Jump Start # 2388
Luke 4:5 “And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.”
Our verse today comes from the temptations of Jesus. The Holy Spirit wanted us to know about this. None witnessed this other than Jesus and Satan. No apostles were present. No multitudes sat on the sidelines cheering Jesus on. Just Jesus and the devil. So often, that’s just how temptations work. In a church building full of people singing hymns to the Lord, Satan doesn’t seem to bother us very much. But late at night, and all alone, he sure can come knocking on the doors of our hearts. Remember King David, standing alone on his roof top. Temptation was strong.
Not only was Jesus tempted, but He was tempted as we are, yet without sin. He never opened the door for Satan to come in. And, this context is left as an example for us. Jesus didn’t pull a miracle out to overcome Satan. He didn’t use some supernatural wisdom. He had what you and I have, the word of God. And, three times, this was the choice of Jesus to deal with Satan. God’s word is stronger than Satan. Not only did Jesus know the Scriptures, but He believed in the Scriptures and He stood with the Scriptures.
Our verse has an interesting expression at the end. Satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. That, “in a moment of time,” is what catches our attention today. It often doesn’t take a long time, but just a moment. And, in that moment, things can change.
In a moment of time, Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit.
In a moment of time, Cain killed Abel.
In a moment of time, Esau sold his birthright.
In a moment of time, Jesus caused the blind to see.
In a moment of time, the jailer in Philippi became a Christian.
But there are some profound applications that you and I need to remember about a moment in time.
- In just a moment of time, we can say something that will scar someone for a lifetime. In our anger, we can say things that should never be said. Later, we can apologize, but the damage has been done. Feelings have been hurt. Friendships have become strained and even ruined. Time marches on, but some will always remember what we said. Because of what we said, some may never become a Christian. Because of what we said, some may never trust us again. It took just a moment in time, but that’s all that is necessary for damage to be done.
- In a moment of time a person can lose their purity. Sexual relations outside of marriage is about as common as breathing anymore. It’s in the movies. It’s in the music. It’s on TV. No big deal, some would say. But God says to flee fornication. God tells us to be holy as He is holy. This is why wise couples who are dating will not be alone in private places very much. Temptation can be strong. Passions can run ahead of good judgment and sense. And, before one realizes it, they have crossed the line. Sin has occurred. Again, one can receive forgiveness and one can apologize, but there is no do overs here. Purity is a one time thing. Once it is lost, it cannot be regained. Far too many high schoolers and college students learn this the hard way. Once a person has given themselves to someone else, there is nothing else to give. When they meet that one special person that they want to marry, they have already given away the greatest gift they have, themselves. In just a moment of time, this can happen. Certain movies, certain TV shows ought to be off limits to those who are serious about their faith. We often don’t have temptation knocking on our doors, instead, we run down the street chasing it, like an ice cream truck. You are giving the devil a formal invitation into your heart when you dress immodestly, pour impure thoughts into your mind, and hang around those who have no moral compass in their lives. Is it any wonder, that in just a moment of time, that purity is lost?
- In just a moment of time you can be cast into eternity. Many start their day as if it was just a plain ole’ everyday kind of day, not knowing that it will be their last day. So quickly one’s life can come to an end. It happens all the time. Car accidents. Work accidents. Disasters. Storms. Crime. Violence. Sudden health issues. And, just like that, they pass through that door called death and there is no coming back. That door swings one direction. Don’t pay attention to all those books about folks who claimed they died and came back. Biblically, untrue. People do not just come back from the dead. It doesn’t happen in these days.
And, five minutes, if that long, after one passes through that door of death, they will realize that Jesus was right. They will realize that their choices in life have put them where they are. They will realize that on the other side things are so different. You can’t do what you want on the other side. Day and night, time and seasons, mean nothing on the other side of that door. And, all our stuff, and accomplishments, and trophies, and degrees, and travels, and names we can drop, won’t matter at all on the other side. Those things do not impress God. All that will matter is whether or not we believed and walked with the Lord on this side of the door. Oh, on the other side, everyone will believe. On that side, everyone will want to walk with the Lord. But what matters is this side of the door. Today, matters. Yesterday, mattered. Did I pray? Did I honor God? Did I try to help others see Jesus? Did I walk faithfully with the Lord? This side determines the other side.
And, in just a moment of time, all that can come to a quick end. This is why we must talk to our friends and family about Jesus. This is why we must get serious about our faith. This is why playing church is a smoke screen that God sees through. This is why knowing the Lord matters. Just like that, and we can be on the other side. And, like the children’s game, “Ready or not,” there we will be, ready or not. You won’t get another day to make things right. You won’t be allowed to come back and say what ought to be said. Once you’ve gone through that door, you are finished with this place. Memories and footprints are all that will be left.
So, what if yesterday was your last day? What if you went through that door yesterday? Are you ready? You better get there. In just a moment of time, you may be on the other side.
Things we really need to think about…