1 John 3:11-4:6 – October 24
The Bible is basically a compilation of love letters from our Father in heaven, His loving words breathed onto each page. Over the next several months, as we study the letters of the Bible, Galatians through Jude, I pray that You will experience His eternal love in new ways and that it will transform you. These letters were written by Christian leaders, most of them by Paul, to establish and grow the Christian Church. For us, they are filled with love and gold nuggets on living a Christian life. Join along in our study by reading today’s scripture, journaling on it using SOAP, then sharing how God spoke to you today. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading, then below that is a SOAP from one of our study leaders. The Comments section on our website is an open forum for sharing, requesting prayer, and asking questions.
1 John 3:11-4:6
More on Love and Hatred
11 For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
On Denying the Incarnation
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.
Run Devil Run | Becky Newman
1 John 4:4
John often addresses his audience as “children”. I think it’s to recognize them as children of God, part of God’s family, so that we can better grasp how He loves us. “Them” in this verse refers to the antichrists John describes in the previous paragraph — anyone who does not acknowledge that Jesus is from God (verse 4:3). When Jesus rose from the dead, He overcame the world, and we have that victory in our hearts. That’s why we can rebuke Satan. When God is in control, he has no power over us.
This last week has felt like one gut punch after another. I pray for discernment and words from the Spirit to flow from my mouth, but they bounce off the walls that have been thrown up (kind of like what verse 4:6 says, “…whoever is not from God does not listen to us.”). I need to fully embrace Your victory over all of this, not letting these gut punches steal my joy in You or affect my disposition to everyone who needs to see Your light. You are greater! Since I got the new Crowder CD today, I just have to quote “Run Devil Run” [http://www.crowdermusic.com/ under Moving Pictures]:
I got somethin’ make the devil gonna run…
I got the King of Kings and the Lord of Hosts,
I got angel armies and a Holy Ghost,
I got spirits here that are tied by fire,
I got a valley of bones that came alive,
I got a cross, a hill, and an empty grave,
I got a trumpet sound and One sweet Name…
I got my Jesus, and the devil gotta run.
Father, thank You for letting me be Your child. When the gut punches are thrown, help me to secure Your breastplate of righteousness with the belt of Truth, pull up my boot straps, and remember Your victory over this world. Please, Lord, soften the hearts of the antichrists in our world and turn them back to You, acknowledging You and Your victory fully.
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.