Some people say we are living in the “age of skepticism.” From social media spin doctors to outright fake news, there are certainly many reasons to be skeptical. How do you distinguish those who use religion and faith to manipulate and mislead from those who are proclaiming the truth? This is not a new problem for the Church. From the very beginning of the Christian faith, there have been those who have distorted and perverted the teachings of Jesus. Jesus Himself warned His followers about “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” The Apostle John wants a new generation of Jesus’ followers to know the difference.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.1 John 4 (ESV)
Principle (know it):
The Choice: 1 John 4:1, 3; 1 John 2:18, 22-23; 2 Corinthians 10:5
Right belief: 1 John 4:2
Right actions: 1 John 4:7-8, 11-12; 20-21
The Confidence: 1 John 4:4, 13, 17-19
Practices (do them):
Reflect on the answers to the following questions:
– Is love being perfected in you?
- Who is someone you are having a hard time loving? (They are the standard)
- Are you being defined by your fears or by love?
– Are you testing the spirits around you?
- Do the people with the greatest influence in your life profess Jesus Christ as Lord?
- Are the people with the greatest influence in your life demonstrating the radical kind of love Jesus shows?
- Are being driven by every thought and emotion that comes along or are you testing them?
Sunday: 1 John 1
Monday: 1 John 2
Tuesday: 1 John 3
Wednesday: 1 John 4
Thursday: 1 John 5
Friday: 2 John
Saturday: 3 John