation can strike at any time, and if we're not prepared it could lead us into sin (James 1:14-15). James 1:12A man who endures trials is blessed, because when he passes the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. This is why we mustn't get complacent in our situations just when it seems, or feels, like we have it all together. We must always “put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11) and make as little “opportune” times as possible for the enemy to strike at us. Remember, Jesus lived as a human to know what it was like to be a human; he went through these temptations, and others no doubt, as he lived out his life. That is why the writer of Hebrews says that he is able to “sympathize with our weaknesses” and has “in every respect has been tested as we are” — yet Jesus didn't sin (Heb 4:15). When we do get get tempted, or if we do fall into sin, we can always turn to Jesus in our moments of weakness knowing that he understands what it's like. 1 Corinthians 10:13No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it. Everything we experience as humans, Jesus knows also. Although we don’t angels physically coming and waiting on us after we go through hard times, we have the Holy Spirit in us – the comforter! God’s very own Spirit is here with us through it all, helping us and convicting us to lead us back out of our complacency to the narrow path, focusing our minds back on Christ and his example. And while the devil may come and go, and wait on those “opportune times” to get at us, we shouldn’t fret or worry because God has said he will never leave nor abandon us – no matter what, God loves us and is daily conforming us into the image and mind of Christ (Rom 8:29; 12:2; Deut 31:6; Heb 13:5). Keep running the race, working out your salvation with fear and trembling and go with the love of God. Amen....

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4 March
Mar 4
4th March 2018

Here we are at the final temptation that the devil directly attacks Jesus with (I say directly, because next week I’m going to look at the more subtle attacks and temptations we can face). Let’s begin with the text: Matthew 4:5-7 Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’    and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (cf. Luke 4:9-12) There’s quite a few things wrapped up in these few short verses. For a start, the devil took Jesus to the “holy city” (ie. Jerusalem) – but whether this was in body or in spirit, we just don’t know and can’t say for certain; maybe it was in a similar way to how Philip was transported in Acts 8:39. Intrigued by this though, I decided to look up a few details to see just how far they travelled (however it happened). Jesus was baptised by John in the river Jordan, and according to Mark, the Spirit “immediately” drove Jesus into the wilderness from there (Mark 1:9, 12). According to Google maps (and more likely, Church tradition), the spot where he was baptised is close to Jericho. Directly next to this area is the Judaean Desert, which would be the wilderness where Jesus spent his time. On the other side of this desert is Jerusalem, which is about 27 miles away from the spot by the Jordan where the baptism took place. I’ve put together a quick map so you can get a better idea of locations: Approx. locations of events Anyway, I digress slightly. The point being, is that where Jesus was and where he was taken was not exactly just around the corner! Coupled with the fact that the devil took Jesus up to the pinnacle of the Temple, this was quite a journey. Now the other thing to pull out of this passage is that the word “pinnacle” here doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing as we might think of today: the top most point of something. Otherwise Jesus would be standing on the spikes of the roof! No, in this case the pinnacle means a specific wing on the top most side of the temple, most likely being Herod's royal portico which was overhanging the ravine of Kedron, at the valley of Hinnom. Now this point was so high up, and the drop below so deep, that even the first century historian Josephus makes mention of this. He wrote that, “if any one looked down from the top of the battlements, or down both those altitudes, he would be giddy”! Other commentaries say that this wing or porch was about 350 feet above the valley – so that ought to give some context about what the devil was asking of Jesus. So by this point, Satan has really amped up his game. Jesus has refuted him twice now with Scripture, and so instead, the devil takes him somewhere dangerous and then uses Scripture as part of his temptation as though to try and use Jesus’ weapon against him. This is similar to what Paul writes about the devil in 2 Cor 11:14 when he says that even Satan “disguises himself as an angel of light”. We must be ever vigilant and discerning so that we may not get tricked by misapplied and twisted Scripture. Paul again, in his wisdom, when writing to Timothy also instructed him in these things when he said to study and know the Word of God to “rightly [explain] the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). If we are immersed in the Scriptures and know them inside and out, then when things get misquoted or twisted to be applied in situations where the original context doesn’t allow, we will know it and not be led astray. This is exactly what the devil tries with Jesus. He may be quoting Scripture, but he’s using it wrong. In this passage we see that the devil quotes from Psalm 91:11-12 but with one main difference – he misses out...

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25 February
Feb 25
25th February 2018

