Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
1 John 4:1-6 (NRSV)
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. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming; and now it is already in the world. Little children, you are from God, and have conquered them; for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and whoever is not from God does not listen to us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
It is pretty evident that we are living in a time of the spirit of error. The saying, “You can’t believe everything you hear,” seems to be more accurate now than ever before. Contrary to the political rhetoric of late, there is no such thing as “alternative facts.” There may be alternative ways to interpret data, but facts are facts, and truth is truth. The saddest thing is that even some religious leaders are promoting the spirit of error. It is very hard to determine whom you can believe.
As Christians, it is our personal responsibility to seek biblical truth. We will not find the truth until we study the scriptures (in context) for ourselves. We cannot depend on others to interpret it for us. The Holy Spirit will open our eyes to the meaning of the ancient texts and help us to live out the truth in our daily walk with Christ.
According to a 2013 Barna study*, only 13 percent of people read the Bible daily. Only 57 percent read it at least four times a year. How can Christians expect to learn and discern the truth without reading God’s word on a regular basis?
I know that as I study the scripture, God reveals new truths to me each time I read it. The truth is the same, but what I need from the truth is often different. Let’s commit to reading at least a few verses each day so that we can be constantly learning God’s truth anew.
Lord, you are the “the way and the truth and the life.” Give us hearts that long to hear your truth, and mouths that are quick to speak it. Help us to discern your truth so that we can live out our faith in ways that will draw people to follow your way. Amen.
Go with God.