The Truth and Thanksgiving

11-24-16
Thursday
 
 
 
1 Chronicles 16:7
Then on that day David first appointed that thanksgiving be sung to the LORD by Asaph and his brothers.
 
 
On the day when the tabernacle was recovered from the Philistines David appointed the first Psalm to be sung. And what was the name of the Psalm?
Thanksgiving.
And how quick did David want it to be sung? Asaph.
 
Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one.
 
 
Thanksgiving was the reason for the first psalm. Most scholars agree that Psalms 93 or a version thereof was the song David used but it was the first time a psalm had been used in tabernacle worship. The Truth of God and His word and the truth of His mighty deeds were the reason for thankfulness.
 
 
Truth and thankfulness walk hand in hand. Sometimes we are not as thankful as we should be because we are not looking at the truth the way we should be. Remember what God has done. Know the works he has accomplished. Be aware of his greatness and his power. Allow yourself to be overwhelmed with his love, his mercy and his grace.
 
These truths lead us to thankfulness.
 
 
On a day when our nation celebrates Thanksgiving I often wonder if many Americans can relate to truth in thankfulness? We all want to express thankfulness, and we know what we are thankful for but who are we thankful to?
 
James puts it this way:
 
 
James 1:16-18
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
 
 
Every good gift is from God. He brought us forth by the word of truth.
 
When the Pilgrims sat down for their first thanksgiving they thanked God for their preservation and good fortune. With winter approaching they were acknowledging God as their current hope for the future as well as their faithful protection in the past. The facts about what God had already done for them was fuel for their faith in God.
 
 
Prayer: Remind me of the ways you have sustained me and encourage my heart to overflow with thankfulness, not on one day of the year but every day you allow me to draw breath.


The Search for Absolute Truth

11-23-16
Wednesday
 
 
 
One of the timeless questions asked by each generation is the question “what is truth?”
 
 
Many today will say that truth does not exist, at least absolute truth defined as truth that never changes. We live in a society today that has actually redefined truth. The relativism that permeates our culture has defined truth in ways that have become very individualistic and not at all universal or timeless.
 
 
Truth is now defined in this way: “if it is true for you then it is true, if it is not true for you then it is not true.” Truth is relative and personally discerned. What is true becomes what is valuable to me and how things make me feel carry as much weight as logic and evidence.
 
 
People constantly say: “there is no absolute truth!” Except for the truth that there is no absolute truth – that is absolutely true and can’t be argued. But is there absolute truth today? Are there some things that are right and wrong or is morality simply preference?
 
 
The answer lies in observing the laws of nature and the laws of mathematics and the laws of physics. The observable universe appears to be governed by absolute truths that cannot be altered or destroyed by human logic or feelings. Even if you don’t believe as I do that God set these laws in place, you still have to come to the conclusion that absolute laws exist and cannot be changed. You may choose to believe that gravity is relative to how you feel about the law… but if you jump off a tall building you will suffer the consequences for your lawbreaking.
 
 
Believing in the laws of physics and aerodynamics gave us the freedom to fly.
Believing in the laws of mathematics have given us the freedom to build computers.
Believing in the laws of natural science gave way to the freedom to predict the weather.
 
OK two out of three is good right? But you get my point. There is freedom in truth that allows to understand the very deep things God had made.
 
 
Almost all the early scientists and inventors of the 16th and 17thcentury were Christians who believed that God made everything seen and unseen. They believed knowing God was the key to understanding the laws of the universe and unlocking the secrets of what was made was understanding the mind of God. And every great discovery was freedom in some way. Absolute truth was the framework for these discoveries.
 
 
The concept of moral law was developed out of these discoveries. If God had designed the physical universe to function under law then perhaps we humans were created to be governed by similar laws. Moral laws that free us to be who we were created to be, with honor and character and purpose. And what the enlightened thinkers of the 18th century discovered was an old truth given to us in the word of God, preserved by an ancient people and pointing towards a perfect person who was promised to the world and our example and as our savior. All these things were found in Jesus the truth of God.
 
 
The moral law was the foundation for the freedom we have in this country. This unseen moral code is in each of us… given to us by God himself. This moral law is defined in the word of God and lived out in the example Christ left for us to follow. It is truth and governs the way we live and function together. Break the moral law of God and you will put in motion the consequences that begin to ruin your relationships with others. These are consequences that enslave us to addictive behaviors and fuel selfishness and cause pain to others.
 
 
Eventually, as we continue to suppress the truth as a lie we become indifferent to the reality of truth. One of the saddest epitaphs of a failed civilization was this quote from the Bible:
 
 
Judges 21:25
In those days… everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
 
 
Prayer:  Let me see truth through Your eyes and not mine.


The Personal Nature of Truth

11-22-16
Tuesday
 
 
Galatians 1:6-10
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
 
 
There are some Biblical truths that make us happy.
God loves us – who doesn’t love that?
God forgives sin – I like that even if I don’t want to admit that I sin.
God is preparing a place for us in heaven – who doesn’t like heaven?
 
 
But there are some Biblical truths that are hard to hear.
 
God created a place called hell for people who reject God’s forgiveness.
We will be judged for how we lived when we face God after death.
God wants us to reject sin and embrace righteousness.
God chastises his children here on earth when we sin.
God wants us to study his word as an approved worker.
God wants us to meet together regularly with His church.
God expects us to be faithful to do the things He has commanded us to do.
Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation and the only hope for mankind.
 
 
Everyone loves the truth on the first list. But both lists are Biblical truths and we don’t get to pick and choose which of the truths we believe are truth. Paul is amazed that in so little time the Galatians have departed from the truth of the gospel. But notice how he categorized this departure.
 
 
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ…
 
 
Paul says they are not deserting the truth, they are deserting HIM who called them in the grace of Christ. It’s personal.
 
 
My dad would often tell me things he believed to be true and he wanted me to believe them as well. But not just believe them but follow them… do them. And when I didn’t do them he took it personal. Not because he wanted me to be obedient, but because he loved me and wanted the best for me. I was not departing from his truth, I was departing from him. Ouch!
 
 
How does God feel when we depart from his truth? It’s personal.
 
 
Prayer:  Let me see Christ and truth as inseparable.



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