A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
Sadie's hair attracts snow so that it turns into miniature snowballs and creates quite a wet mess as her fur finally melts in the house. We try to keep her visits in the snow to under ten minutes but time got away from us and this is the result of her play in the snow for double that time.
"What Is The Truth?"
Note: This message has a similar title to Monday's message, "What Is Truth?" but is a different message.
Message summary: May it be said of us, that our walk is blameless, that we live a righteous life, we speak the truth from our hearts and there is no slander on our tongue, even if it hurts!
Listen to this message on your audio player.
“You shall not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16) “Lord, who may dwell in Your sanctuary? Who may live on Your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue … who keeps his oath even when it hurts” (Psalm 15:1-4). "But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ" (Ephesians 4:15).
This may sound a bit of a pessimistic way to begin a message but when it comes to many interactions with strangers I just assume they are lying to me. One pesky annoyance is masquerading the number on the caller ID to appear that it's a local call. Due to our chaplaincy ministry we need to take calls even though they may not be in our contact list. So if I get a call appearing to be from a local number and when the scam begins I ask, "where are you calling from?" It turns out it's not a local number. It seems the corrupt, enterprising spammers must know to use a local number to deceive. There just seems to be a pandemic of lying!
Increasingly, we wonder what is the truth? We certainly need a great deal of Holy-Spirit guided discernment. Some people are so used to lying that their consciences are seared. There is lying at every level.
What an increasing treasure are those who maintain a commitment to truthfulness! A Christian businessman friend told me about a previous job he had where he was pressured to falsify records and distort manufacturing specifications. He refused to compromise his integrity and as a result lost the job he had for many years.
Particularly painful to him were the attempts by the company to "justify" their actions by maligning him to other employees who were his close friends. This is a man who demonstrated the daily verse. His oath was acting with integrity in the business world because of His Christian convictions and, because he did so, he experienced significant injustice. But he was committed to telling the truth “even when it hurts”.
A childhood memory comes to mind regarding being on the other side of dishonesty. For a number of years my Dad had a heating and air conditioning business. At one point he sold a sheet metal brake he no longer needed and the purchaser apparently passed him a bad check. I still recall how hurt my dad was.
The last part of our third daily verse speaks of one "who keeps his oath even when it hurts". In life we find that many times being truthful really does hurt on the short-term and the dishonest appear to get ahead. Someone else got that job promotion because he was adept at misrepresentation. (In my observation falsified and misleading educational credentials are rampant in our society.) A neighbor shares with a wink how he got a better deal on his insurance because of an incomplete disclosure. Mankind has been lying ever since the original sin and is becoming more and more skilled in ways of deception.
Psalm 15 contains a list of characteristics required by God of the one who would dwell in God’s sanctuary and live on God’s holy hill (v. 1). In this present age these characteristics would surely apply to those desiring a close walk with God; those with a heart to live in His presence. The portion of the verse selected today is so very important and yet greatly lacking in our modern world.
David is reminding us of the unchanging verity of the Ninth Commandment, "Thou shall not bear false witness". God wants us to keep our word and speak the truth even if it hurts. In our day of slippery words, half-truths, and embellishments we need to keep our word even when it hurts. The pressures to violate the 9th commandment are great, but by God’s grace and in His strength we can keep from doing so. God still "desires truth in the inner parts" (Psalm 51:6a), not the airbrushed version many display to impress others or promote themselves. Jesus wants us to hear the truth, speak the truth, and live in the truth! Let us determine to do so "even when it hurts".
May it be said of us, that our walk is blameless, that we live a righteous life, we speak the truth from our hearts and there is no slander on our tongue, even if it hurts!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, Your Word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You, for it teaches me to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before You. Even when it brings about hurtful circumstances help me to do the right thing in maintaining and maturing my spiritual nature as I walk in Your truth and speak the truth. May I not be found lacking in integrity but rather be characterized by my integrity as it honors my Father in heaven. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Live Like We're Redeemed" Video Brian Free and Assurance
Yesterday we shared about our former Secretary of Health here in PA who now has a promotion to Washington. I read this yesterday afternoon: "Twitter suspends Christian magazine for calling Biden's biologically male nominee a man" (This is not satire)
She's all in - snow balls on the sides, back and front of her legs!
It's a good thing she's wearing her sweater or we would have had one big snowball!
Snow-covered trees at the side of our home.
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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.
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