SMS 144 Matthew 4:2-3

For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.

During that time the devil[a] came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” (NLT)

The devil tempts us to meet legitimate needs through illegitimate means, to rely on self rather than God. Try to examine what happens when you are being tempted.

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SMS 143 Luke 2:38

38 She  (Anna) came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem. (NLT)

Praising God and sharing Jesus come naturally to those who are devoted to him. Are our words and thoughts filled with praises to God? How eagerly do we talk about Jesus to others?

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SMS 142: Luke 2:34-35a

34 Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. 35 As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. (NLT)

People will always take sides when it comes to Jesus. He exposes and confronts what’s inside our hearts. The question is, how do we react when that happens?

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SMS 142: Luke 2:25-27

25 At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him 26 and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required,

The Holy Spirit communicates personally to those who walk in step with God. In what ways do you discern the Spirit’s leading? When was the last time you experienced it?

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SMS 141: Ecclesiastes 12:1

Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.” (NLT)

Having time and other resources at our disposal during our prime years distracts us from God – his will and his work. How can we actively choose to “not forget” God today?

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SMS 141: Psalm 46:7

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. (NIV)

Our Circumstance, our fears and worries – all of these are not enough to shake us if we abide in God, our unshakeable fortress.

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SMS 140: Romans 5:5

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (NLT)

God’s love allows us to endure and look forward to eternity. He fills us with the capacity to love through the Holy Spirit, as an assurance and foretaste of what is to come. How does God’s love give you hope?

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