Daily Devotional for September 18

September 18                                                  Matthew 4:1-11


                 "...the devil took Jesus to a very high 
          mountain, and showed him all the nations of the
    world and the glory of them; and the devil said to Jesus,
          'All these I will give you, if you will fall down and
      worship me.' Then Jesus said, 'Be gone, Satan! For
            it is written, you shall worship the Lord your

                 God, and God only shall you serve.' "


Day after day, we are bombarded with messages about how
to improve our lives by using the "right" clothing or hairstyle,
a certain perfume or aftershave lotion, a different brand of
cigarette, a new kind of toothpaste. If we only buy this
product, the advertisements suggest, then we will land a better
job, make more money, get the love we want. We are told
to place more importance on possessions than on people. We
are, in a sense, told to worship things rather than God.


Often, too, we are told that what we do is more important
than what we are. A person's worth is sometimes judged
entirely by the accomplishments listed on his or her resume.
As a result, we sometimes try to "earn" the love and respect
of others by our work alone. We may even try to earn God's
grace.


Christ's words to the devil in today's Gospel are enlightening.
On another level, perhaps, Christ is even saying to us that the
power and glory that the devil offers are illusions, that majesty
belongs only to God. Just as a different perfume won't
transform us magically into attractive, desirable creatures, so
having realms and riches won't ultimately give us power or
glory. Our glory comes from fulfilling God's will for us.


If today there are things that prevent you from worshipping
God and God alone in your life, seek to remove them. Seek
fulfillment in growing closer to God rather than in achieve-
ments, power, or possessions. Just for today, seek God's reign,
and rediscover peace.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989

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