Monday, March 3, 2014

40 Day Retreat with Jesus: Day 31

 Because today's passage is rather long, instead of typing it out, I'm going to provide the notes from the Compass study Bible (The Voice translation) for added dimension! 

Today's focus:
1 John 4:7-21
How can the words of prophets be tested to discover the truth? The most important question is whether they acknowledge that Jesus is fully God and fully human. In the first century, many people were so convinced that this material world was corrupt and evil that they couldn’t imagine how a perfect God could wrap Himself in imperfect skin. Many today still function as if the physical world is a bad thing; this understanding is demonstrated when they downplay the hope of bodily resurrection and emphasize the heavenly destination of souls. Implicitly, this belittles Jesus’ own incarnation and resurrection.
On the other hand, many people accept Jesus’ humanity but deny His divinity. He may have been a great teacher, they say, but certainly not the incarnation of God. However, Jesus made bold claims about who He was and what He came to do. These are not the things a great teacher would have said or done if they had not been true. It is fair to say that no other life has drawn so much scrutiny, and no other life has ever elicited such praise.
This selection reiterates that we know God lives in us simply by the gift of His spirit. We are also, once again, called to love one another-an idea that sets us apart from others and reaffirms our trust, faith, and love in Jesus. In verses 19-21, it also states that it is impossible to love God and hate your brother or sister because not only the fact that "God is love", but it challenges the idea that you can love God, whom no one has ever seen, but hate your brother/sister, whom you come in to contact with every day. That is definitely something to ponder and reflect on!