“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

The Devil’s “Opportune Time”

(Please read Luke 4:1-13)

March 7

At the very beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry, the devil came to tempt him but could not succeed in his malicious effort to make the Son of God a sinner. Satan, though, wasn’t through; he planned to try again at “an opportune time,” as the NIV puts it in our text. And Hebrews 4:14-15 (NIV) refers to Jesus, the Son of God, as our “great high priest,” and “one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet without sin.” Apparently, then, other temptations faced Jesus at what the devil thought were opportune times, and Jesus withstood every temptation successfully.

With us, the devil’s “opportune time” may be any time, so we should be on our guard. We cannot successfully overcome every temptation as Jesus did, but isn’t it wonderful to know that we have a High Priest, an advocate, who understands temptation and knows from experience the struggles we have in trying to fend off the tempter’s enticements! Even more wonderful is the assurance that heaven will hear our penitent pleadings and forgive us.

So the writer of Hebrews could add with assurance: “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (4:16). Why not do that right now, then go forth to enjoy one of God’s lovely days?

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