A change - I'm going to start using a modern version of the Shorter Catechism, although the pdf to the link for the proof-texts will remain the same.
Young families – I'm delighted to hear about the number of young families using this; it's great. The key to family worship, if you are new to it or establishing it as a daily habit in your home, is to do it; keep it simple. I'd encourage you not just to read the notes to your family, if that's what you are doing. You want to make it as engaging and enjoyable for your children as you possibly can. By holding daily family worship in your home, you are already making an excellent investment in your children's lives, but with a little bit more time and thought you could increase the potential of that investment exponentially. My suggestion to you is, take time to read and work through the passage with the notes beforehand. I guarantee you will see three blessings come from doing so and quickly. First, you will enjoy your own time with the Lord more. Second, you will learn more as you digest God's Word and then teach your children. Third, you'll get excited at seeing your family becoming more engaged as you ask them questions about the passage, whether from what I have written or what the Lord has led you to see. Remember, the key is, do it, keep it simple, and spend a bit of time preparing so you can do it well and reap the Lord's blessing.
Opening Prayer Thoughts
Praise God for the Sabbath Day. For the privilege and blessing of worship and rest. Praise God for the blessings seen and unseen that come into our lives through our keeping of the Lord's Day. Praise God for the preaching and teaching of the Lord Jesus while he was on the earth, and pray that we will be expectant as we hear what he says to us. Genesis 2:2, Exodus 20:8-11, Matthew 5:2-12.
Acknowledge and confess the sin of failing to fully grasp what a blessing the Lord's Day is to our minds, bodies and souls. Confess the sin of failing to give ourselves attentively and wholeheartedly to our worship of God. Confess the sin of wrestling with the fact that we think we do these things fairly well and don't need to confess our failings before God.
Let's read Luke 4:1-13
Pray for the Holy Spirit's help to receive God's Word.
The Second Temptation in Luke's Account.
There are a few differences between the account Luke gives and the one we have from Matthew. For example, this, the second temptation in Luke, is cited as the third temptation in Matthew's account. Matthew 4:1-11. Matthew tells us that before Jesus gave Satan his response to this temptation, he told him to 'Be Gone!' Luke doesn't include this when he cites the same temptation as the second of the three. Also, in the actual account of this temptation, Luke tells us that Satan took Jesus 'up', but doesn't tell us where to, whereas Matthew says that it was up a very high mountain. These differences do not speak to inconsistency but authenticity. No two people giving their perspective of the same situation will ever express it in exactly the same way. It's important to remember that when studying God's Word.
V5-7. The Temptation itself.
What does Satan show Jesus? What does he offer Jesus? What does Satan say about his being in a position to offer what he does? What does he say Jesus has to do to get what he is offering?
Let's look at a couple of things in more detail. First, was Satan in a position to offer Jesus the kingdoms of the world or not? It’s not an easy one to answer. If he wouldn't have been able to have stood by his offer in some way, then surely such a colossal lie, even for the father of lies, would have been easily seen through by Jesus? Could Satan have so misread Jesus' vulnerable mental state, after forty days without food, to have thought that he could tempt Jesus with an offer of something so ludicrously untrue? We know from John's gospel that Satan was, in some sense, ruler of the world; speaking of the day of judgement, Jesus says – "Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out." John 12:31. (See also John 14:30, 16:11, Ephesians 2:2, Revelation 12:9).
Given that, it is clear that Satan was offering Jesus a way to become a ruler of the kingdoms of the earth. He was subtly trying to mimic, in some way, what he believed the Father had already promised Jesus. Of course, what was on offer wouldn't even have been a pale reflection of the reward awaiting Jesus for his obedience. There could be no comparison. Satan was offering the vision of an empire, albeit far greater than the then-current empire of Rome, but an empire composed of earthly kingdoms. God was guaranteeing an anointing for his Son as Mediator King over all creation, an eternal rule in the new heavens and earth. So how could Satan have thought that his offer would appeal to Jesus in any way? He did so because it came with one huge, uncalculatable advantage. There would be no suffering required. No going to the Cross. No taking the penalty due to the elect for their sin. No experiencing death and the grave. What was being proposed was one simple, painless act – 'just bow down and worship me, and you can have all this in a heartbeat'.
V8. Jesus’ response.
Jesus responds by quoting from the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, chapter 6. His point? He's saying that God gave the land of Canaan to his people on the understanding that, as they lived in it, they would keep his commands. In other words, the important thing was not their ownership of the land, but their relationship with God as they dwelt in the land. What Satan was offering was ownership of a vast empire (albeit wholly insignificant by comparison), but one without God. Jesus' point is that the kingdoms on offer, without the presence of the Father, are worthless.
Life is about knowing that the worth of something is not in the value man places upon it, but in how much God's presence indwells it. "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?" Mark 8:36.
A Psalm to Sing.
Psalm 25B . Link to the words. Link to it being sung. Sing with joy in your heart to God.
Keep up the memorizing; it will be good for your heart relationship with the Lord.
"Unto the hills I lift my longing eyes; whence comes my aid?
The Lord's my help, the heavens and the earth by him were made.
Your foot from stumbling he will always keep;
the One who guards your life will never sleep.
He who keeps Israel slumbers not nor sleeps By night or day.
The Lord keeps you, a shade on your right hand The Lord will stay.
Throughout the day the sun will never smite, Nor will the moon afflict you in the night."
Truth for the Mind and Heart. Shorter Catechism.
Q. 21. Who is the Redeemer of God’s elect?
A. The only Redeemer of God’s elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continues to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, forever.
Scripture proofs pdf - https://opc.org/documents/SCLayout.pdf
Thank God that we can live and dwell in him.
Thank God that, by his grace, we have found the most important thing in life - a relationship with him.
Take care in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley