Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Power Of Spoken Truth

There is something fulfilling about verbalizing truth. This works on many levels.

It might be admitting to long repressed feelings or thoughts that causes release. To think or feel one way inside but live differently on the outside causes contradictions in our soul. If anyone lives in a contradiction long enough it wears on them. There are plenty of reasons people do this.

"He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, 'Is there not a lie in my right hand?' " - Isaiah 44:20 ESV

Approving of a lie... only a fallen person can do it. People do it on purpose and they do it not knowing they are doing it. Either way it results in 'feeding on ashes'. The burnt up remains of something that is devoid of nutrition and satisfaction.

People have an individual sphere of reality. A bubble of perception where the five senses regulate perceived reality. Some philosophers claim that this bubble is reality. That the sum of what we perceive and think and act upon what we perceive is what is real and that individuals really control and 'script' that reality in a tailor made way. Biblical sound teaching contradicts that thought while recognizing the bubble around a person.

"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee." - Proverbs 23:7 KJV

People in 'free' societies try to express what it in their bubble. In repressive cultures they do it in secret or channel the expression in veiled ways. A brief look at the history of art, music and literature reveals this clearly. People have a need to express what they feel. There is a release when they do it and a recognition that happens when someone who feels the same way sees and validates it.

If we just stop here then we are left in a potentially lonely and very destructive place. Perhaps it is fertile for creativity but not for peace and fulfillment. Why? Perhaps because those virtuous qualities don't reside in man's individual bubble. People only have circumstantial calm at best. People are broken... damaged.

If people have a bubble then what about God? He is a person...

"The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for 'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we are indeed his offspring.' " - Acts 17:24-28 ESV

All of humanity is inside God's bubble of perception.

"Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high," - Hebrews 1:1-3 ESV

All creation is held together by the glue of His words.

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together." - Colossians 1:15-17 ESV

All perceived things were made by someone who is not limited by perception. Omnipresence and omniscience make the claim that God sees all that is 'inside' but has no 'outside'. He has created an inside... inside Himself... for us to live in.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men." - John 1:1-4 ESV

It is the word that connects our small reality with God's reality much like light making chemical changes on parts of our eyes allow us to perceive and 'see' the outside world.

Eternal truth resides in God. Eternal truth is reality. It is real and will be real absent of anyone else to perceive it.

"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, 'If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.' " - John 8:31-32 ESV

How? When what is inside us aligns with what God is thinking... when something unbroken and breakable enters into our mind and comes to live in us... it has the ability to shatter and remake our little bubble. To expand it. To breathe life into it.

"But what does it say? 'The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart' (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved." - Romans 10:8-10 ESV

Wow. wow. wow.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God," - Ephesians 2:8 ESV

We are saved by faith and nothing else. Salvation is something God does when we believe and receive the light given to us. The light of the character, nature and redemptive action of His Son on the cross. It is not something we do. It is something God does.

Saying truth is something we do and Oh it is so rewarding. We say what is true and we are changed by that truth. We say what is true and the truth changes the world around us. Not just intellectual knowledge. Jesus, the living truth, does the changing. The Father. The Son. The Holy Spirit of truth does it in sovereignty and as He wills.

Grace makes us free within our bubble to confess and walk in truth. Grace makes us free period. In that freedom we have liberty and great potential for confession.

"He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." - John 1:10-13 KJV

"If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him." - John 14:7 ESV

 One day our bubble of perception will be gone. Popped.

"When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known." - 1 Corinthians 13:11-12 ESV

We will see God as He sees us. Just knowing that does something to us.

Until then let's use wisdom about how to approach people. In freedom God has brought peace and joy into our world and has changed the content of what we express. It will continue to change as we are transformed into the image of the One we have been remade to be like.

"Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.' " - Mark 16:14-16 ESV

Let us go dunk people in truth. Only God knows what will truly enter into their little world. If it gets inside grace will persuade them to have a new confession and that confession is so satisfying to the speaker and the ones who hear it and recognize it.


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