Bible Pathway - Dec. 21, 2011


Read 1 John 4


Try the spirits (I John 4:1). Avoid false prophets (4:1-6). What is real love (4:7-21)? Compare prayerfully I Cor. 13:1-12, especially vs 12. Assurance that Jesus is the Son of God and our faith in Him (I John 5:1-12). The family of God; children of the living God (5:13-20). Don't let anything take the place of the will of God for your life (5:21).

It can honestly be said concerning most of us that, before and after our worship service, we talk a lot about the weather, health, economy, and politics, and say very little concerning spiritual values. In contrast to this, God has provided just one Book, but each sentence is exceedingly important.

A general rule to be remembered concerning the importance of what God has said is this: When He has spoken once concerning any given fact it is important to our eternal welfare, but when any one fact is repeated more than once we must give it exceptional consideration.

In view of this, consider His subject in the twenty-one verses of this 4th chapter where the Christian's responsibility as stewards of the love of God is mentioned more than twenty-five times.

The disciple who really takes Christ as his Guide will do as Jesus said: Love one another; as I have loved you. . . . By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another (John 13:34-35).

Furthermore, the people of God are instructed: Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven (Matt. 5:44-45).

We ought (are obligated) also to love one another (I John 4:11), regardless of what they "may" have done to us.

It is of utmost importance that we realize the consequences of an unforgiving attitude toward anyone. Jesus taught that our eternal destiny depends upon it, saying in the parable of the unforgiving servant: O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall My Heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses (Matt. 18:21-35).

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen (I John 4:20)?

Thought for Today:

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly. . . . But his delight is in the Law of the Lord; and in His Law doth he meditate day and night (Ps. 1:1-2).

Word Studies:

5:18 he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, he that is saved will not become involved in sinful activities.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Gina Lesnefsky • Government Official: Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA) • Country: Kyrgyzstan (4.7 million) eastern central Asia • Major languages: Kirghiz and Russian • Religious freedom • 75% Muslim; 20% Russian Orthodox; 5% Other (Jewish, Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant) • Prayer Suggestion: Confess wrongs you have committed to the Lord and to those whom you have hurt; ask for forgiveness (Matt. 5:23-24).

Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Corinthians 13:3

  • Editors' Picks

    Stop Trying to Read the Bible in a Year!
    Stop Trying to Read the Bible in a Year!
  • The God of All Weather
    The God of All Weather
  • Does Islam Promote Violence?
    Does Islam Promote Violence?