I was thinking this morning of the phrase WWJD? It is a good reminder many times of how we should behave, but it is so incomplete. A better reminder might be WDJD? (What DID Jesus Do?) He died on the cross, which is true, but what did that mean? Was it simply a sacrifice for our sins? Was it our ‘ticket’ to eternal life? While those are also true, it is so much more.
He abolished the law that man interprets (and misinterprets) and that man uses to guide his way through life. In its place, he supplanted us with His Spirit that directs us into Truth. The law can only reprove and correct, but the acceptance of his Mercy and Grace redeems us and imparts his Spirit. Words spoken from an obedient son:
“Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me. I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” – John 14:23-26
“But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate[a] won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me… When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’” John 16: 7-9&13-15
Posted below is a blog I wrote on Grace a couple of years ago at this time, it bears repeating.
There are six things the Lord hates—no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a LYING tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a FALSE witness who pours out LIES, a person who sows discord in a family. Proverbs 6:16-19
This week a post I read on Facebook prompted me to think how many people are dishonest. I’ve known people who tell what they call “little white lies” as if their dishonesty is minimized in their mind, because they think being dishonest a little isn’t harmful. But a lie, is a LIE, IS A LIE! I’m not shouting at you, I just want people to see that there is no such thing as being a “little” lie or being a “little” dishonest. I know one person who told me that they had to lie to certain people because they were protecting them. My response was ‘protecting them from what?!’ Lying Never protects anyone, because you are introducing sin into a relationship, no matter who it is you’re trying to protect. That relationship is doomed, whether it is a friend or a family member. When did God put you in charge of protecting others from the truth? Actually, that particular person was manipulating a situation, because they didn’t want the other person to know what they were doing. If you feel the need to hide how you control your affairs, perhaps there are other areas that you are not being honest about. They were also trying to control the response of the other person. I’ve known parents who will lie to their kids because they have a preconceived idea of how the child will react if they know the truth. It only opened up a larger dilemma in that they had allowed their child to control the situation based on that child’s previous bad behavior. It was definitely an unhealthy situation, based on lies by both parties. One was lying based on poor behavior and the other was lying in an attempt to modify that behavior. No relationship can endure based on lies, because it dispels trust, which is integral for longevity in relationships.
Truthful words stand the test of time,but lies are soon exposed. Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil; joy fills hearts that are planning peace! Proverbs 12:19-20
Some annoying prefaces to a conversation are: “I’ll be honest with you …”; “Let me shoot straight now.”; (Like they weren’t any other time?) “To be perfectly honest…”; “God’s honest truth…”; “No lie…”; “I swear I’m telling the truth!”; “Regardless of anything else I’ve said before…” There are many others also, but when you hear this, be on guard! If a person has to persuade you that they are being honest by putting extended conditions on their statement(s), it shows their integrity or lack thereof. I thought honesty was free from deceit, not conditional.
The dictionary definitions of the word ‘honest’ are as follows:
Honest: 1. honorable in principles, intentions, and actions; upright and fair. 2. showing uprightness and fairness. 3. gained or obtained fairly. 4. sincere; frank. 5. genuine or unadulterated. 6. respectable; having a good reputation. 7. truthful or creditable.
If you look up the word “honest” in the thesaurus, the main definition is ‘truthful & candid.’ Some synonyms are: authentic, reliable, undisguised, on the up and up, genuine, virtuous, and trustworthy. To take it a step further, I looked up the word “honesty” (the act of being honest) in the thesaurus and the word that stood out to me was integrity! The definition of integrity is: ‘the state of being whole’ which leads me to what lying is… ‘incomplete.’ We are not complete in God, if we are dishonest. We can Never be complete in God, if we cannot be truthful.
An honest witness does not lie; a false witness breathes lies. Proverbs 14:5
Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon is someone who lies to a friend and then says, “I was only joking.” Proverbs 26:18-19
What sorrow for those who drag their sins behind them with ropes made of lies, who drag wickedness behind them like a cart! Isaiah 5:18
What bothers me most is when people drag God into their dishonesty, by using his name in the phrases I mentioned above. If you cannot stand on your own integrity, leave God out of it! Why should you use his name to verify what apparently has been deceit in the past? Learn to be truthful, forthright, and honest and there will be no need to preface your statements.
For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
Lying is based on sin and following Satan, just as Adam and Eve did in the garden… they entered into sin and deceit. No one can ever measure up to the law, it only points us to the perfect sacrifice, which is Jesus. Jesus IS Truth, the opposite of deceit. You don’t have to measure up to be saved, Jesus defeated all sin on the cross and in resurrection. I am not saying that you can live in sin, but once you accept Jesus and follow him by the Holy Spirit, you have no desire to live in the bondage of lying and sin. Sin is the suppression of the Truth!
But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness…They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.Romans 1:18&25
Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Colossians 3:9
But you have received the Holy Spiritand he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.1 John 2:27
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me…I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. John 14:6&12
But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth. John 4:23-24
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. John 14:16-17
Jesus IS Truth and when we follow him in spirit and truth, we represent that truth, lying is not a part of us and that is… the God’s Honest Truth!
Memo: (Short for memorandum. meaning: to jot down by note something to be remembered and acted upon in the future, a reminder.)
Every day I am saddened by people I come in contact with who don’t know God… some who don’t know him at all and some who don’t know him well. They may know he exists, but they don’t take the time to get to know him and build a relationship with him. I am saddened by those who live in confusion and heartache; those who are lonely, depressed, and searching for something to fill a void in their lives. They are searching for something, and they settle for substitutes… Substitutes of relationships, jobs, hobbies, status, cars, clothes, houses, busyness, drugs, alcohol; anything that will give them temporary happiness. Then there are those who are so steeped in misery that they cannot recognize joy, because they have lived in a ‘poor me’ mentality for so long.
I also see people who think they know God, but to them he is only someone they call on when they need something — times when they’re ill or when something breaks down. Then they pray in memo fashion or they ask others who they feel ‘have a connection’ to God to pray for them. They don’t have a day-to-day relationship. When they are desperate and their substitutions don’t satisfy, they write God a memo, because they have a desire. Yes, they have desires and longings, but the true longing in everyone’s soul is fellowship with God. (Psalm 84:2) They have a one-way relationship to make requests, write notes to God, or to remind him of their desires. If they developed this into a two-way relationship, they would quit making demands and truly know fulfillment. It is only God who can fulfill all our needs.
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:19 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! -John 14:13-14
Yes, we can go to God when we have a need and he will answer, but it is far better to build a relationship with God. God wants a relationship with us. He sings songs over us with songs of joy!! (Zephaniah 3:17) He bends down to listen to us. (Psalm 116:2) God so wanted to restore his relationship with man, that he sent Christ to redeem us. He sent us a tangible person to show us who he is, he sent a perfect man, without sin. Christ is God, in the form of man, He is a visible person for us to see and believe in an Almighty God. (Colossians 1:15)
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” -Revelation 3:20 /// So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. -Romans 5:11 /// You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. James 2:22-23
Open the door to God today, make a new start and follow God. Share a meal with him today by getting to know him and his deep, deep love for you. Then you can rejoice in your relationship and call him friend, because he already made provision for you to have an intimate relationship with him. Be the Friend of God! I pray this for your life today.