In Phoenix it has been getting pretty hot over the past week. The average temperature has been well over 100 degrees. The heat reminds me that summer is just around the corner. Summer makes me think about cool refreshing drinks. Like a nice ice-cold glass of, yes you guessed it, Coca Cola. Coke is probably one of my favorite beverages, especially on a hot summer day. Have you ever had an off brand Cola or maybe a diet Cola? If you were to do a blind taste test of three or four different types of cola, I’m sure that most of us would be able to pick out the real glass of Coke. The others really do not taste the same as “The Real Thing.” In fact that was Coca Cola’s slogan for 1969.
Matthew 4:1-2 says, “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.” It is hard for me to go even one or two days without any food. I could not imagine how hungry Jesus must have been after forty days of no food. It was at this point that the devil tried to tempt Jesus. The devil came not when Jesus was at his strongest point physically, but when he was at his weakest point. It was at this point where the devil even tried to use scripture out of context to trick Jesus into disobedience and ultimately trying to get Jesus to worship him. However, Jesus did not fall for the tricks, lies, or deceptions from the devil. Jesus remained true, even at His weakest, because he was and is the real thing (v. 10-11).
Psalm 119:11 tells us to hide God’s Word in our hearts so that we might not sin against Him. Jesus provided that example to us while he was being tempted in the wilderness. Jesus not only knew scripture but he was and is the Word of God (John 1:1, 14). Since Jesus is the real thing, that is why Paul told us to imitate Christ (Ephesians 5:1, Philippians 2:5). When we study and memorize scripture we will be able to decipher between what’s true from what’s false. What I also find interesting is that both Jesus and the devil knew the scriptures. The key difference between the two is that Jesus not only knew the scripture, he obeyed the scriptures as well. The devil had knowledge of the scriptures, however, he does not obey them. As Christians, it is not enough for us to study or even memorize scripture; we must also obey God’s Word.
In order to not be fooled or deceived, I encourage you to: 1) Read your Bible daily, 2) Don’t just have head knowledge of the Bible but truly hide it in your heart, make it your foundation, and 3) Obey God’s Word. We live in a fallen world that is full of temptation, sin, and false teachings. The times that we are tempted are not when we are surrounded by our good Christian friends. We are tempted when we are alone, vulnerable and at our weakest. When we hide God’s Word in our heart and obey it on a daily basis, we will be able to overcome those temptations and know exactly what really is “The Real Thing.”
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
All from NIV
Ephesians 5:1 (NASB) “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.”
Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”