John was so concerned about the early Church being deceived by false teachers that he repeated this warning later on in his letter…for he wrote in Chapter 3:7 of I John, “Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray.” Any teaching that denies Jesus Christ is God incarnate…and any teaching that places any thing or person above Him is fraudulent. With cunning and wiliness false teachers will speak of a “type” of Jesus, but if you listen carefully, it’s a corrupt version and not the truth. So how can you know you’re not being lead down the path of destruction? Without the firm foundation of the truth of God found in the Bible, we can all be easily duped and mislead. Open the Bible…read the truth…allow it to formulate the basis of your belief system. For when you have the truth within…no one will be able to lead you astray.
Our Lord is everlasting, eternal, and forever…and so is His Word. Every word, command, and promise within the Bible was true at its conception…is true today…and will remain true into eternity. The tremendous power within the Word is found in Isaiah 55:11 where it says, “So is My Word that goes out from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” So we can then stand firm, putting our faith and trust in His Word…knowing that His plan and purpose is being fulfilled in our life.
There’s nothing more uncomfortable than the conviction of the Lord as He shines the light of truth onto our sinful lives. Conscience-stricken, we nervously look for a way to escape the situation and the guilty feelings that are overwhelming us. Humans don’t like feeling convicted…instead, we’d rather hear lovely, benign platitudes and feel-good stories that don’t offend. Over history, mankind has fabricated falsehoods in their minds…lying, deceiving fables and myths that go against the teachings of the Bible…but help to make them feel less guilty about their own forbidden and unrighteous desires. These fables and myths gloss-over doctrinal truth…rejecting the Gospel and deceiving the listener.
Everyday we have to make the decision to either accept the world’s view or to trust God with His vision. We can either be driven by fear, gloom and doom in a world of pessimism and distrust, or we can stand on God’s Word with hope and confidence, knowing He’s still in control. It all boils down to asking yourself one question, “Whose report do you believe today?” Is your faith and trust in the world or the Creator of it?
I Peter 1:15-16 tells us, “But just as He Who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy , because I am holy.’ ” In these Scriptures, Peter is quoting at least three different areas in Leviticus that all say the same thing…Be holy, because I am holy. The Lord is commanding us to reflect His holiness in our own lives, and as far as it’s possible…to live then a life with a pure heart and moral uprightness.
Sadly today, the Church has been lulled into this self-indulgent form of “quasi” Bible Study. We get all comfy on the couch, usually with a cup of coffee…Christian music playing in the background and a personal Journal on our lap and we wait. But what we’re jotting down is just our own thoughts, feelings, and emotions…for no where is found an open Bible. Bible Study is meditating on God’s Word… not on what we think. Sure, there’s a place for journaling what the Holy Spirit is showing you, but it needs to be grounded in the Word first.
A Holy Spirit empowered ministry continues despite persecution. Now for most of us, the persecution we endure isn’t fear for our lives, but rather petty or cruel remarks made by anonymous people on social media that are just plain God haters. But when you’re bullied or intimidated for your faith it can still be frightening. The flesh wants to retreat, but the Holy Spirit within spurs us on, giving us the boldness to respond with grace and truth. Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:6, “Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of Me.” The Lord is telling us…”Don’t give up! And don’t allow others to dictate your destiny in Me.”