3 But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here. 4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 5 Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. 6 But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.—1 John 4:3-6 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
We must be very careful who we let speak into our Spiritual lives. Are the people with whom we spend the most time encouraging us in our Spiritual life or are they more concerned with worldly activities, such as our social life? Do we spend more time on Facebook or in the Book? There are at least two very easy ways to find out where we are “laying up our treasures”. One is to look at our checkbooks to see where we spend our earthly treasure and the other is our phones/computers to see with whom we converse and what we converse about. Are we tithing our money and our time? We don’t need to be spiritual fanatics beating people over the head with the Bible, but we do need to be sure that our lives reflect the fact that we are redeemed and that Jesus Christ is our Lord, We need to listen to God, first of all, and then to those who belong to God. We need heavenly wisdom, not earthly wisdom.
18 Do not fool yourselves. If you think you are wise in this world, you should become a fool so that you can become truly wise, 19 because the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. It is written in the Scriptures, “He catches those who are wise in their own clever traps.” 20 It is also written in the Scriptures, “The Lord knows what wise people think. He knows their thoughts are just a puff of wind.”—1 Cor. 3:18-20 (NCV)
Our brains are the most fantastic computers ever designed and we all know the old GIGO principle about computers. So, we need to limit the amount of garbage the world puts in us and increase the amount of wisdom that God is so anxious to give to us. We do this by meditating on the Scriptures and listening to and spending time with the right people.
13 God has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of his Son, whom he loves. 14 His Son paid the price to free us, which means that our sins are forgiven. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 He created all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. Whether they are kings or lords, rulers or powers—everything has been created through him and for him.–Col 1:13-16 (GW)
God is waiting to show you the way.
We were born with a sinful nature and born into a sinful world. But God, because of His omnipotence, omniscience, and His great love already had a plan in place to rescue us. The plan called for His Son, Jesus, to be born sinless, live a perfect life, and die a horrible death on a cross to redeem and reconcile us to Himself. When we accept this plan, our sins are forgiven and we are placed in right standing with God. Jesus was resurrected from the grave as the firstborn of all creation to live eternally. Everything was created through Him and for Him. Without Him, nothing exists or can exist. He raises up leaders and kings and He brings down those leaders and kings for His own purpose. We are created to glorify God and to one day be raised in His image, changed from mortals to immortals, from corruption to incorruption, to worship and praise Him throughout eternity.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
God is waiting to show you the way.
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far he removes our transgressions from us Psalm 103:8-12 (NRSV)
Each morning when we get up, we should take time to thank God for His mercies and faithfulness. The fact that God does not deal with us as we deserve because of our sins is reason enough to spend each day rejoicing and giving Him praise. We deserve death and an eternity in hell, but God has chosen to forgive us, redeem us and bless us. Spend today giving God the glory, blessing, power, and honor that He so richly deserves and when the evening comes, you will discover that you have had a joyful day. Focus on Jesus and your day will be a blessing to you and to those around you. Every day, from now until Christmas, practice showing mercy to those you meet and pray that it becomes a year round habit. We can have that “Christmas feeling” year round, if we meditate on the love of Jesus, store it in our hearts and release a little bit of it everyday.