Truth and Lies
God desires us to be open and honest with Him. To bear fruit by trusting and obeying Jesus in our heart. It is the heart that matters to God. The Holy Spirit has been given to those who truly and sincerely trust in Jesus to make us Holy. To make us more like Jesus. So how do we become more like Jesus?
“So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
The answer is to continue in His word. But how are we to become more like Jesus when we hardly read our Bibles? Or we read our Bibles half heartedly and do not really seek to truly know God and let Him into our heart?
The objective of reading the Bible is to “know” God personally. To be in an personal relationship with Him through the truth of Jesus. It is His truth that will set us free and the freedom Jesus promises, is freedom from sin. Does this mean that we will be sinless? Or that we will no longer struggle with sin?
1 John 2:1-8
"My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.
The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining."
We don’t become instantly sinless after we place our trust in Christ but we do develop a strong desire to stop sinning and please God. This is a spiritual journey and God leads us through His Holy Spirit to increasingly obey Jesus from our heart.
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account”.
The word of God is meant to cut to the deep recesses of our heart. To get to the main issues blocking our relationship with God and each other, and enslaving us to things which result in our hurt. The wages of sin is death and the examples in the Old Testament show how sin ruins people and keep us from the promises of God.
Yet, we are not left to save ourselves. God is the One who has taken the initiative to reach out to us and provide us with the salvation we cannot achieve ourselves. That is, we cannot reconcile ourselves to God.
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. How much more then, having now been justified by His blood, shall we be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, how much more, having now been reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
We must understand, that our ability to be in God’s favor comes only through trusting in who Jesus says He is in the Bible, and the atoning sacrifice for our sin He has accomplished on the cross. But this is only the beginning of our journey in Christ. We have been called and set apart to follow Him and obey Him - who died and rose again on our behalf.
We become who we follow. Many people follow the false gods of money, fame, pride, greed, sex and all sorts of sin and evil. They follow such things because they are under the slavery of sin and the influence of the devil.
2 Timothy 2:24-26
"The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will."
"And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)."
We must be thankful and grateful for having our eyes opened to sin and death, and to such a great salvation in Christ. It is completely the work of God through the Holy Spirit that we are joined to our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And if this has indeed happened to us, then we have an obligation to follow Jesus. Not only because of the horrible consequences of not following Jesus but because God wants the best for us. That we may worship Him in spirit and truth, and have a personal relationship with Him in Christ.
God’s glory, His beauty, His majesty, power, authority and everything that God is, can hardly be described in words. Knowing God is a personal, intimate relationship in our heart with our Creator and Saviour. Therefore, it is of no eternal value to follow anyone but Jesus and to test all things people declare about God and spirituality by personally knowing God through His word.
We need now more than ever, to know God’s word and to read and think deeply about it, with the purpose of seeking God and His kingdom and His righteousness. For we are surrounded by evil, demonic influences and things that waste our time. Time which should be spent in gratitude and devotion to Christ. We also need to “love” the truth and again we cannot love the truth of God if we don’t spend the time and effort to know Him personally through His word.
2 Thessalonians 2:8-13
"Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.”
Trusting what the Bible says and applying its truth to our heart and life is paramount in following Jesus. Without it, we will stray off course which only leads to our hurt. But it is the love of the truth which we must seek. The love of the truth of Jesus as revealed in the Bible which will keep us on the path to eternal life. God is faithful to His promise, “whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
"Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."
"God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
How will you commit yourself to seeking God and His kingdom and His righteousness? Will you commit to reading His word daily? Will you seek to sincerely apply the truth God shows you through His word to your heart and life?
The best place to start is with prayer:
Our Father in heaven,
we thank You for the grace and mercy You have shown us,
and Your great salvation You have provided for us in Jesus.
We ask that we may seek You first, above all other things in our lives,
by reading Your word daily and seeking to obey what You command us.
We ask You to draw us closer to Yourself by the leading of Your Holy Spirit
to put to death the sins that keep us from fellowship with You and each other,
and that we may become more like Your Son Jesus.
We ask You to keep us from evil and that we may trust and love Your truth
so that we may worship You acceptably in spirit and in truth.
We thank You heavenly Father that You have adopted us as Your children in Christ
through Your Holy Spirit and have saved us to be with You and enjoy You forever.
In the name of Jesus we ask You to hear us and answer our request.