The Journey with Ron Moore

Matthew 16:17-20

Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

To the question, “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Today’s passage records the Lord’s response to Peter’s answer.

Jesus said that Peter’s answer was a result of special revelation, revealed by “my Father in heaven.” Jesus went on to say that He would build His church on this confession. The body of Christ is based on the eternal, unchangeable truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One—the Son of the living God.

There are things in our world that are in direct opposition to what Christians believe. Many despise Christianity and desire to destroy the faith and the faithful. We should never be surprised at this. Scripture says that Satan is the prince of the world. He is a liar, deceiver, and destroyer. But he will never win because the community of believers, called the Church, is built on the Son of the living God. Nothing, not even the gates of hell, will ever overcome it.

Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Body—the Church. Thank You for the privilege of being a part of it. Thank You for the promise that nothing will ever destroy it. In Your name. Amen.

 


 

This Week on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Engaging in the Battle

Luke 4:13
When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

After the showdown in the desert, Satan left but he didn’t leave. He waited for a strategic time to come at Jesus again. Satan never gives up.  Beaten today, he returns to battle again tomorrow. He is always looking for an opportune time.

  • When we are physically worn down, Satan attacks. Failure is often in the midst of fatigue.
  • When we experience loss, Satan shows up. He fills our minds with “What if…?” and “Why didn’t I…?” “Why didn’t God…?” Satan desires to turn grief into regret and bitterness.
  • When discouragement tackles us, Satan piles on. He knows a discouraged soldier is vulnerable and ineffective in battle.
  • When job loss hits, Satan comes along as an “understanding” companion. He tempts us to respond in anger with words that should be left unsaid. Reckless words pierce like a sword and he wrote the dictionary of reckless words.
  • Satan stands by us when we look in the mirror. He tells us that we are unattractive, that we should be embarrassed with such an unfortunate physical trait. He convinces us that God must have some twisted sense of humor to have created us the way He did.
  • Satan is there when we flip through a fashion magazine. The airbrushed models provide a platform for him to tell us that we are way out of shape, even repulsive. He shouts, “How could anybody love or accept you?”
  • Satan loves it when we carry a chip on our shoulder. He reminds us that everyone is out to get us, from the person who cut us off on the road, to supervisors at work, to family members.

Satan is always looking for an opportune time. Unfortunately he doesn’t have to look for long.

Father, remind me that I belong to You. Help me find my significance, security, acceptance, forgiveness and empowerment from You and You alone. Help me be aware of Satan’s schemes. Protect me from the evil one. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Today on The Journey:
Strong Hands, Tender Heart

Matthew 4:8-10
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

Standing on a very high mountain Satan tried to dazzle Jesus. In an amazing vision Satan flashed all the kingdoms of the world in front of the Lord. The Father promised that He would give every nation to Jesus as an inheritance (Psalm 2:8). It was His destiny to rule over all people and kingdoms. In this final temptation Satan appealed to Jesus’ pure and sinless ambition.

The temptation was this: God’s plan involved the suffering and agony of the cross. Jesus’ death on the cross would be the sacrifice that “purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9-10). God’s plan was the cross then the kingdoms. Satan’s plan was the kingdoms without the cross. A shortcut. Satan is all about shortcuts.

Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 6:10-13 to resist this temptation. In that passage Israel was tempted to leave God out of the picture, to think that their achievements were a result of their efforts. That’s a struggle we all have; but here we learn from our Lord that nothing is worthy apart from God’s plan. There is no worthwhile success or achievement apart from Him.

Father, drive that truth home in the heat of my battle with Satan. Shortcuts are so enticing. Help me see the dangerous destination before I start out on the hazardous path. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Today on The Journey:
Finishing Well

Matthew 4:5-7  
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Picture Satan’s offer.  A crowd would gather below as Jesus stood on the highest point of the temple. Hear the collective gasp as Jesus jumped to His certain death. Listen to the “oohs” and “aahs” as Jesus’ body slowed just before impact and He landed gently on His feet. Everyone would say, “He’s the Messiah! He’s the one God told us about in Psalm 91. The angels did not let Him die!” The people would accept Jesus . . . according to Satan’s plan, not God’s plan.

Jesus responded to Satan’s scheme by quoting Deuteronomy 6:16. These words of Moses referred to a time when the Israelites wondered whether God was really on their side. In assuring them that God was always with them, Moses exhorted the people to never doubt God’s promises, never put Him to the test.  

Jesus came to provide sinful people a relationship with the Holy God. Jesus said, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32). Jesus knew that the Father’s plan did not include an angelic rescue. Rather, it meant being lifted up on a cross, forsaken and alone, paying the penalty for sin. Jesus was willing to trust the Father, even in His weakest moments, even when He knew following God’s plan would lead to His death. 

