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? ♥

Depression and Denying Self

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“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)

“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)

“Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)

Denying self. What does this mean? For years, I thought it meant denying self-worth. Statements like, “You don’t deserve (finish this sentence with any good thing, want, or idea)”, “You’re a worthless sinner”, “You’re not good enough” went through my head, and I let them have free reign. (And then those thoughts took the reigns, cut them, and let the worst run free inside me, and it nearly destroyed me. But that’s another post for another day.) While it is true that we are all sinners, Christ died for us all, and I believe that.

He made our sins as white as snow. (Isaiah 1:18)

Depression took a truth as Satan did when Jesus was in the wilderness, and twisted it into something that it was not ever meant to say.

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”

But He answered and said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto Him, “If thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down: for it is written, ‘He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee: and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone.” (Note: Satan is misquoting Psalm 91:11&12)

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

Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto Him, “All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me.”

Then saith Jesus unto him, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, ‘Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.’ ”

Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

(Matthew 4: 1-11)

In reality, a twisted truth is a crafty way to say, “lie.”

Verses are intended to be read in context. Sometimes it is possible to take a verse and then apply it to a situation that it was not addressing.

That is dangerous. Very dangerous.

It misleads the soul.

Denying self and denying self-worth are entirely different things. What I believe “denying self” means is what Paul spoke of in Romans 8: deny the wants of the flesh self and walk after the Spirit. 🙂