The reading for today is 1 John 2: 26 – 28, ESV.
“I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie – just as it has been taught you, abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.”
John has done some teaching, and now he is trying to seal his words so that his students will not be lured into believing something different when others come to try to sway them.
Deception!! I think of the Israelites in the Old Testament and how they cycled through times of being close to God then being led astray. Many times, I think, they did not sound too intelligent. And then, I remember, deception is alive and well in our world today, and we are not immune!
I started making a list of some common lies we fall for. I hope you will add some of your own.
1. Our feelings are reliable indicators of how we should act.
2. Happiness, fun, and joy are the same thing.
3. We can believe the information provided by our favorite news source.
4. Things that look good are good.
5. We deserve good things when we do good things.
6. Control is something we can and should have.
To clarify that last one, I believe the only one I have any control of in this world is myself, my reaction to situations and to my own desires. And number 5! What would Jesus say (as one who did nothing but good)??Any one of these 6 could be a stand-alone topic, so I hope they stimulate some thought and or discussion.
An alternate reading for today is Psalm 4. The Psalmist in 4:2 asks “. . . How long will you love vain words and seek after lies?” (ESV) God wants us to be faithful to the truths found in His word. In Psalm 4:7, the author states “You (God), have filled my heart with greater joy than they have when their grain and new wine abound.” (ESV)
The lesson I take from today’s scriptures is that we have to actively focus on God’s truths in order to avoid falling into the subtle traps that are around us. Here are some song verses to help us guard our hearts today:
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace!” (Helen Lemmel)
And: “As the deer panteth for the water so my soul longeth after Thee, You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship Thee. You alone are my strength my shield, to You alone will my spirit yield. You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship Thee.” (Martin J Nystrom).
Dear Lord, help us to turn our eyes upon Jesus. Help us to first and foremost seek You and Your truths. We praise You and acknowledge Your sovereignty. We are thankful that You are in control and that we are not.
Prayer Concern: That humans everywhere, all around the world, recognize deception and be strengthened to avoid its snares.