65:1 Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion,
and to you shall vows be performed.
2 O you who hear prayer,
to you shall all flesh come.
3 When iniquities prevail against me,
you atone for our transgressions.
4 Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,
to dwell in your courts!
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
the holiness of your temple!
5 By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,
O God of our salvation,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas;
6 the one who by his strength established the mountains,
being girded with might;
7 who stills the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples,
8 so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.
You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.
9 You visit the earth and water it;
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
you provide their grain,
for so you have prepared it.
10 You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.
11 You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.
12 The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.
A psalm of harvest festivity, gratitude for the benevolence of God. Praise is offered, vows performed faithfully to the One who hears & responds to the prayers of His people, faithfully. But how can sinners worship, plagued by guilt & doubt? It is the Most High who atones for the sin of His chosen, how else would they be welcomed for worship? In His courts they are satisfied with His goodness, His holiness.
David recounts the kindness, benevolence & power of God that causes the day's dawn & setting in praise. The deeds of the Almighty--the feeding, enriching, providing, preparing, watering, crowning... blessing overflowing--beckons the world to worship. Pastures, hills, meadows, valleys obey their Maker. How much more human beneficiaries of all God's providence. Give thanks & praise His name!
Count your many blessings. Or at least get started with a list of five to ten. So worthy is He of our praise.
11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
4:1 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.
3 John is set on shoring up confidence or settling down conviction. "Know" is used four times to shape our identity or secure our repentance. "Is He true of you? If so, have confidence: ask & it will be given. If not, do not pass 'go' but proceed directly to repentance."
The world hates righteousness: especially that of Jesus and those who love His brethren, who lay down their lives all day long. These beloved keep His commands to believe, love & abide, attesting to the presence of His Spirit within.
4 Not all “spiritual” are of the Spirit of Jesus, not all are from God. The truly spiritual can attest, or else they are of the world, and neither will they listen to His Word. Though mere "little children", the "beloved" overcome by Him who lives in them because He is greater than and has overcome the world!
Does the Lordship of Christ & the fellowship of His saints make you happy or send you running? A true test. John 3.21-36