1 John 4 ~ Testing The Spirits / God Is Love
Hi Family, Quick update - Dad (Pastor Rob) is still sick although he is starting to improve. He hopes to be well enough to share with you this Sunday’s message so please be in prayer for him. Here is the link to print off this study. If you don’t have means to print this off and are working off of a screen, please gather a notebook, pen, and Bible to make notes separately. Also, if you would like an editable version shared with you, please text your email address to 541-786-5245. I hope you are encouraged and blessed by your time in the Word and by the knowledge that others in your Calvary Chapel La Grande family are digging into the same scripture tonight. Please feel free to share your thoughts or questions on tonight’s devotional on our Facebook or Instagram page (#cclagrande, #wednightcclagrande and #calvarychapel) or to me directly via the phone number above or the website contact form at www.cclagrande.com . If I can get them working correctly, you should be able to leave comments below if you're reading this as a blog from the website. Also, I’m teaching out of a New American Standard Life Application Study Bible just in case you’re wondering.
God bless, Summer Steele
Testing The Spirits: Verses 1-6
The caption for the first section, verses 1-6 is entitled, “Testing the Spirits” and the second half, verses 7-21, is titled “God Is Love.” Seems like a strange pairing - Spiritual Warfare and God’s Love.
Why would the Holy Spirit pair those two topics together? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Here’s a thought from me. Most of this book revolves around the love and character of God. It would be naive to think that a Christian truly dwelling in the love of Christ would remain unopposed. If that sparks any further thought, take a moment to go back and write them down.
Vs. 1-3 What is the Test? How do we differentiate between the Spirit of God and the spirit of antichrist? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The word “know” in the Greek is ginōskō. The definition of which includes “to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of, perceive, feel, have knowledge of.”
This implies that this “knowing” includes a pursuit of the definition (like wisdom!) and once you get it, it sinks deep into you to where you have a feel for when something is not of God.
So it starts with a concrete definition, and then when we pursue the Spirit of God, the knowing sinks deep into our heart so that when things don’t quite feel right - you have that sinking in the pit of your stomach that makes you pause - you can go back to the Bible and find that the Spirit of God was guarding your heart from lies and back to truth!
Can you think of a time when something was happening in your life and things didn’t quite feel right? Then, as you prayed about it and investigated further, truth was revealed but that initial feeling (prompting of the Spirit) was nudging you in the right direction? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Vs. 4 This one is so good and especially hopeful for these times!
You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you that he who is in the world.
Family, please notice the word “have.” It’s PAST TENSE!!! This is a promise from God. By abiding in Christ now and being led of His Spirit now, we are promised victory!
Vs. 4-6 There’s many voices coming at us and many voices listening to us. In all of today’s confusion, what is God promising you in His Word?
God Is Love: Verses 7-21
Vs. 7-10 Love is not just a feeling. God revealed what Love is by sending His only begotten Son (v. 9). It is a choice that manifests in actions. Verse 9 & 10 emphasizes God’s choices and actions towards us.
Is love something you’re NOT feeling right now? Love towards God, towards your family, towards co-workers? Ok then! What is an action you can take? Something that will manifest love in that relationship today.
Sometimes the answers to questions like these will be so obvious from the moment we ask them. Other times, we’re truly not sure of the best way forward. Before you do anything, pause to ask the Lord what He would have you do. But don’t put it off. Take action now!
Write down the area of your life that needs some love inserted into it. Then write down some actions you can start right away on.
Vs. 11-17 A few words that jump out at me in these verses.
Come to know
Any other words jump out to you?
Vs. 18 - 21 There is no fear in love During these weeks where we’re all stuck in our houses with the news blazing about CoronaVirus, this verse provides the antidote.
Love is a choice that manifests in actions.
We get the amazing blessing of living in God’s love for us. What choices and actions can we make today to begin reflecting that love? As we show love it will cast out fear (v. 18).
There is so much more to glean from this chapter but I felt compelled to stay focused on the actions of love. Please leave a comment below if you have anything extra to share.