2 John 1:3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
Truth and love can and must coexist in every believer’s life. It is a common misconception that truth and love are in conflict and thus one always overshadows the other. It has often been supposed that one must choose to implement truth or implement love but never both at the same time. This is a great fallacy. The fact is that neither can truly exist without the other. God is a God of truth and if He were anything other than a God of truth, He would cease to be God. Simultaneously to God being a God of truth, He is also a God of love. Simply put, God does not have to stop being a God of truth in order to be a God of love. Certainly, the opposite holds true too. He does not have to cease being a God of love in order to be a God of truth.
• (For children): John 3:16 shows the fact that God is both truth and love at the same time. He loved us enough that He gave His only begotten Son that we can have life. At the same time, He tells us the truth that we have to believe or perish. Telling the truth is love.
• (For everyone): Read Exodus 34:6; Psalm 40:10-11; and John 1:14, 17. What in these verses leads you to believe that God can implement truth and love simultaneously?
• On which side do you generally err: truth or love? Why do you err on that side? Do you justify your action supposing that you are erring on the right side? How is this wrong?
• Ask the Lord to help you find the balance of truth and love.
• Thank God for His willingness to manifest both truth and love to each of us.
SONG: WHAT A WONDERFUL SAVIOUR!
Truth—found sixty-six times in sixty-four verses in Paul’s epistles
Variations: true, truly, truth, truth’s
First usage in Paul’s epistles: Romans 1:18 (truth)
Last usage in Paul’s epistles: Hebrews 11:15 (truly)
Interesting fact: When the word true is used as an adjective, it confirms the presence of both that which is true and that which is false. For example, a true God (2 Chronicles 15:3) confirms the reality of false gods. True laws (Nehemiah 9:13) indicate the existence of false laws. A true witness is contrasted to that of a deceitful witness (Proverbs 14:25). True riches (Luke 16:11) suggest the availability of false riches. The Devil, being the great counterfeiter that he is, will make that which is false as close as he can to that which is true.
Bible study tip: A mystery in the Bible can refer to that which was not previously known (Ephesians 3:4-5, 9) or that which is beyond man’s comprehension (1 Corinthians 2:7-10). The New Testament includes both kingdom mysteries and church age mysteries. The student should first establish the intended period of time to which the mystery applies and then he can determine the nature and purpose of the mystery.
Sunday, Day 344—Church Day (no devotional)
Monday, Day 345—Truth and Love
Tuesday, Day 346—Serve the Lord in Truth
Wednesday, Day 347—Church Night (no devotional)
Thursday, Day 348—Speak Every Man the Truth
Friday, Day 349—Thou Desirest Truth
Saturday, Day 350—Loins Girt About the Truth
Day 344: Church Day
Psalm 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
Proverbs 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
The truth is priceless! It is man’s hope and comfort concerning his past, his present, and his future. It assures man that his past is forgiven, his present is worthwhile, and his future is secure. For this reason, the truth is more valuable than any earthly possession a man might work to obtain. It would be worth a man selling everything he owns just to possess the truth; and once a man possesses it, he should refuse to sell it even at risk of losing his own life. The truth is simply that important. The study of history shows that many faithful men, women, boys, and girls have willingly laid down their lives to confirm their love for the truth. If others loved the truth in such a way, what should be said of believers today?
• (For children): God’s word is true (John 17:17) and valuable (Psalm 119:72, 127). It tells of salvation (1 Peter 1:23; John 3:16) and gives hope (2 Corinthians 1:10). Salvation is free! To buy can mean to obtain by accepting or believing (Isaiah 55:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Acts 16:31). Have you “bought” the truth?
• (For everyone): Do you possess the truth? If so, have you stood for the truth and with the truth regardless of the offers of compromise presented to you?
• Would you be willing to seal your love for the truth with your own blood? What would it take for you to recant your faith?
• Ask God to give you a boldness to stand for Him.
• Thank God for giving you something that is worthy of giving up one’s life.
SONG: THE OLD BOOK AND THE OLD FAITH
John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Since the beginning of time, men have been ignorant of the bondage which so tightly grips them. They think so highly of themselves that they refuse to believe anyone could ever hold them against their will. It is for this reason that men find little use for the truth. The truth makes men free, but surely men are free already. This is not the case! Men are in bondage. This is not referring to a physical bondage but a spiritual one. Simply put, men without Christ are imprisoned souls in great need of deliverance. This deliverance comes only when truth is received. Initially, men might think that truth binds men, but a man enlightened by the truth knows nothing could be farther from the truth.
• (For children): Man is in bondage because without being saved he is already condemned (John 3:16-18). We can rejoice that the Lord is the truth (John 14:6) and makes us free (Romans 5:9; Romans 8:1-3, 11; Hebrews 2:14-15).
• (For everyone): Have you put your faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ? How has that truth made you free? How does this relate to John 8:36?
• Are you free? If you are free, have you thanked the Lord for His Son (John 8:36) and His truth (John 8:32) that made you free? If you remain in bondage, call upon the Lord Jesus before it is too late.
• Thank God for the truth that made you free.
• Ask God to show others the truth He has shown to you.
SONG: AND CAN IT BE, THAT I SHOULD GAIN?
Hosea 4:1 Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.
Given the choice, a nation should always choose to find themselves without food and water than to endure a famine of truth. Job understood this when he declared, “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12). Unfortunately, most men are not wise like Job and have chosen rather to reject the truth. When men choose to reject the truth, God often chooses to withhold the truth from them. At such times, the Bible confirms that truth faileth (Isaiah 59:15) and is perished (Jeremiah 7:28). No longer are men “valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil” (Jeremiah 9:3). Instead, they “turn away their ears from the truth” in favour of fables (2 Timothy 4:4).
