, Muskogee, OK

January 21, 2013

Fort Faith: It’s not too late to cook up a spiritual strategy

— It’s just hard to beat a good biscuit! A few days ago, preacher Dan and I hosted the monthly area ministers’ breakfast, which gave us the chance to show off our sweet cooking skills.

Between the two of us we managed to come up with gravy and a triple batch of homemade biscuits (my grandma’s recipe handed down through my mom), and Dan’s scrambled eggs and smoked, sweet Arkansas bacon.

If Jesus’ mother, Mary, made biscuits half as good as my mom and grandma, I can totally understand why the temptation to turn stones into bread was a worthy enough story to include in the Bible!  After all, can you imagine what must have been going through Jesus’ mind as he was tempted to whip up some piping hot comfort food, probably to taste just like his mom’s?

This, after forty days of fasting and going toe to toe with the devil and some cleverly devised temptations just before Jesus’ earthly ministry began.

It is strange to think, but the same tempter that approached Jesus in the desert nearly 2000 years ago is the same devil we will do battle with in 2013.

Satan is more equipped to deliver harm than any opponent in any boxing ring or bowl game. That’s a scary thought!

Last year was such a great year for our church family in so many ways. Maybe it was for yours, too. Praise be to God! And with many plans in the works for 2013, I am certain Satan is going to be gunning for us as much this year as ever. Satan hates it when Christians succeed.

But here’s the deal. The same spiritual weapons Jesus had available to him in the desert are the same weapons we can arm ourselves with today.

Jesus made God’s word an inseparable part of who he was. That is why he was able to answer the devil’s temptations every time with the phrase “It is written”. We can do that, too. When we read the Bible, God’s word is also written in our hearts. Jesus said, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34).”

Constant prayer and guidance from God’s Holy Spirit are also an important part of this recipe.

One of the great things about having a Savior who was tempted in every way (Heb. 4:15) is that we can trust that his inspired word (2 Tim. 3:16-17) gives us everything we need to know about living righteously. So as much as I love a good biscuit, in 2013 it should probably be my consumption of Jesus, the Bread of Life that sees an increase. How about you? Have a great week!

Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or