Satan's Twists & Turns

Satan's Twists & Turns - Know Your Scripture - 2 Tim. 2:15
Satan loves twisting Scripture to tempt our selfish desires.

His success is dependent on our lack of Scripture knowledge.

He'll encourage us to live worldly lives by emphasizing Ephesians 2:8-9 and telling us “works” is a dirty word. (See Works is not a Dirty Word)

He'll hope we don't read the very next verse Ephesians 2:10 that says we're created for good works.

If he wants us to hang out with bad influences, he'll remind us that Christ met with unsavory characters (Mark 2:13-17).

He’ll leave off the part that Christ always confronted sinners when He was with them and "hung out” mostly with His disciples (e.g. John 5:14). He won't mention Scriptures about avoiding bad influences (1 Corinthians 15:33; 4 Types of People to Avoid).

Satan tempts us by sharing part of the truth and manipulating our selfish desires.

So how do we overcome Satan’s temptations? We study all of Scripture, accept all of Scripture (2 Timothy 2:15), and deny selfish desires (Matthew 16:24).
These devotions also address this subject:
3 Keys to Defeating Satan - Strike First
Satan's Twists & Turns - Know Your Scripture - 2 Tim. 2:15

Don't Believe Anything That Contradicts Scripture

Don't Believe Anything That Contradicts Scripture
Many false philosophies have found their way into our churches, and some Christians are defending them with reckless confidence.
“The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence."  Proverbs 14:16
The only way we can hope to mature in Christ is to trust God's wisdom, not human wisdom.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
And no matter how appealing these philosophies sound, we must never accept views that contradict Scripture.

Once we accept even slight errors, we lose our discernment and run the risk of being taken captive by every whim of human thought (1 Corinthians 3:19; Colossians 2:8).

This is a good proverb to remember:
Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. Proverbs 18:2
And this is a good one to memorize:
"Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning." Proverbs 9:9
I have recently encountered a number of professing Christians who  defend false beliefs even when confronted with Scriptural proof that their beliefs contradict God's Word. Dear Christians, may we never have that kind of "reckless confidence"! 
Don't Believe Anything That Contradicts Scripture

Did Jesus Really Say I'm Greater Than John The Baptist?

What Jesus Meant When He Said All Believers Are Greater Than John The Baptist
In Matthew 11:7-15, Jesus describes the ministry of John the Baptist. 

He explains that John was more than a prophet. He was the messenger who prepared Christ’s coming (Scriptures). 

Jesus makes a remarkable statement – no prophet is greater than John. He prophesied about the Messiah and saw Jesus face-to-face. This made John unique among the prophets – the greatest.

Then in the next breath Jesus says all Christians are greater than John. What does this mean?

John was the last “Old Testament” prophet – the last to prophesy about a redemption he wouldn't witness.

He saw Jesus, but he was martyred before Jesus completed His mission of redemption on the cross. 

Yet every believer after Christ’s death has been able to understand and experience that redemption while still on earth.

You and I are not greater in courage, spirituality, character, or value than John. But we have a greater privilege - a full understanding of redemption after the fact. 

What a wonderful privilege it is!
What Jesus Meant When He Said All Believers Are Greater Than John The Baptist

Sometimes God Plans Detours & Delays

Sometimes God Plans Detours & Delays - Exodus 13:17
God is always working in our lives.

He has full knowledge of our hearts and our circumstances, and sometimes He delays or detours our plans for good reasons.

This is an excellent example from Scripture:
When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, "If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt." Exodus 13:17

God didn’t take them on the direct route because they weren’t ready for it.

Likewise, God knows about dangers and distractions in our path that will prevent us from fulfilling His purposes (Ephesians 2:10). 

Are you wandering and wondering why your path is long and indirect? Does it seem like you're wasting your time?

If you’ve been obedient to Christ, I encourage you to keep walking. He has good reasons for His detours and delays (Psalm 32:8).
based on devotion originally posted in 2012
Sometimes God Plans Detours & Delays - Exodus 13:17

Shiny Pennies or Heavenly Treasure?

Pennies or Quarters - Earthly or Heavenly Treasure? Matthew 6:19-20
Small children will trade a quarter for three shiny pennies. They’re too naïve to realize which has more value.

Unfortunately, we Christians do the same whenever we give up heavenly treasures for earthly ones (Matthew 6:19-20; 1Timothy 6:18-19).

We’re trading spiritual wealth for a few shiny pennies when we:
  • Take the easy way instead of the right way
  • Avoid an opportunity to share our faith
  • Focus on worldly goals
  • Keep our mouths shut when Biblical values are mocked
  • Overlook some of God’s commands
Remember the poor widow who sacrificially gave up her last few pennies? She was trading them for much greater treasure in heaven (Luke 21:1-4). 

Remember the Centurion who didn’t feel he even deserved to have Jesus in his home? He was trading earthly honor for heavenly honor (Matthew 8:5-13). 

Remember those “who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection” (Hebrews 11:35)?

Let’s think before we reach for those shiny pennies, dear Christians.
If you'd like to study what Hebrews 11 says about storing up heavenly treasures, check out today's Bite Size Bible Study.

You might enjoy these other 1-minute devotions about storing up heavenly treasure:
Rich or Poor, Stingy is the Same
When Less is More 
And check out the Bible Love Notes Archive of devotions about Money and Things
Pennies or Quarters - Earthly or Heavenly Treasure? Matthew 6:19-20

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