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Hebrews 4:15

Competitive Advantage

Somewhere in the history of organized sports, a coaching staff tried out a new theory. These coaches reasoned that taking their teams away the night before a big game and putting the athletes up in a hotel gave them a competitive advantage. They felt that this cloistering would remove the athletes from the distractions of everyday life and allow the team to focus more thoroughly on the game ahead. For decades, this has been a common practice among both college and professional teams.

Jesus knew the value of concentrating on the task at hand, and He prepared for His contest with Satan as no person has ever prepared before or since. Forty days alone in the desert not only removed Jesus from every human contact or since. Forty days alone in the desert not only removed Jesus from every human contact that would demand His attention; by fasting, Jesus even said “no” to normal human needs in order to prepare Himself for the devil’s looming temptations.

The temptation of our Lord allows us a glimpse at a level of spiritual warfare we would otherwise know nothing about. The Bible says that Jesus was tempted in the same ways we are tempted (Heb. 4:15), but we will never experience the intensity of the trial Jesus faced.

Today in the Word, November 3, 1997

The Puppy

A man put up a sign in his yard that read: “Puppies for Sale.” Among those who came to inquire was a young boy. “Please, Mister,” he said, “I’d like to buy one of your puppies if they don’t cost too much.” “Well, son, they’re $25.” The boy looked crushed. “I’ve only got two dollars and five cents. Could I see them anyway?” “Of course. Maybe we can work something out,” said the man. The lad’s eyes danced at the sight of those five little balls of fur. “I heard that one has a bad leg,” he said. “Yes, I’m afraid she’ll be crippled for life.” “Well, that’s the puppy I want. Could I pay for her a little at a time?” The man responded, “But she’ll always have a limp.” Smiling bravely, the boy pulled up one pant leg, revealing a brace. “I don’t walk good either.” Then, looking at the puppy sympathetically, he continued, “I guess she’ll need a lot of love and help. I sure did. It’s not so easy being crippled.” “Here, take her,” said the man. “I know you’ll give her a good home. And just forget the money.”

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