Sunday, July 31, 2011

Devotional: Taking Scripture Out of Context

 2Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

I was looking for a baby congratulations card the other day.  I finally found one that was really nice and had a scripture verse in it.  The verse was "Precious in the sight of the Lord..."Psalm 116:15.  I thought, how nice!  But something just didn't seem right.  I looked the verse up and here is what the whole verse says, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."  This really changes the meaning!  It also ruined the card.  I can't send that card to anyone with a newborn now.

This is just one example of taking a Bible verse out of context. 2 Timothy tells us we are to rightly divide the word of truth.  Take a verse or a portion of a verse and lifting it out of context to fit our own desires is wrong.

Our pastor has been telling us this in relation to John 14:14 "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it."  Many people lift this verse out of the Bible and think that anything they want or desire, God is going to do it for them if they ask.  This makes God some sort of cosmic genie. They fail to read the rest of scripture where it says,  1 John 5:14  "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us."

God is not promising us anything we desire or want.  He is promising what we need to do the job of spreading His Gospel to the rest of the world.  He is promising spiritual blessings, spiritual fruit, spiritual strength to endure and persevere.  All these things are according to His will.

It is unfortunate when we take his Word out of context like described above because when people don't get what they want in prayer, then they begin to doubt God.

Let's strive to be Christians who rightly divide the Word of truth and who don't seek to build doctrines around verses that are teaching something entirely different.

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