• (For children): When people refuse to care about the Lord and the way He wants them to live (Jeremiah 5:30-31), at times, He will give them what they want and make His word scarce (1 Samuel 3:1; Lamentations 2:9; Ezekiel 7:26; Amos 8:11-12).
• (For everyone): Where would you be without the truth? Why is knowledge of the truth so crucial? How can a lack of knowledge concerning the truth be more harmful than a famine of food?
• Do you live among people who have rejected the truth? Is truth becoming more and more scarce in your community? What can you do to change that?
• Ask God to work in the hearts of those in your community.
• Ask the Lord to send you to spread the truth to others.
SONG: I AM RESOLVED
Proverbs 12:19 The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.
46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?
47 He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
Many men would rather believe anything than to be forced to face the truth. For instance, they would rather accept the lies of evolution than to believe the truth of the creation and the Creator. They would rather believe the lie of multiple ways to heaven rather than believe Christ when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). They would rather believe life ends with the grave than to accept that man will live forever either in heaven or in the lake of fire. Unfortunately, this situation is nothing new. During Christ’s earthly ministry, the Saviour said, “And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not” (John 8:45). Simply put, men have always had a natural bias against the truth.
• (For children): Man has a nature and inclination to turn from the truth (Proverbs 1:23-25; Isaiah 53:6) even to the point of opposing it and hating those who speak the truth (Acts 5:27-33; Acts 7:51-52, 54, 57-58; Acts 13:44-50). Do you believe the truth?
• (For everyone): Read Galatians 4:16. Why would Paul think that he could become someone’s enemy merely because he spoke the truth? Have you ever had anyone become angry with you simply because you spoke the truth?
• Why do men struggle so hard to believe the truth? Does it not require equal or greater faith to believe lies?
• Ask the Lord to help you be a receiver of truth.
• Ask the Lord to protect you from the lies of this world.
SONG: I’LL NOT GIVE UP THE BIBLE
2 Thessalonians 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
The Bible repeatedly points out that it is the will of God that all men “come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). For this reason, all men, at some point in their lives, are confronted with the truth. This includes those in the remotest parts of the world. At such time, each man must choose to receive or reject God’s truth. If man receives the initial truth he is given by the Lord, the Lord will undoubtedly offer him additional truth until that man has sufficient truth to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. If man rejects the initial ray of truth from the Lord, the Lord has not bound Himself to give any additional light to that man. Unfortunately, far too many people have rejected the truth and fall into the second category of rejecters of truth. For those who reject the truth and find themselves in the End Times after the Rapture, God will “send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”
• (For children): Read God’s promise to those who want to know the truth (Jeremiah 29:13). When men choose not to believe (Isaiah 30:8-10; Jeremiah 36:21-24), God is not required to show them any further truth (Isaiah 29:10-14). Are you seeking the truth?
• (For everyone): Have you received the truth? If not, how much longer do you think God will continue to show you light? Why would you not trust the Lord and seek additional light from Him?
• Do you have loved ones who have rejected your gospel witness? Have you given up on them, knowing that their deaths will mean that they end up in hell? Would it not be worthwhile to again witness to them?
• Ask God to work in the hearts of your lost loved ones.
• Ask the Lord to keep your heart tender toward the truth.
SONG: GIVE ME JESUS
Truth—found 169 times in 165 Old Testament verses and 191 times in 173 New Testament verses
Variations: true, truly, truth, truth’s
Last usage in the Old Testament: Malachi 2:6 (truth)
First usage in the New Testament: Matthew 9:37 (truly)
Interesting fact: The various forms of the word truth (see above) occur forty-nine times in the gospel of John and sixteen times in John’s first epistle (First John). John also wrote frequently of truth in his other two epistles and the book of the Revelation. All this “truth” came from the man who said that he wrote “For the truth’s sake” (2 John 1:2).
Bible study tip: As it pertains to the history of Israel, First and Second Samuel and First and Second Kings cover the history of both Israel and Judah but emphasize more of their political history. On the other hand, First and Second Chronicles deal exclusively with Judah and emphasize genealogy and spiritual history.
Sunday, Day 337—Church Day (no devotional)
Monday, Day 338—They Believed Not the Truth
Tuesday, Day 339—A Bias Against the Truth
Wednesday, Day 340—Church Night (no devotional)
Thursday, Day 341—There Is No Truth in the Land
Friday, Day 342—The Truth Shall Make You Free
Saturday, Day 343—Buy the Truth, and Sell it Not
Day 337: Church Day
John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
It is not enough that the Lord is true. What if this described Him only for a moment in time or during certain periods? What if He, at some point, determined it was no longer important or necessary to reveal the truth to mankind? Perhaps it was with these things in mind that the Lord decided to identify Himself as “Faithful and True” (Revelation 19:11). He is, after all, “the faithful and true witness” (Revelation 3:14; Jeremiah 42:5), speaking counsels and words that are faithful and true (Isaiah 25:1; Revelation 21:5; Revelation 22:6). This reality has been a source of comfort for the saints of God since the beginning of time and will continue to be so throughout all eternity.
• (For children): In the past, God has been faithful and true (Isaiah 25:1). He does not change (Malachi 3:6a; Hebrews 13:8). We can count on Him forever (Psalm 100:5; Psalm 111:5b; Psalm 117:2; Psalm 146:5-6).
• (For everyone): What are some promises you have received from the Lord? How good would those promises be if God was not just as faithful as He is true?
• How can this truth, which is a blessing to believers, be a source of trouble and heartache for those who have not put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation?
• Ask God to show you the beauties of His faithfulness and truth.
• Ask the Lord to help your loved ones come to know His truth.
SONG: GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS