Previtali, Andrea, Nativity, 1515-20
1 John 4:1-6
“4 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”
My boy tends to carry marks on him from the day. When I get him ready for bed…I am usually reminded of..
What we ate that day (a bit of peanut butter and jelly that I missed on his cheek)
Where he has played (in the dirt)
What kind of crafts he’s been working on (markers, paint, glue)
He really wears his day! I can usually know what he’s been up to because he is marked by what He has done and where He has been.
Like my son, those who are truly preaching the gospel handed down to us from the apostles will bear a mark. It is really simple. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is NOT from God.
And…whoever listens to this gospel of the incarnation…the Jesus coming in the flesh…knows God. Whoever does not listen to that gospel is not from God.
If you hold to the truth that Jesus…fully God and fully man….came in the flesh….then praise God! God has done something amazing in your life…you are His and He has His mark on you!
The Creator of the Universe has made you His and Has marked you His own!
But what about those who aren’t marked as being from Him? What if a loved one is marked with the spirit of error and as being from this world instead of from God? What then?
Jesus Himself did not convince most leaders of His time. And many chose not to listen to Him…and… even the common who followed Him were often unfaithful to Him. Some of the marks of the world may come through in words such as these:
“Jesus was just a good example for us…”
“Jesus was a just good man…”
“Jesus was just a prophet…”
“Jesus was not really fully God or God’s Son…He was just a man.”
Should it not surprise us that we might have the same experience if we, like our Lord, bear the mark of truth instead of the mark of the world?
Jesus continued speaking the truth , continued serving and continued praying…even when there were many who opposed Him.
Is there anyone in your life who currently does not accept the incarnation and truths surrounding it? How can you boldly serve, pray or speak the truth to them this week? Will you pray for the courage to lovingly care and respond to those who may not yet accept the truth of the incarnation?
To do right now: Meditate on the above verses. Write a prayer or journal your thoughts in the space provided below including thanks for marking you as His own through Jesus coming in the flesh. Listen to the song: The First Noel .
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