Father, sometimes I like my plan better than Yours. It is often the easier, quicker path and that’s what tempts me. Help me follow Your plan even when it calls for pain and suffering. Help me learn from Jesus’ response to this temptation. Help me be like Him. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


This Week on The Journey:
1 and 2 Samuel

Matthew 4:3-4
The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Satan’s first shot at Jesus was practical and physical. Jesus was starving and Satan offered the enticement of warm loaves of bread. Satan wanted Jesus to use divine power to meet His earthly needs. While Jesus would demonstrate divine power often, the miracles were always for others, never for Himself.

Jesus rebutted Satan with Scripture from Deuteronomy 8:3. This Old Testament passage describes God providing manna for the Israelites during their forty years in the wilderness. God gave them food one day at a time. Every day they had to depend on God for their daily bread. In the process they realized it wasn’t the bread keeping them alive but the Giver of the bread. They were not surviving by bread alone. They had to trust God for their daily existence.

Jesus’ refusal to turn the stones into bread demonstrated His trust in the Father to not let Him die in the desert. He was unwilling to disobey for instant satisfaction. He trusted God for His future, even though He had to wait, even though in His humanness He desperately wanted food. Are you willing to follow Jesus’ example? Will you trust God with your future . . . even if He asks you to wait . . . even if instant satisfaction is yours for the taking?

Lord Jesus, thank You for refusing to thwart the Father’s plan . . . as tempting as it was. Thank You for the example that I can push aside instant satisfaction in order to wait for better things. Help me trust You with my future. In Your name I pray. Amen.

In western culture they’ve been portrayed as larger than life…and a myth. But while they’ll be all too real, they’re certainly no match for the One who is Life Himself.

Today, Ron Moore introduces us to the Man of Sin and his religious assistant.

An angel of light, a great red-dragon, handsome and loathsome, cunning and foolish. Satan is all these things…and he wants to be your god.

But as Ron Moore is about to share, this mighty pretender to Heaven’s throne is no match for the King of Kings. Today you’ll see that his defeat is written and certain.

Psalm 83:9-18  
Do to them as you did to Midian, as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon, who perished at Endor and became like dung on the ground. Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna, who said, “Let us take possession of the pasturelands of God.” Make them like tumbleweed, my God, like chaff before the wind. As fire consumes the forest or a flame sets the mountains ablaze, so pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your storm. Cover their faces with shame, LORD, so that they will seek your name. May they ever be ashamed and dismayed; may they perish in disgrace. Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD —that you alone are the Most High over all the earth. 

The goal? Compete destruction. Time frame? As soon as possible. How? By any and all means of force. The enemies of Israel were on their way. They were coming to wipe the nation off the map; to make the people a chapter in history. They were intent on taking the “pasturelands of God” for their own.

We have an enemy with the same intentions. Satan’s goal is total destruction. There is nothing better for his cause than for others to see a believer in the ditch. His time frame is as soon as possible. He wants us out of the picture. He will use anything and everything to destroy us—sexual sin, a failed marriage, questionable business practices, hypocrisy, pretense, and our personal sin weaknesses. 

Our prayer must be as desperate as the psalmist. We are no match for Satan on our own. We can resist him only through the power of God. Let’s make the psalmist’s prayer our own.

Father, the enemy is hot on my trail. Please cover his face with shame so that I can continue to seek Your name. May Satan be disgraced. Let him know that You—whose name is the Lord—that You alone are the Most High over all the earth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 37:18-24  

The blameless spend their days under the LORD’s care, and their inheritance will endure forever. In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty. But the wicked will perish: Though the LORD’s enemies are like the flowers of the field, they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke. The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously; those the LORD blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be destroyed. The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

The Lord cares for His children. There will be times of challenge and disappointment. We will not be exempt from the strong winds of hard storms. But our eternal inheritance will endure forever. In times of need the Lord will always provide.

The Lord cares for His children. We don’t have to hoard God’s resources. Nor should we spend God’s resources selfishly—for bigger, better, and faster stuff. We can give generously knowing that our gifts to others are out of what God has given to us.

The Lord cares for His children. The terrain of our journey is challenging. The potholes of the world rattle our lives and Satan is always taking aim. But the Lord walks with us to steady our steps. Even when we stumble, we will not fall, because “the Lord upholds [us] with his hand.”   

Father, thank You for walking with me every step of my journey. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 31:1-5  
For the director of music. A psalm of David.

In you, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, LORD, my faithful God.

Around every corner the devil sets a trap. He is not omniscient but he is a student of human behavior. He knows our weaknesses and our tendency to sin. There is no temptation that is unique to man, so he does not have to be creative. When it comes to sin, old traps work just as well as new ones.

There is only one remedy for Satan’s traps. On our own we will be lured in every time. If we can resist one trap by our strong self-discipline, the trap of pride is ready to clamp down on our next step. Such is the insidious nature of sin. Left to our own devices the escape hatch for one sin leads to the snare of another.  

The only remedy is the Lord. He is our only hope of refuge. He will keep us from shame. He will come to our rescue. He will hide us in His fortress. He alone is our faithful God. We can commit our weak spirit to Him.

Father, I am no match for temptation. Left to myself I live trapped so right now I commit my spirit to You. Please deliver me. Show Yourself faithful…again. Keep me away from the trap that is set for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Prayer

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