"What is Truth?"
Face-to-face with the Truth, Pontius Pilate asked this ageless question, then walked away. Soon afterward he condemned Truth to death. He didn't know that Truth would live and reign forever!
Truth is now at work in me, renewing my mind, transforming my soul, and making me one with my Lord. Truth clarifies, purifies, and cuts through all the distortions, deceptions, and compromises of the world.
"Clothed with Christ," I am covered with Truth (Galatians 3:27). Through Him I see things as they really are.
Truth is the first piece of God's armor, the part that holds everything else together. I can go no further until I have "put on" biblical knowledge of all that my wonderful Shepherd will do for those who follow Him. The truth of His character and all He has promised me is my protection in every conceivable circumstance.
God of Truth, I come to You in wonder and awe that you, the mighty King of heaven and earth, would receive me into your holy presence. Please continue to "guide me into all truth," so that I might live each moment in the safety of Your truth. Thank You.
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STUDY QUESTIONS: Putting on TRUTH
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Read John 14:6.
1. Who is Truth?
2. Write the message of each of the following verses, replacing the word "truth" with the name of Jesus.
3. Notice how the above verses fit together and build on each other. Summarize their combined message. Which of the verses means most to you today? Why?
Read 1 Chronicles 29:10-19. Ask God to awaken your heart to the wonder of His greatness as you read David's prayer to God. (David spoke these words when he commissioned his son Solomon to build God's temple.)
4. Praise your King as you see Him through David's eyes. List His attributes and explain what each means? Appropriate these truths about God (make them part of yourself) by affirming and meditating on them, then giving Him thanks thus "girding your loins" with the truth about God.
5. What happens when you recognize and affirm God's greatness together with your own finiteness? Are you encouraged? Why or why not?
6. Look at God in the following verses. How do you see Him? What do you learn about yourself? How precious are you to Him?
2 Corinthians 3:4-6
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
7. In a practical way, how might you keep your "loins girded with truth" hour by hour?
8. What are the two main aspects of truth (concerning God and yourself) that you must continually remember before God?
Read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.
9. Why does the armor protect you?
Against what kinds of dangers does it shield you?
What confusing or deceptive lies about you, about your circumstances, or about God might bombard you today?
10. Give a recent example of the protective power of Truth in your own life. How has He guarded you against Satan, the world, and the flesh?
11. What has occupied your mind this week? Look at these things or persons in the light of God's greatness and love for you. How does truth alter your perspective on your circumstances?
12. Review David's words of praise and affirmation to God in 1 Chronicles; then write your own prayer of praise to Him who is the Truth.
Clothed His Word
God's eternal Truth is like an assortment of strong, bright, multicolored threads that weave through each royal garment, binding them together. The individual pieces of my new wardrobe are:
The truth of my King: His life covering and filling me.
The truth of His righteousness shared with me.
The truth of His peace in and with me.
The power of faith in Truth.
The truth of my salvation.
The triumphant proclamation of the Word of Truth.
To make this truth vital and active in my life I need to take the following steps:
FEED ON TRUTH: read, study, and delight in God’s Word.
MEDITATE ON TRUTH: review truths stored in my mind, hide them in my heart, and make them part of myself.
FILTER FOR TRUTH: screen every idea and retain only those that agree with God.
FOLLOW TRUTH: walk by its light, bringing every action as well as thought into harmony with truth.
When I follow these four steps, I wear a beautiful, effective expression of my identity in Him. Now take a closer look:
1. Feed on Truth. Contrary to the way I usually dress, I put on truth from the inside out. Inner health produces outward beauty. Therefore, I put on Truth by feeding in the green, fertile pastures of the Bible. Here I see, hear, and learn to know precious Truth; for when I seek God in it~ pages, He opens my eyes to see Him in His manifold glory. I hear my Father assure me of His eternal, unconditional love for me. I become intimately acquainted with my best Friend, and I learn to live in union with my beloved Bridegroom who is preparing me to share His life for all eternity.
Here I read God’s love letters to me. Chapter after chapter discloses His purpose, His ways, His joys, His sorrows, His amazing love, His awesome holiness, His sensitive heart. This is our time together—a time of listening and being heard, a time of loving and being loved.
Having heard His voice and received strength and direction for my day, I begin work, confident that my King who spoke truth to me will indeed accomplish all that He has promised.
2. Meditate on Truth. Having “put on” truth by feeding on God’s Word, I determine to wear truth each moment of my day. In his letter to the Colossians, Paul shows me how to meditate:
If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-4)
Biblical meditation is quiet reflection on God’s Word and works, and careful attentiveness to His ways. It involves focusing my spiritual eyes on God’s glory and waiting for Him to reveal Himself. It is choosing to let my heart speak His own thoughts (from His Word) back to Him, and then listening for His gentle voice in my heart revealing more of Himself.
It is receiving the “meat” of God’s Word, “swallowing” it, then (as a cow chews its cud) ruminating on God’s wisdom and goodness. It is repeatedly bringing His marvelous truths back to conscious thought, ever richer in the light of the Spirit.
I put on truth as I put off old fleshly thoughts and hold on to God’s thoughts. Day by day I repeat this process until wearing truth becomes as natural as breathing. Self diminishes as the Initiator of thoughts and actions lives increasingly in and through me—thinking, speaking, acting, and being the beauty of truth—so that others may see and know Him through me.
