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Monday, February 23, 2009

Bass Harbor Lighthouse, Bass Harbor, Maine (photo by Howard J. Blichfeldt)
Bass Harbor Lighthouse
(photo by Howard J. Blichfeldt)

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"The Truth"

"I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right" (Isaiah 45:19).

In my lifetime I've observed that we are increasingly subjected to lies; big lies, little lies, and half lies; lies in business, media, and politics; lies in personal relationships and so many lies over the internet. And it will only get worse as mankind drifts farther and farther from the ancient, firm foundation of God's laws revealed to us in great part through the Ten Commandments.

An absolutely essential key to determine who is lying and who is telling the truth is practicing discernment. We become wise in our discernment through prayer, biblical understanding, and by observing the character of one who is either telling the truth or lying.  When confronted with two opposing stories by a youngster at school, the teacher will lean toward the one whose character is honest from day to day.    

We need to equip ourselves with God's truth to defend ourselves against the ever-increasing onslaught of cunning lies. We seek to live with God's perspective and want to see the human condition through the filter of what is written in the Scriptures.

In the early chapters of Romans we have a panoramic view of man's fallen condition. Three times the Greek phrase ta alatheia is used, which translates specifically "the truth"
(τὴν ἀλήθειαν) The definite article is very important.

These verses describe man's attitude toward the truth. It is written concerning the human race, that they "suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (1:18), "exchanged the truth of God for a lie" (1:25),  and "reject the truth and follow evil" (2:8).

I readily see all three of these responses to the truth:
1) Suppression of the truth
2) Exchange of truth for lies
3) Rejection of truth for evil.

Today as you are confronted with these attitudes in the workplace, in the political arena, or in your own family, observe how this takes place and be on guard.  When we first hear a lie it takes little discernment, for we quickly recognize it to be false.  But when that same lie is repeated often, given a different spin, dressed up or promoted by well-known personalities or by someone who is asserted to be "smart" or "educated" we can gradually become desensitized or indifferent to the real truth as declared by God.  It's one of Satan's strategies in making our world more and more decadent.  It's also the reason why we must be vigilant in reading God's Word. Our continual exposure to God's truths keeps our hearts and minds guarded against error and poor judgment creeping in. 

Isaiah 45:19 is a majestic statement from the one true God. Although written in Scripture some 2,700 years ago it is always a present tense statement, for God does not change: "I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right."

The Lord's truth and declaration of what is right remains a steadfast bedrock in the constantly shifting sands of that which we are exposed to. We have this truth expressed to us in the Holy Scriptures, which is an absolute foundation of dependability!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, I pray for a discerning spirit to help me recognize truth from falsehood.  Help me to know when others are lying and help me also to recognize the lies I tell myself.  You always speak the truth and You declare that which is right from that which is wrong.  When the world describes a lifestyle or belief system to be good and You declare it to be evil, help me to stand firm upon Your holy truths as I faithfully read them in the Scriptures.  Give me bold conviction to stand firm for truth even when it seems as though no one stands with me.  The "truths" as purported by this world shift like the changing winds but Your Truths stand for all eternity!  Amen.

Brooksyne's Note:  Our message today reminds me of a conversation I had with a young wife about 25 years ago.  She was in a miserable marriage and had become involved with a male co-worker who was everything her husband was not.  I counseled with her extensively regarding this wrong relationship as Scripture often speaks against adulterous relationships including the 7th Commandment.  After several conversations she said to me, "I know what you're saying and I understand why God has that in the Bible.  It's true for others, but God has shown me that this relationship is right for me."  Needless to say, this young lady had chosen to believe a lie that she had spoken to herself repeatedly, though it originated from the devil.  Her marriage ended and I never saw her again.  When we think we're the exception to God's laws that's when we're most vulnerable to Satan's attack.  If this woman had been absorbed in God's Word and turned over the miserable circumstances of her marriage into steadfast prayer, her heart would not have been so vulnerable to the devil's influence which eventually led her down the wrong destructive path.

Mike and Dawn FleckYesterday we enjoyed a delicious lasagna dinner with some new friends, Mike and Dawn Fleck. They are a vibrant couple who love the Lord. Mike is a salesman for a company that sells robotic milking equipment and he showed me a video of the device working.  He's going to take me to a farm to actually see the equipment used.  For those who, like me, are terminally curious here's a video. We especially enjoyed lunch with the Flecks since our kitchen has been dismantled for about three weeks and good wholesome meals at home are nonexistent these days.

The Flecks also have a small garden fish pond. Mine's been frozen over since December and I really wonder if my fish survived. Mike had an extra pond de-icer he gave me and I placed it in the pond on top of the ice late yesterday afternoon to melt through the ice.  Lo and behold, at least one of my fish survived! I'm sure he's happy.
Fish after winter thaw

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources
(Click on the link to open and play. In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"Ancient Words"  Video  A timeless musical message sung by Michael W. Smith.

"The Voice Of Truth" Video  An excellent song that reminds us the Voice of Truth (the Holy Spirit) is the voice we need to hear in the midst of all the other voices calling out to us.

"Slow Fade"  Video  This song, featured in "Fireproof", reminds us that wrong choices and sinful behavior is most often a gradual letting down our guard in areas that God has clearly warned us about.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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