Occasionally, we will reprint prior devotions. This is a reprint from a devotion originally published on January 22, 2013.
Prayer: God, help me avoid and overcome temptations. Amen.
Reading: Luke 4: 1-13 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: I admit, I've played devil's advocate more than a few times in my life. More often than not, my role has been to ask questions that will make people think or consider a scenario they may not have thought about before. But one time when I was in high school, I was the devil's advocate because I took a position of tempting someone else.
The choral ensemble I was a part of in my teen days appeared each year on a Christmas television show featuring local high school choral groups. We would travel about an hour and a half to tape our segment at the station. On our return trip, we would stop at a restaurant along the way for lunch.
On this particular trip, one of my fellow choir members (who was a good friend of mine) couldn't eat. He was also a wrestler and had to make weight for the match that evening. I teased and tempted him the whole meal, showing him the food I could eat and letting him smell my good meal. Instead of being a supportive friend, helping him with his situation, I made it worse by being the devil's advocate.
Jesus showed us that we can resist the temptation of the devil. Each time the devil tempted our Lord, he resisted and showed the evil one that he did not need to bow down to the devil's tests. We too should show that same resolve when we are tempted in our lives.
My friend was two pounds overweight when we got back to the school. I felt bad that I treated him the way I did. The situation did turn out well-- he lost his two pounds before the match and ended up getting a forfeit anyway! --Chad Hershberger
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