1 John 4:6 (NIV) 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.
“May others also hear this message, may they sense this message through us. Maybe they’ve only heard the messages of the world, maybe they’ve fallen for the messages of the world. May they be welcomed in to experience God’s pursuing love for them in Jesus Christ…The other amazing portion of what is reflected here and is John’s heart for the church is that you are one who is also to transmit this message. Through you the true message and invitation of God is to come, and some will listen. And ultimately they’re not listening to you, they’re listening to the Source, who is giving this message through you – ‘come in, to truth, life, where you can experience the unfiltered, raw, lavish love of the Father for you.” (P. Brian)
Prayer: Father, thank you for the true message of Jesus Christ who has come in the flesh. I take it in fully, afresh today. But also, fill me with your love for this world, your passion for others to hear and receive this message through our churches, campus ministries and missional groups. Fill us with your Spirit to freely give the message of Jesus and open up many hearts to hear and respond. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship Jesus as we sing “Spirit of God” by New Life Worship (click here).
1 John 4:4 (NIV) 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.
“Interestingly, the phrase ‘You are from God’ precedes this warm affirmation [‘little children’]…it is fronted for emphasis to add intensity: ‘You yourselves, and no one else, are of God, little children. And you have conquered them (the world, the false prophets, those who are of the spirit of antichrist) in an abiding and settled fashion.’
How did we obtain this victory? The Greater Spirit, the Holy Spirit, is in you, and He is greater than he who is in the world. Is the world strong? Yes, but our God is definitely stronger! Are false prophets wise? Yes, but our God is infinitely wiser! Is Satan great? Yes, but our God is infinitely greater! And this One who is infinitely stronger, wiser, and greater now and forever ‘is in you’!” (Akin, Daniel L., Exalting Jesus in 1 2 3 John, Kindle location 1848)
Prayer: Our Father, we declare how great and strong and wise you are! We declare how wonderful is what you have done in us! We say amen – the Holy Spirit is now in us! And we ask that you would empower us by your Spirit today to walk in the victory you have given to us, free from fear or intimidation as we live in this world, but confidently trusting in our God. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship Jesus as we sing “Overcome” by Elevation Worship (click here).
“John is helping us as dearly beloved children of God. Although the messages we get from this world may sound or feel similar to what we hear from the Lord, the sources are completely different. One Source is to be received from unfiltered, answered right away, responded to with all of who we are. The other sources are to be rejected, not considered, not entertained. But how do we tell the difference?” (P. Brian)
1 John 4:2-3a (NIV) 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.
“Don’t be naive about this world, as if the world is for you and has what is good for you. But also, don’t be afraid of the world or avoid the world, rather discern what messages are coming your way, let life be centered upon and from the reference point of Jesus who came in the flesh…Is what I’m hearing leading me to a greater recognition, need for, encounter with Jesus? If so, that is of the Spirit of God…if what we are hearing is not pointing us to this Jesus, it is a message that is to be rejected.” (P. Brian)
Prayer: Lord, help me to live discerningly and recognize the S/source behind the messages I hear today: to respond to you right away, and also to reject the messages from other sources. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s behold and worship Jesus as we sing “Lamb of God” by Matt Redman (click here).
1 John 4:1, 5-6a (NIV) 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.
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…
“John paints a stark antithesis between the viewpoint of the world and God’s vision of reality. This antithesis is one that believers need to be reminded of daily. Since we live in the world (but are not of the world), it is our constant temptation to interpret reality according to the norms, attitudes, and values of the world. Instead, we must be reminded of God’s truth – of his values and intention for humanity…those from God listen to the apostolic testimony that is empowered by the true Spirit of God” (Campbell, Constantine R., 1 2 3 John, The Story of God Bible Commentary, 139)
Prayer: Father, I belong to you, not this world. Fill me with your Spirit today to freely take in your truth, love, and your reality but also to decisively say no to the ways, attitudes, and values of the world. Open up my ears to hear you tell me who I am, define my life once again today according to who you are and your calling in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s be empowered to live as the new creations in Christ we are as we sing “Thank You Jesus For The Blood” by Charity Gayle (click here).
1 John 1:1-2 (NIV) 1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.
1 John 4:2-4 (NIV) 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.
Prayer: Lord, thank you that your Spirit lives in me and your truth dwells in me. As I walk in this world today, lead me to encounter Jesus, who has come in the flesh, and to be filled with your Spirit and to think in your truth. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship Jesus as we sing “This Is How We Know” by Matt Redman (click here).