God’s words in the Old Testament show me how to wear truth and live in His triumph:
"His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers." (Psalm 1:2-3)
"Oh, how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day." (Psalm 119:97)
"When I remember Thee on my bed, I meditate on Thee in the night watches; for Thou hast been my help, and in the shadow of Thy wings I sing for joy." (Psalm 63:6-7)
3. Filter for Truth. Sometimes it seems impossible to keep my mind “set on the things above.” An overwhelming onslaught of distracting, negating thoughts (reflecting fear, failure, worthlessness, and hopelessness) crowd out His thoughts of love, peace, and victory. How do I ward off these intruders and nurture the peaceful, triumphant truths of my King? God gave the answer through Paul:
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." (2 Corinthians10:3-5)
Since the first challenge to the reign of truth comes in my thoughts, I must make a choice. Will I yield to the “flesh” and its way of thinking? Or will I continue to let truth fill and renew my mind, conforming it to the mind of my King?
Jesus sees, thinks, and acts truth. So must I, when I abide in Him. My own thoughts express worry, hurry, and resentment—all sorts of lofty speculations which contradict the truths I know about my King. But when my Lord, the sovereign, omnipotent God of the universe, has planned my life, why should I worry? When my Shepherd has all the time in the world, why should I feel hurried? When my Father’s love guides my relationships and His justice will ultimately reign, why should I ever be resentful?
When I question the source of a thought, God’s written Word and His indwelling Spirit show me the course to take:
If the thought is from the flesh, I must deny it and put on the truth that fits my new identity in Christ. I must replace “I can’t do it” and “I’ll never be able to forgive that person” with “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
If the thought is from Satan, I must resist his lie by the power of Jesus, then replace it with truth.
If the thought is from the Spirit, I must affirm and obey it, then walk in the light of that truth.
I dare not be spiritually lazy and neglect truth. The moment I yield my mind to the perspectives of self or the world, I drop the armor. God’s thoughts are higher and better than my own; mine don’t even fit in His wardrobe. I cannot rest in Him while I think the thoughts of the world. But the armor stays in place when His Word filters my thoughts and I view all things from the purifying perspective of truth.
4. Follow Truth. Each day Truth whispers, Will you choose my thoughts and ways. Do you really want to be my companion? Then come and follow. Share my concerns, my sufferings, my work and my
If I wanted His new clothes in order to look good, or if I seek the armor merely to find comfort and safety, I might answer yes to His call, but my fellowship with Him would be short-lived. Soon I would discover hat His path through the world involves deprivation and pain. Choosing the lifestyle of Truth, oblivious of the full nature and purpose of the armor, would bring complaints and resistance when He brings me into battle.
I persevere today because I know that none of the world’s suffering :an compare to the joy of oneness with Him. If I, like Paul, have set my heart on the King and have made Him my first love, I will not hesitate when Truth beckons me onward. Like Paul, I have found the treasure of my heart and can “count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8).
Truth, like meat, makes me strong and healthy when I take the right steps: choosing the good rather than the bad, taking it home, storing it in my mind, then eating it. If, over the years, I have bought and stored that which is counterfeit or corrupted, I need to cleanse my mind of the old junk food and fill it with fresh growth-producing truths.
God does not evaluate my life by what He sees in the pantry of my mind; His main concern is how I use what I have. He knows what I have stored. My pantry may be full of food as a Christian who has been collecting truth for years, or it may hold only a cupful as in a new believer. Now He watches to see what I eat; for the food that I chew and swallow into my heart determines my thoughts and actions. In turn, my thoughts and actions determine the protection of oneness with my King—or the pain of separation from Him.
For years I filled my mind with information that was both inconsistent with my knowledge of God and destructive to my relationship with Him. I chewed, swallowed, and filled my mind and heart with junk food, then suffered the consequent destructive thoughts and actions—sins which separated me from my King.
One day I saw the danger of this process and began to clean and fill my pantry with good things—wonderful truths about God, His character, and His ways. Every morning I read His Word. I even chewed and swallowed some as I stored it away on the shelves of my mind.
If I had stayed with His food all day, I would have avoided a bellyful of distress. Instead I patted myself on the back for the good breakfast, opened the newspaper, and swallowed some of its facts. I watched TV for a while, put some of its tidbits on a shelf, and ate the rest.
A phone call brought reminders of a hurtful incident still stored in my mind. That became an early supper. Rather than satisfying me, the meal only whets my appetite. So I reached for some more snacks: thoughts of a “hopeless” situation, a confusing relationship, a rejection by a friend.
Suddenly I felt the pang of indigestion. What did I eat? Where is that good meat I bought yesterday? I reached for it, but the hunger was gone. In choosing my own way, I had lost my sense of direction and missed the joy of His presence. Why didn’t I just eat the food He gave me?
Depleting my pantry is certainly no worry, for whatever I eat is replaced and increased by its very use. Just as the fish and bread were multiplied to feed five thousand people, so that which is consumed is multiplied in my pantry—whether it is good or bad.
What will you eat? Jeremiah tells his choice: “Thy Words were found, and I ate them, and Thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart” (Jeremiah 15:16).
Let us encourage each other to seek, choose, take, and feast on Truth—restorative truths that renew our minds, transform our souls, and produce strong, vibrant, triumphant life that never ends.
Next: Chapter 3: Clothed with Righteousness
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