Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
Luke 4:1-2 NIV


Photo courtesy of pixabay.Because of my spiritual family tree, I have an unfortunate condition: I’m addicted to poison apples.

The apples that tempt me are succulent, crisp, sweet or tangy, and haunting. The first bite doesn’t disappoint. It’s juicy and delicious, and I often take a second mouthful. When I’m not indulging, I think about this delicious fruit often. In the back of my mind, I know they are poisonous and will destroy me, yet I constantly battle with my desires versus my inner wisdom.

The Bible calls these poison apples “temptations.” During His forty days in the wilderness, Jesus treated every temptation—large and small—as deadly serious. He understood a truth we conveniently forget: our enemy is out to destroy us. None of the Devil’s temptations are harmless or minor.

Each temptation contains a little poison with a minimal effect. But like arsenic, the poison accumulates. One day, it’s a little white lie that doesn’t hurt anyone and saves embarrassment. So I tell another. Soon, personal dishonesty becomes a tool in my toolbox until one day the poison accumulates to toxic levels. 

Lies can damage key relationships and evaporate trust. They can cause a child to lose respect. Lying to the Internal Revenue Service can lead to financial penalties. Lying to your doctor about taking some drugs may mean a trip to the Intensive Care Unit. And lying while under oath can lead to perjury charges. 

Sin has horrible consequences. Saying yes to any temptation is foolish. Munching on poisoned apples frequently leads to grieving hearts and ruined lives. It’s meant to. Our enemy designed it that way. He’s the master of false advertising, but Jesus is the master of redeeming lost souls and healing broken lives.

Don’t obey the master who destructively tempts you but the one who can help you escape. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Maureen Puccini

Maureen Hall Puccini writes devotions and posts weekly on her new blog, “The Faithful Wanderer” (http://www.thefaithfulwanderer.org). She enjoys illustrating spiritual truths by sharing about Victorian lamplighters, penguins, and personal snow skiing mishaps. She and her husband, Ralph, live in Raleigh, NC. Contact Maureen at mhpuccini@gmail.com.