07 Jan Test the Spirits (1 Jn 4:2-4) by Dr. Rich Reich
“This is how you can know the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh belongs to God, and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus does not belong to God. This is the spirit of the antichrist that, as you heard, is to come, but in fact is already in the world.” ~ 1 Jn 4:2-4 (full readings)
Rich’s Reflections: In today’s first reading, the Lord provides us guidance in discerning spirits and identifying the difference between the Holy Spirit (the spirit of truth) and the spirit of the antichrist (the spirit of deception). The spirit of the antichrist is recognizable because it refuses to acknowledge Jesus in the flesh. This reminds me of a similar example of deception in which the abortion industry refuses to acknowledge the presence of an unborn human child and purposely avoids allowing the mother to see the ultrasound images that may convince her otherwise. Be on guard, because the spirit of the antichrist “is already in the world” (1 Jn 4:4). For example, many have already been duped and unfortunately missed out on Christmas again. They mistakenly thought the true Christmas spirit was pleasure, selfishness, lust, or greed. This is why we are urged in today’s reading to “not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 Jn 4:1). Lord, as we begin this year, give me the charism of discerning spirits or lead me to someone with this gift. Amen.
* Dr. Rich Reich is the co-founder of the LIFE Group Devotions and the National LIFE Runners Team. He is married to Erica and lives in Satellite Beach, FL. Full bio.
Faith Challenge: No longer be deceived by the spirit of deception. Test all spirits by their relationship to Jesus.
Feast Day: St. Raymond of Pennafort
Faith Quote: “God will never direct us to be prideful, arrogant and unforgiving, immoral or slothful or full of fear. We step into these things because we are insensitive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit within us.” ~ Charles Stanley