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Someone reminded me recently by saying this: “Satan loves you almost as much as you do!”

That’s a strong statement when in reality Satan hates us according to John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Only Jesus really loves you because He alone is the good shepherd of your soul!

But the point behind that comment is somewhat true. Satan presents himself as an angel of light according to 2 Cor. 11:14: “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” Therefore, Satan wants you to think that he loves you and wants good things for you that you already want yourself.

But a bigger enemy than Satan that you must face daily is your own flesh and its lusts & desires for the things of this world. Your flesh gets tempted by Satan but you must learn to say “no” to your flesh and Satan while saying “yes” to obeying God and doing what is right.

We need to love God more than anything else in the world, including ourselves. When we understand this, Luke 14:26-27 makes sense as Jesus said to the multitude: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. – The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Lk 14:26-27). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Count the costs of following Jesus. You must be willing to deny yourself and “bear your cross” which means you must consider yourself DEAD daily to be His disciple. This is the message of biblical counseling, too, to deny yourself for the glory of God.

Strong stuff!

-Mark (loving myself less so that I can love Him more)