Trust the Truth
By: Kristen L. McNulty
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"I'm a dangerous crusader
Because I need to tell the truth
So I'm turning over tables
In my own living room...
The truth is never sexy
So it's not an easy sell
You can dress her like the culture
But she'll shock them just as well."
Nobody Love Me- Derek Webb
Truth. We don't hear a lot about truth these days because sadly our society has decided that truth is relative. Meaning, your truth is true for you and my truth is true for me, even if the two conflict. Unfortunately, it seems that as a church, we have wandered away from absolute truth as well.
You see, even though we mostly agree on the basic doctrines (salvation, heaven, hell, the deity of Christ), many lies are still circulating throughout the body. These man made theories are being taught and accepted as Truth. Don't believe me? Well, recently George Barna conducted a survey among Born Again Christians in the United States. Barna gave the following statement: "Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and others all pray to the same God, even though they use different names for that God." The participants were asked whether they agreed strongly, agreed somewhat, disagreed somewhat or disagreed strongly. Out of those who identified themselves as Born Again Christians, thirty percent agreed strongly, eighteen percent agreed somewhat and twelve percent did not know. This accounted for sixty percent of those surveyed (What Americans Believe, p.212). This is only statistics regarding one lie that is out there today, and trust me, there are more!
One popular lie today is that God is holding back His blessings because we haven't prayer a certain prayer or given to the right organization. Another popular lie is that God was being figurative when claiming that the earth was created in six days. Other lies include manifestations that are being sold as coming from the Holy Spirit, prophesies, and many "new developments" regarding the end times.
Now am I saying that God doesn't bless His people, that there aren't manifestations of the Holy Spirit, that there aren't end times and that all prophesies are false? No. What I am saying though, is that many of the ideas out there surrounding these things are being accepted as truth when they have no biblical basis whatsoever.
As Anne Graham Lotz pointed out in her book Just Give Me Jesus:
"From government leaders to salesclerks to airline ticket agents to restaurant maitre d's to business associates to secretaries to friends to neighbors to advertisers, everyone seems to play loose with the truth.
This 'whatever works is right' attitude has even crept into the Christian community. Too often, we focus on methods instead of missions, programs instead of prayer, organization instead of inspiration, pragmatism instead of power. Many preachers preach to be popular, instead of preaching to change lives. Their sermons are 95 percent their own thoughts and 5 percent God's truth. And the average church member cannot tell the difference because he or she is biblically illiterate!"
Isn't that so true? Just like we go to the grocery store and buy prepackaged meals because we're too busy (or lazy) to cook, we allow God's word to be feed to us prepackaged and in many cases cut down to make it more comfortable to swallow.
So how do we stop this? How do you and I avoid falling into the trap of relative truth when it comes to our faith? The only way we can stop being fed lies is to know the Truth and the only way we can know the Truth is by reading it as found in God's Word. You see, if we know God's Word we will be able to easily discern between what is Truth and what is not.
Now, this is not always an easy task. The Christian book market sells millions of books each year, mostly because we find it easier and more interesting to read man's thoughts than God's Word. Even though there are many good Christian books out there, no Christian book can substitute for the true Word of God. Nothing convicts, shapes, and conforms the soul like God's own spoken Word. As it is said in Hebrews 4:12: "For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are." So, if we are serious about knowing the Truth and being changed by the Truth, then we must spend time daily in God's Word. We must read it, mediate on it, memorize it, and be able to recall it because that is the only way we will be able to discern fact from fiction.
No, others may not share our convictions, as Derek Webb pointed out "The Truth is never sexy, so it's not an easy sell", we can rest assured that we can know the Truth and then continue to live it out. After all, our lives will speak louder than any sermon we could ever preach. And that's the Truth!
This devotional was aired as a part of the Making A Difference Christian Radio Show.