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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Up and In or Down and Out?

Have you ever notice the directions at the end of Matthew 3 and in Matthew 4?

When Jesus was baptized, the Spirit lend him down to the Jordan, down into its muddy waters. And then the Spirit led him out to the wilderness.

But then Satan shows up. He leads Jesus up to the highest point of the Temple and then up higher to a mountain peak.

It seems to me the Holy Spirit leads us down and out in order to show us the love of God, our gifts, and our mission to reach the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

But Satan wants us to look inward and to strive upwards to higher levels of success, power, fame, and riches.

After the temptation of Jesus, He goes up a mountain and gives a sermon – a sermon that, at its foundation, tells us that we’ve got it backwards. The first shall be last. The rich shall be poor. The persecuted shall be blessed.

Then notice what it says about Jesus after He finishes this sermon on the mountain.

When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. Matthew 8:1 ESV.

Jesus may have taught on the mountain, but He led down in the valley. People learned from Jesus on the mountains, but they follow Him down in the valley.

Jesus came down from heaven. He became one of us. He died and rose again to bring us out of the valley of death.

And He has called us to go right back down and bring this Good News to others.

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