Traditional site of the Mount of Temptation
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: `Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ” – Matthew 4:8-10
Jesus was being tempted by the devil himself to sin against God by worshipping and serving Satan. Physically, He was at His weakest, having had no food or water for 40 days. Spiritually, however, we will see that He is at His strongest. Praise God for that strength!
Notice how Jesus handles this temptation because we can learn from it. He first rebukes the devil then gives two commands: that we are to worship God alone and serve Him only. A disciple then, worships and serves God. Let’s remember that the next time we are being tempted.
The word “worship” is an interesting word. In the original language it literally means, “to kiss toward someone.” It’s like blowing a kiss. It speaks of course, of paying reverence and homage to God, by honoring and adoring Him. It’s a word that puts God first in everything in our lives. The result is that we will serve Him out of our love and devotion. He never comes in second.
Jesus was once asked by a lawyer what was the greatest commandment in the law and here’s what He said: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38). That, my friends, is what it means to worship. That’s how we show our love to our Lord as a disciple. We love Jesus with all of our hearts, soul and minds. That’s total and complete devotion.
The second command in this passage is “to serve Him only.” The word “serve” originally meant to work for a reward, and in a sense that’s true, because believers will receive a reward in heaven but here, its emphasis is not service out of compulsion, but is a service done willfully out of a grateful heart.
Eugene Peterson in The Message says it this way, “Serve Him with absolute single-heartedness.” He always comes first.”
Let’s—you and I—resolve this day to worship and serve our Lord with all that we have. I know we agree that He’s worthy of our adoration. Maranatha!
Thank you for sharing this devotional with your friends. God bless. — Pastor Don