Tuesday, December 14, 2010

1 John 4:1-12

1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Questions to consider:
  • What three tests does John give for determining whether a person truly knows God? Do you know him?
  • How can you distinguish truth from error?
  • Why is error accepted and propagated?
  • What is the highest expression of God’s love? In what context is His love expressed?
  • If you have submitted to God’s love, how has your life been affected?
Possibilities for prayer:

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.

Isn’t it a beautiful thing to know that love comes from God? We are called to love one another, and that love that we have for others is a small reflection of God in our lives. Today, let’s ask God to show us those people in our lives that we have not done such a great job loving, and make an extra effort throughout the coming days and weeks to love that person or those people well. Ask God to show you what that might look like, if you are having a difficult time with that.