All In Context.

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“If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.”

That sounds like a grand promise from God to His children, don’t you think? But what is the context of this verse? This is Luke 4:7. Here are the surrounding verses:

Luke 4: 1 – 13: And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days He did eat nothing: and when they were ended, He afterward hungered. And the devil said unto Him, “If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.”

And Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

And the devil, taking Him up into an high mountain, shewed unto Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto Him, “All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.

And Jesus answered and said unto him, “Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

And he brought Him to Jerusalem, and set Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto Him, “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, ‘He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.’ ”
(Satan is misquoting Psalm 91: 11&12 here.)

And Jesus answering said unto him, “It is said, ‘Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’ ”

And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from Him for a season.

Satan sure is crafty. My point is, you don’t want to use a verse that seems to say one thing before reading the context before and after it. Another example:

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (Psalm 37:4)

Beautiful verse. But consider what the Bible says about the heart’s desires:

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (Mark 7: 21-24)

These are all things that God hates. So why would He give us our heart’s desire if it’s sinful and wrong? Here are the surrounding verses:

3: Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

4: Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

5: Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

6: And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

This is not the flesh heart; this is the heart that loves God with all its might. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (Second Corinthians 5:17) It’s this heart that gets what it wants. It wants Jesus. It is focused on Jesus. And when it has Jesus, it wants no worldly things, no sinful things.

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For if one asks for Him, and knowledge of Him, etc, He will give it. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.  (Matthew 7:7&8)
Ask for Him; seek Him; knock on His door and He will open it! How wonderful is this? ♥

Sacrificing The Darkness

Sacrifice. This word has many meanings, but here are the two I’m thinking of today: “The act of offering the life of a person or animal to God” and “the act of giving up something to possibly gain something greater.”

The first one comes up a lot in the Bible.

Ephesians 5:1&2: Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Hebrews 10:12&13: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool.

These are obviously “the act of offering the life of a person God.” Jesus replaced the animal sacrifices – He covered all sin with one sacrifice, and defeated death at the same time! This got me to thinking about myself. He gave His life for me; what have I done for Him? What things of the world have I given up for Him?

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image made by me, quote taken from a church sign

For me personally, I was attracted to darkness and death, and some may have thought that I was weird for that, but I was somewhat okay with it at the time. A good friend of mine had a valid point: “Jesus defeated death; why are people (me included) glorifying death?” I touched on this in the post Halloween – A Christian Holiday…? that I posted back in October. (This is the part two I had in mind and am just now posting. 😉)

First Thessalonians 5:5: Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

It took years of stumbling in the darkness to see that I shouldn’t have been following my heart, but I should have been following Jesus instead.

First John 1:5: This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

If God has no darkness in Him, then why was I allowing it to be in me? Why let something that Jesus defeated rule inside me?

John 12:35: Then Jesus said unto them, “Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walks in darkness knows not whither he goes.”

Once I realized how the darkness had come and surrounded me, I couldn’t find my way out of the abyss – until the Light found me and showed me the way out. I had no idea how lost in the dark I was until I made the resolution to stand in the Light. I thank Him every day for that, but sometimes, it’s not easy to stay out even though I know I should.

Matthew 5:14 – 16: Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

But if we are the light of the world, then why was I smothering the Light in darkness? Clearly, I should have been letting the Light shine through me, like light shines through stained glass.

Romans 13:12: The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

The hardest thing was giving the darkness up for Jesus, because my heart didn’t want to give it up and put on the armor of Light. Jesus is the opposite of darkness and death; so after some Bible study, I realized that it wasn’t just a choice – I had to give this up and turn toward the Light, for Him. If He could give His life, then surely with Him by my side, I could give this up for Him.

Sacrifices are never easy, but in the end, He is worth it!

Be My Guide

It seems that with this one, I wanted to see how many times I could rhyme with “guide” and still have a poem that makes sense. XD All joking aside, here is another poem with a very different rhyming pattern. A couple of lines near the middle is based on 2nd Cor:5:17 (Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.) and a couple of lines near the end is based on Gal:2:20 (I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.)

Hope y’all have a great weekend! ♥

Be My Guide

In this wicked world, I abide

It is a bog that threatens to drown us in quicksand
Jesus, pull me out of my sinful ways, here is my hand!

Please, Lord, be my Guide

We’re surrounded by fog so thick that we cannot see
Take my hand, Lord, and out of this confusion, lead me!

Jesus, stay at my side

Noise is so loud that it’s hard to know truth from lies
Help me, Lord Jesus, hear my pleading cries!

In You, Lord, I confide

You know my heart, my soul, my very being
I know that without you, there is no seeing!

For us, You died

So that we, Your children, can live for You
I believe upon Your Son; turn me into a creature anew!

You were crucified

Like a common criminal, The Innocent One
Was punished for sins we have done

I knelt and cried

From my evil ways, He has set me free!
He, The Only Begotten Son, has saved me!

I cannot hide

The Light within shines though my spirit
I must share the Gospel! People must hear it!

In me – You reside

I am crucified with Christ, yet I live; yet, I live not
For Jesus lives in me; we live by the faith of the Son of God

I lose my pride

When we drive on the road of life alone, we hit potholes
But when Jesus is in the driver’s seat, He steers our souls

So it’s a smoother ride