Dear Hope family,

Thought for the Week

“Living in Truth”

2 John 1v4 “It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth.” (NIV)

How often do you find that one person says one thing about what happened at an event and another says something very different. We may be more inclined to believe one than the other. Our society today tends to emphasise “truth as we see it” rather than “absolute truth”: there is an emphasis on what we see or experience rather than what really lies behind that experience.

Yet, in a court, the jury or magistrate has to decide what the true truth of the situation is: to do so, they consider the evidence that each side presents and come down on one side or the other.  And sometimes in a medical situation we may seek a second opinion with regards to an issue. Of course, we don’t really want an “opinion” at all, we want to get to the truth. In such situations, we may put ourselves as the judge of what seems the most reasonable opinion – the opinion which is likely to be closest to the truth. So the absolute truth is vitally important for both true justice and true healing.

Logically, God is the ultimate absolute truth. He does not change. He is constant. He lies behind everything else. Jesus testifies to this when he says “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14v6). It logically follows, that if God is absolute truth, His Word must also be truth, and Jesus also testifies to this in his prayer in John 17v17 “Sanctify them by your truth; your word is truth.”

This connects back to the hospital and the courtroom. In John 17v17 (above) we are to be sanctified by God’s truth in his word. Sanctified means to be cleaned up or made whole in a spiritual sense – and God’s Word reveals both the diagnosis and the remedy, but even more than that, it is the remedy itself as we meditate on it and allow it to permeate our hearts. Regarding the courtroom, in Hebrews 4v12 we read, “The word of God is living and active … it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

There are two immediate actions to take from this:

  1. With regards to ourselves, let’s read God’s word and apply it to our lives as the absolute truth which must be followed regardless of its conflict with the world’s “truth”. In so doing, we will be made whole.
  2. With regards to others, we do not need to determine who is right and who is wrong (unless we have specific responsibility to do so). Ultimately, everyone will have to face the all-knowing God. Those that allow themselves to come under his judgement in this life, have the plea of Jesus Christ who has served the sentence for us. Sadly, those that delay the inevitable will no longer have that plea available.

Jesus says the same thing in a different way when he says, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” John 8v31-32. By freedom, Jesus means freedom from sin (see v33-36). May we each know the truth and be set free by it.

With love and blessing,