By Chris Higgins
Our youngest son, who is now in college, was baptized when he was in elementary school. At that time, we gave him a study Bible. Evidently it was well used, as it’s now falling apart. A few weeks ago he called to let me know that he found a similar Bible online and ordered it to replace his tattered one.
Though raised in a minister’s home, it’s not a given that my kids will stay obedient to God’s Word. So it comforted me that, now in college and facing new challenges and temptations, our son feels the need to stay grounded in the Bible.
I had to laugh when he texted me upon receiving the Bible: “Apparently I didn’t pay close enough attention to the product description. It’s lavender and has a floral print on it.”
Refuting the Tempter
Resisting temptation is difficult, whether you’re a minister, a minister’s son, or the Son of God. After his baptism, Jesus wasn’t presented with a new Bible but with a 40-day retreat into the desert to be tempted. Interestingly he was led there by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil.
What strikes me most is that Jesus didn’t need a Bible printed on paper to refute the tempter, because he had the Word imprinted on his heart. Undoubtedly Jesus’ earthly parents took seriously their role of teaching their son God’s Word. When Satan’s attack began, Jesus countered perfectly with the Word of God instilled in him by his parents as well as his heavenly Father.
Recognizing the Temptation
A temptation we face is bowing down to worship the false gods of our culture. It doesn’t just start in college but as early as preschool. This was the third of Satan’s traps to which Jesus responded by quoting Deuteronomy 6:16. Yet for us, all too often Satan’s lies and temptations go unchallenged because we don’t know the Word of God.
We will never get to the point that we’re not tempted. “The devil left until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13). Satan wasn’t giving up, just waiting for the right time to return. We need to know the Bible and teach it to our kids. So, like Jesus, we can wield the sword of truth. Even if it’s sheathed in lavender flowers.
Chris Higgins ministers with First Church of Christ in Owosso, Michigan. He and his wife, Lori, have three children: Daniel, Andrew, and Becca.