How To Stay True
Merciful Father, it’s overwhelming to think that You, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, hear and answer my prayers.
Read 1 John 2:15-27
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God remake you so that your whole attitude of mind is changed” (Rom. 12:2, J. B. Phillips).
After his powerful words on true love, John turns to counterfeit love, and the falsehood that seems true and right, but lets you down. What are the marks of false love? And how can we be protected?
False love is worldly desire (15-17). John could have written v. 16 about the modern advertising culture that tells us that sex, possessions or status are the way to happiness! Don’t fall in love with all that, he says; it’s all so temporary, so ephemeral (17). False love doesn’t stay true to fellowship (19). The church has been divided, and John says that this breach of love indicates a lack of truth. True love stays committed, even when relationships are tough. False love prefers a different Jesus (18,22,23). In v. 22, John is probably referring to a particular, early heresy which was embarrassed by the cross, and so distinguished between Jesus and the Christ: “the Christ” was a heavenly figure who rested upon the man Jesus until just before the cross, so that only Jesus died there. John says that this denies the true relationship between the Father and the Son, whose blood was truly shed on the cross for us.
Rather, true love holds on to the basic gospel message (24,25). The original, simple truths of the gospel are what give us fellowship with God and promise us eternal life. True love lives out of an inner, instinctive grasp of what is true and right (20,27). It’s not clear what John means by the “anointing” to which he refers here. Perhaps he means that if we live in fellowship with God, then we have an anointing, a deep instinctual spiritual awareness, a spiritual knowing that will guide us and keep us from being pulled away by false loves.
Do you experience this inner instinctual awareness? Do false loves pull at you? Turn your thoughts into prayer.
Lord, the endless messages of the world can subtly influence me and squeeze me in the world’s mold. Forgive me, and keep me on the right path.
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