Here we are on the second Sunday of Lent, and this week I am looking at the next temptation Jesus faced in the desert against the devil, the one of worship and glory. Let's take a look at the text: Luke 4:5-8 Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 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.’” (cf. Matthew 4:8-10) Last week we saw how Satan tempts Jesus through his hunger and used his physical weakness as a way in to try and trip him up. This week we are looking at misplaced worship and the temptation to look to things other than God. As we begin to look through these temptations of Jesus, we begin to see that they weren't entirely random but are in fact another way in which Jesus reverses the sin that first began in the Garden. It is yet another proof that Jesus is the second Adam who has overcome sin! Let’s go back to the Garden of Eden for a moment: Genesis 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Contrast that with what John writes in his first epistle: 1 John 2:15-16 The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; for all that is in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride of life (or in riches) comes not from the Father but from the world.   The sin that separated Adam and Eve from God in the beginning is the same in essence as what John says comes from the world and not the Father. These are the same areas of sin and temptation that the devil was using on Jesus in the desert too — and no wonder since Satan is the god/prince of this world, that he would use the same tricks and things that are of this world against us. In the passage from Luke which details the temptation Jesus faced, we get another glimpse of this power over the world that Satan had when he says that authority “has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please”. Here he tries to use this authority to give Jesus anything he wants – with one small catch: he must bow and worship Satan! This is another example of how focusing on this life and our own power and influence can take our eyes off God and place worship and glory elsewhere — either on ourselves or on other people/things. In this case the devil tried to get Jesus to worship him in exchange for the glory of all the nations of the earth, but once again Jesus lays the smackdown on the devil with the written word of God. Worship God. Serve only Him. What can we learn from this? To keep our focus on God, no matter the cost. Don’t exchange your integrity and morals for the fleeting and temporary power of this world. Like Jesus said to Peter when he rebuked him, “ are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things”; we also much fight daily to keep our minds focused on God so that we may stay humble and remember where the glory belongs. “He must increase, but I must decrease” as John the Baptist said (John 3:30). The devil offered Jesus the world (as if he needed it given to him), hoping to get him to compromise and place his devotion elsewhere. Jesus obviously knew better, but we sometimes need to be reminded. “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” as Paul wrote to the Colossians (3:1-4). That still rings true for us today. If you are tempted by this world and its fleeting glory, and you start to place your worship in places other than God, just remember the words of Jesus: Mark 8:34-36 If any want to become my followers, let...

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18 February
Feb 18
18th February 2018

Welcome to the first part of a short series I'm writing during Lent. We’re on the first Sunday of Lent, and so I’m going to be looking at the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, and the temptations he endured. A new post will be up every Sunday, and you can view the series overview here: Lent 2018. Mark 1:12-13And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. That’s all Mark has to say on that time Jesus spent there, and John doesn’t mention the forty days at all. That leaves only Luke and Matthew which mention the temptations or any details about what happened in the desert. So let's look at the first temptation that Satan tried on Jesus. Luke 4: 1-4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’” (cf. Matt 4:1-4) The first thing that jumps out at me here, is that the devil didn’t come to tempt Jesus until after the forty days were up. He waited until Jesus was “famished” and then struck while he was weak. What can we learn from this? That the devil is tricksy and won’t hit you when you feel like you have it all together, but will rather wait until you are in a more susceptible and weakened state of mind. Like James (1:14-15) says, we get tempted by our “own desire, being lured and enticed by it” to try and get us to fall into sin by acting upon those desires. So we need to guard our minds and keep our focus on God in those times to try and ensure that we are aware of the escape that God has given us, as Paul wrote to the Corinthians: 1 Corinthians 10:13 No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it. What about Jesus in the desert then? You might think that he was beyond these things and temptation couldn’t touch him. In some ways that’s true; he was fully in tune and in the will of his Father that he sets the example for us, and what we can achieve. But at the same time, he has “in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin” (Heb 4:15). This is why we can learn much from these few short temptations that Jesus faced in the desert. While on the face of it, we may think it’s unrelatable to be asked to miraculously turn stones into bread — there’s more to it than meets the eye. It’s not necessarily about the bread, or the miracle, but the insinuation that “If you are the Son of God...”, trying to do to the Second Adam what that old snake did to the first: trip him up through pride. “Thus, if the first Adam fell from God by pride, the second Adam has effectually taught us how to overcome the devil by humility.” George Leo Haydock (1774–1849) As the quote above points out, Jesus demonstrates to us how to overcome the temptation to think of ourselves too highly, or to flaunt our status (Romans 12:3), by doing the opposite and humbling himself and pointing back to Scripture. Whereas Jesus did have every right to say “I am the Son of God – there’s no ‘if’ about it!” and use his abilities to create a miracle for his own sake, that would also have been selfish and another path to the sin of pride and arrogance. Instead he sticks to the main thing that can thwart the enemy when trying to deceive us: Scripture. Although “he was in the form of God” and had equality, it wasn’t “something to be exploited” as Paul writes in Philippians 2:5-8. Let us learn from this, and kee...

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13 February
Feb 13
13th February 2018

Lent is just around the corner, and so this year I've decided to write a short series over the next 40 days looking at the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, and the temptations he faced. I'll post a new blog each Sunday of Lent looking at each temptation, and then finish the series on Easter Sunday looking at “what did Jesus sacrifice?”. Series outline: Temptation one: Pride (1st Sunday of Lent, February 18, 2018) Temptation two: Worship and Glory (2nd Sunday of Lent, February 25, 2018) Temptation three: Testing God (3rd Sunday of Lent, March 4, 2018) Temptation four: Complacency (4th Sunday of Lent, March 11, 2018) What did Jesus sacrifice?: Easter Sunday (5th Sunday of Lent, March 18, 2018) Stay tuned for the first installment in a few days time, and if you haven't already, don't forget to subscribe so you will be notified by email when each new post goes out!...

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