+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Opening: (A Collect for Sabbath Rest – Saturday)
Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and set aside a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared to meet you in worship, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Morning Reading: 1 John 2:18-29 (NLT)
Warning about Antichrists
Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come. These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.
But you are not like that, for the Holy One has given you his Spirit, and all of you know the truth. So I am writing to you not because you don’t know the truth but because you know the difference between truth and lies. And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist. Anyone who denies the Son doesn’t have the Father, either. But anyone who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.
I am writing these things to warn you about those who want to lead you astray. But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.
Living as Children of God
And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame.
Since we know that Christ is righteous, we also know that all who do what is right are God’s children.
Remain faithful to the truth.
“The Holy One has given you his Spirit, and all of you know the truth.”
– 1 John 2:20 –
We are currently living between ages – on the one hand, the Kingdom of God is already present among us; on the other hand, the Kingdom of God is not yet present in all its fullness and glory. Jesus ushered in the Kingdom with his incarnation; when he returns, the Kingdom of God will be revealed in all its glory.
John’s concern for us is that we remain faithful to the truth while we wait for the imminent return of Christ. No matter how long we wait, Christ’s return is always at hand… close… fast approaching… coming. So how do we distinguish between truth and falsehood, without being led astray by false prophets and antichrists?
By allowing the Holy Spirit who dwells within every believer to guide us into all truth:
+ The Holy Spirit reveals to us everything the Son has heard from the Father.
+ The Holy Spirit enables us to distinguish between truth and lies.
+ The Holy Spirit confirms that Jesus is the Christ, the beloved Son of the Father.
+ The Holy Spirit teaches us everything we need to know to remain in fellowship with Christ.
+ The Holy Spirit empowers us to live as children of God.
Questions for consideration:
- Can you think of a time when the Holy Spirit gave you new insight into Jesus’ teachings? Or applied Jesus’ teachings to your personal circumstances? Please explain.
- Can you think of a time when the Holy Spirit helped you distinguish truth from lies? On TV? In the News? From neighbors or friends? In church? Please explain.
- Do you believe that Jesus is the long-awaited Christ (Messiah), the Son of the Living God? How did you come to your decision? Please explain.
- Where do you need the Power of the Holy Spirit to live right now as a child of God? Please explain.
Prayer for Submission to God’s Will (Joseph Mercier)
O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore you. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I should do; give me your orders. I promise to submit myself to all that you desire of me and to accept all that you permit to happen to me. Let me only know your will. Amen.
“Come Holy Spirit” –
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Categories: Life in Christ