Today we are praying for the country of Angola in Western Africa. Please help us lift up this nation to the Lord today. You can follow the two links below to learn more about the nation and its unreached people groups. You can watch the video below to help guide you in your prayers.
Please take time to meditate on the devotion for today as well.
Please pray for the nation of Angola by joining in prayer with the video below.
Watch the above video and pray for the requests listed at the end.
Today's Devotional Thought
1 John 4:1-6
John sandwiches a warning between his foundation for love in 1 John 3:10-24 and his full essay on love in 1 John 4:7-21. Though it seems a strange place to interject a warning, the placement is not coincidental. It is exactly because John loves the brethren that he issues the warning! This is clear from his first word: “Beloved.” You are so beloved, I want to warn you about the dangers of false teachers, what distinguishes them from true teachers, and how to discern the difference.
He writes, “Beloved, 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 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”
There are three main points that John makes in this text. First, there is the danger. He tells his readers in verse one, “Beloved, 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.” We are given a serious warning here in this first verse concerning the danger of false prophets and the spirits which influence them. They are not just wrong, they are dangerous! We must be aware and on guard against the danger of being deceived by them!
Please take some time to open up your Bible and read Jeremiah 29:4-9.
In Jeremiah 29, the false prophets were prophesying that Babylon would soon crumble and the Jews would get to go home to their houses and lands. Everything they prophesied was easy on the ears…and the heart. They were telling the people exactly what they wanted to hear. Then you have Jeremiah instructing them exactly the opposite in verse 5-7. Needless to say, his message did not make them “feel good.” Yet, who they believed mattered much! If they believed the false teachers (because it felt good) they would find themselves homeless, landless, and futureless in Babylon as they waited on a dream that would not come true: their return to Jerusalem. If they believed the true prophet (even though it hurt) they would find themselves with houses, land, food, and family in captivity…but at least they would have houses, land, food, and family! There ability to test the spirits would determine if they would prosper in exile or if they would die bitter and frustrated in exile as they waited for something that God never promised.
The danger is the same today. We can gather for ourselves teachers who will tickle our ears or we can find ourselves teachers who will proclaim truth, rightly divided and applied. It won’t be both! And the end results are eternities apart…literally. Consider 2 Timothy 4:1-4: “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” Don’t miss the danger of getting swept up into teaching and teachers who would deceive you by their feel good teaching.
How can we recognize such teacher? Stay tuned until tomorrow! Until then….
Please pray and share!