Test the Spirits
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. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
God Is Love
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. (1 John 4:1-9 ESV)
It is so hard to know where to stop! This passage is tremendous, and I encourage you to look it up and read on! Above my desk I have a wall hanging with the verse
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. (1 Corinthians 16:13-14 ESV)
The passage, “they are from the world, therefore they speak from the world and the world listens to them…” pretty much sums up our culture, media, and political scene. Those acting out in frustration and angst with violence are not walking in God’s love, mercy, strength, and forgiveness. Those responding to insults and fighting dialogue with more insults and malice are not walking in God’s love, mercy, strength, and forgiveness.
Beloved, we are from God! Let us listen to God! He is love so let us love one another. Here me in this, love does not condone sin, it reveals it in such a manner that the sinner is motivated to repent. Love does not turn a blind eye to hatred. It confronts it; not with more evil but with good. Love does not stand silently by the way side in fear. It is active and engaging for God’s glory. Sometimes love, in that good, active, engagement, simply puts a stop to the evil actions that are taking place and says, “Enough. No more.” That is exactly what God will do. There will come a day when in His great grace and mercy, God will say, “Enough. No more.” Understand this, love is not weak. Ohhh no. Love is absolutely NOT weak.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 ESV)
Such fruit displays the power of God in our lives! His church must listen to God and love one another. Love our enemies. Do good to them (that they might be changed). Do not be overcome by evil. Overcome evil with good.
You and I (the bride and body of Jesus Christ) must be light into this present darkness. We have no light of our own, but we must reflect that of our heavenly Father. God is love, so let us walk in like manner. Do not tolerate evil. Speak against it. Not with hate, but with a heart that desires God’s power of change in the other person. Encourage those whom you see standing up for truth and love. Encourage those who are speaking and working for good in this world. Point others to Jesus knowing that He is our only hope. Do not get caught up in the negativity and polarization that some in this world are promoting as the answers. Their agenda is not from God. May we and God forgive them for they do not know what they are doing. Do not shrink back from the attacks of the evil one.
Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. (Hebrews 10:35-39 ESV)
Have faith, and share it. Persevere. Pray for our leaders. Take a firm stand against evil in all of its forms. Let all that you do be done in love. We are from God. Let us be His good and faithful servants in this land. Share the hope you have in Jesus Christ. One day God is going to redeem His people. Come Lord Jesus! Be encouraged. Press on!