To Tell the Truth. . .
I still believe in truth, but I’m afraid the concept has fallen on hard times lately. We find ourselves in a situation full of doubt of government officials, disbelief of the news media, conspiracy theories, and the like. It can be difficult to recognize the truth, and yet truth is so important to our faith. I have said before, we can read the entire Bible as a battle between truth and falsehood.
Truth was an important concept to Jesus as we’ll see in the sermon this coming Sunday. Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” (John 8:31-32, NIV). Jesus calls himself, “the way, the truth, and the life,” and goes on to say that “no one comes to the Father” except through him, (John 14:6, NIV). Standing on trial before Pilate, Jesus says, “the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me,” (John 18:37, NIV). Of course, Pilate simply sneers and says, “What is truth?”
I have the feeling that that’s where many people are today. If there even is such a thing as truth, how could we possibly know it. Here’s the challenge for a disciple of Jesus—our lives should be characterized by truthfulness. When we speak, people should be able to count on what we say. It’s a way that we conform our lives closer to the lives of Jesus. If he is “the truth,” then we want to be people who speak the truth. The Apostle Paul said, “each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor,” (Ephesians 4:25, NIV). How are we doing, my fellow disciples? Are we speaking truthfully to our neighbors? If we want them to believe what we have to say, it’s important that we do.
I’m going to continue to encourage you to pray for missionaries and other Christians who are in Asia. Particularly those who are in places which might be currently experiencing unrest. I know this is vague—but it’s necessary. Many of you will understand where I mean, I believe.
I’m praying that you continue to stay warm. During this cold snap, the verses from James keeps coming into my mind: “If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead,” (James 2:16-17, NIV). I’m thankful for the ministries we participate in—like the food pantry and the Midwest Food Bank. It’s an opportunity for us to put our faith in action. Thanks to those who donate and to those who work to see those ministries continue!
Scriptures for this week
John 8:31-47—What is important about “the truth” in the life of a true disciple?
Genesis 3—Why do you think that Adam and Eve listened to the lie of the serpent? What can we learn from this?
Proverbs 12:14-22—What do these proverbs teach us about truth? Which proverb here is important for you to remember? 1 John 4:1-6—Why do you think John warns people to “test the spirits”?