May Mid-Month Moments
Do you remember this little jump-rope rhyme from when you were a child: "Liar, liar, pants on fire; nose is longer than a telephone wire"? I recently heard it in reference to a politician and I just thought, Whoa. However funny, those are strong words.
It seems that in our physical world, we can often sniff out the liars, although some are more blatant than others. We don't like liars and so when we sense someone is lying to us, we seek to know the truth--our moral compass desires truth. But what about in the spiritual realm? Are we aware of the lies Satan feeds our minds? In John 8:44 Jesus did not hesitate to call Satan who he really is: "A liar and the father of lies."
Here is one of his lies that I recently heard someone say: "If I try harder, God will love me more." Hit the buzzer. That's wrong. We all know it's wrong. Or do we? Satan can speak that lie in much more subtle ways: A good Christian would pray more; A good Christian would study God's Word more; A good Christian would be more involved at church; A good Christian would go knocking on the neighbour's door and share the Gospel.
Of course, none of those things are wrong UNLESS we're doing them for the wrong reasons--unless we think that God will love us more if we DO more. Hit the buzzer. Do we hear Satan's lie in that thought? We ought to. Those lies are subtly telling us that we need to change (we need to be "doing"), so that God will love us more.
Here is God's response to those lies: 1 John 4.
Verses 13-21 in The Message):
"This is how we know we’re living steadily and deeply in Him, and He in us: He’s given us life from His life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we’ve seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God’s Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God.
17-18 God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
19 We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.
20-21 If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both."
I think God gives us this chapter, along with many verses on His love for us, because He knew we would need to be reminded--reminded that God's love is already in us. It is NOT something we need to pursue. It is something we already have, and it is perfect. The change comes in us NOT in pursuit of God's love but BECAUSE of His love in us.
My prayer for us this week is that we will read 1 John 4, meditating on the constant, faithful, perfect love of God; And that we will ask His Spirit to show us where we are listening to the enemy's lies that speak against His Word; and that we would renounce those lies and rest in God's perfect love for us; and then go away rejoicing that we are LOVED BY GOD!
Loved by God,
November 16, 2016Mid-Month Moments are past devotionals written by Connie Inglis that she shared each week when she was InScribe's spiritual advisor. (Originally called 'Mid-Week Moments') They are shared from her archives with permission in the middle of each month.