31 Days of Praise – Day 3

Scriptures Referenced: Hebrew 4:12; Matthew 7:24-28; Psalm 40:8; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; Isaiah 50:4; John 5:19; 6:57; 14:10; John 15;5; 1:14; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Hebrews 13:21; 2 Thessalonians 2:17; Philippians 1:20

Today’s prayer started with this:

“I praise You that the Lord Jesus lived His life sinlessly, in total accord with reality, with no falseness, no self-deception, no dark secrets, nothing to regret, nothing to be ashamed of … that He proclaimed the truth, the one utterly reliable foundation for our thinking and living. “

Let that sink in for a moment.

As I read the word truth settled into my spirit. Truth. I’m guessing, just like me, you just had the phrase, “The Truth will set you free,” run through your mind, didn’t it? Keep it in mind as we walk through the ramblings of my thoughts as they fly out of my mind onto the page.

My first thought was, no one really likes truth. ‘Oh yes I do!’ you say? Really? So you really want someone to walk up to you and say things like, “Your breath stinks.” You’ve gained a little weight there haven’t you?” “You’re so skinny.” “That hair cut really doesn’t look good on you.” “I see your butt crack hanging out in those skinny jeans.” “Your stomach is hanging over those low riding pants and it doesn’t look as hot as you think it does when you wear those short shirts.” “You look really tired, you need to get some sleep.”

How would those go over with you? But those are just opinions, they don’t really matter much. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Yeah, ok, I will give you that. What about these?

“Why did you just lie?” “You shouldn’t get drunk.” “You have an obsession with food.” “You have an anger problem.” “You shouldn’t be living together because you are not married.” “Don’t make an accusation without proof.” “That is gossip and I won’t participate in it.”

How do those set with you? Those are all Biblically based and Jesus would have probably called you on it them. See, we really don’t like truth, do we?

Sometimes, I think this is what helped Jesus stay sinless. He was in total accord with reality. He was always check himself with what He knew God’s will was. He wouldn’t get caught in gossip, because He knew what it was and called it such. He didn’t deceive Himself as to what was really happening.

Read Hebrews 4:12-16. Do you see how it describes the Word?

  • full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective];
  • sharper than any two-edged sword,
  • penetrating
  • exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

Sounds like how truth can make us feel, doesn’t it? I think we have taken the power out of the Word because we don’t like the way it feels. We have dulled it’s blade so it won’t cut and penetrate us. And we have hidden and twisted it so it won’t hurt so much.

Look at verse 13:

And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do.

I wonder if this is where a lot of our unworthiness, low self esteem, depression, anger, lack of peace comes from. Because whether our flesh wants to admit it or not, our spirit is knows of the exposure, the nakedness. But our flesh wants to deny it, and keep doing what it wants to do. It places us under conviction, without repentance. It places us in denial. It places us under oppression.  It creates a jail cell, a stronghold.

Verse 16 reads:

Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].

Mercy … give that some thought. Do we need mercy if we do everything right? Do we need grace? See we walk in fear because we don’t know what the truth is. We are too afraid to face the truth. If we did, then we would realize when we do something or are about to do something contrary to the God’s will. And then we would know how much mercy and grace we really need. The keys are laying right outside the jail cell, but because we are in denial of the fact we are in bondage, we don’t even think to use the keys – mercy and grace. We just keep walking every day around the small cell, wondering why nothing changes, nothing gets better.

And then, we can’t hear from God. We think he isn’t listening. We think he has deserted us. But the truth is, we aren’t really able to draw near to his throne. There are bars separating us from him.

This is why the Truth sets you free. We only use this line, this verse, but read the verse before it John 8:31-32:

So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in Him, If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.

It’s all about knowing the Word, it’s how we know the truth. We just have to be open to the truth in order to be set free. We can’t allow our flesh to deny truth.

Read the next several chapters of Hebrews with some of these thoughts in mind. The Word is living and will speak to you. The question is, are you listening?

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