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Daily Devotion for June 9, 2012
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for the Morning
Dear Lord, I give you my hands to do your work; I give you my feet to go your way; I give you my eyes to see as you see; I give you my tongue to speak your words; I give you my mind that you may think in me; I give you my spirit that you may pray in me. Above all, I give you my heart that you may love in me. I give you my whole self, Lord, that you may grow in me, so that it is you who lives, works and prays in me.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this day and evermore.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Why We Read
We read to know we are not alone.
~ C.S. Lewis
1 John 2:21-25 (ESV)
Who is the Antichrist?
I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.
No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.
Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us — eternal life.
Notes on the Scripture
As his poem earlier in the chapter indicated, this pastoral epistle is not motivated by a need to teach basic Christian beliefs. It is intended for church members who are believers and grounded in the faith. Something odd was going on, however.
We don't really understand the situation completely. But by implication we can see that some Christian person or sect had arisen that denied the divinity of Jesus, or was at least preaching that He was not the Jewish Messiah.
So John gets back to the most basic lesson of Christian belief, to reinforce something his listeners already knew; and if it was good for them to hear, it would be good for us to remind ourselves of it, as well.
Nobody can come to God except through Jesus Christ. Period. Muslims do not know God and will not know eternal life. Very nice people who lead good lives and are beloved by their fellow men will have no place in heaven, because judgment is not a democratic institution. "Judgment is mine, sayeth the Lord." Moreover, anyone teaching the opposite is "the antichrist".
Because of Hollywood horror movies, people have an odd picture in their mind of what "antichrist" means. But since this is the only place in the Bible where the term is used, we must concentrate on what it actually means as it is defined here: A person who has come to have faith, but then teaches that Christ is not the Son of God and the sole means of salvation.
The civil right of freedom of worship is a fine and good thing, but Christians must not let it sneak into their minds to become a moral value. If you hear a Christian minister, or anyone speaking as a Christian, who says that maybe Muslims or Buddhists have found a different path to God, they are not only deluded; they are the very people John calls antichrists, for they contradict one of the most basic tenets of Christian faith: