For 25 years, Irmela Mensah-Schramm has walked the streets of Berlin, Germany, cleaning away the racist propaganda of neo-Nazi groups. Since 1986, Irmela has painted over graffiti and scratched away stickers (36,000 in the past 4 years). She believes she can overcome neo-Nazi ideology one street at a time.
When God placed Adam and Eve in Eden, all was theirs to enjoy, “except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:17). They couldn’t handle that knowledge, and eating its fruit would lead to death. The serpent arrived with the cunning suggestion that God was not to be trusted, however, and Eve listened. She was tempted in three distinct ways—temptations we all know: “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16 NKJV).
Sadly, Eve yielded, and humans have yielded ever since. There is One, however, who did not yield. Just before Jesus began His public ministry, He was in the wilderness fasting for 40 days. And, again, the Tempter arrived. He used the same tactics, suggesting that Jesus take matters into His own hands. Satan suggested to Jesus:
• “Tell these stones to become loaves of bread” (Matthew 4:3).
• Toss Yourself from the pinnacle of the temple (forcing God’s hand to rescue Him before the right time, Matthew 4:6).
• Take over Jerusalem and imagine ruling over all the kingdoms of the world! (Matthew 4:8).
Jesus was tempted with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. But He didn’t yield. Jesus overcame the temptation that has ruined us—what we could never conquer. In every way, He does for us what we could never do on our own.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Deuteronomy 30:1-20
Review the two read> passages in Genesis and Matthew. Mark the similarities and the differences between these two temptation stories.
Where are you facing the fiercest temptation right now: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, or the pride of life? How does the fact that Jesus has already overcome the tempter help you to deal with your temptation?