To Love the Truth Day 31: Truth For All the World

Today is the final day of this series – I can’t believe I made it! October has flown by…though at times it seemed to drag on, especially the past week after I ran out of outlined posts.  I’m proud of myself for sticking with this.

For my last post I want to share an element of Truth I’ve experienced this month.  It’s something I’ve known on an intellectual level and believed for years, but I’ve now come to understand it in new ways.

The Gospel is for everyone.  Truth is not just universal, it’s personal for everyone in the world.  Truth transcends distance and culture and life circumstances.  It has power and the ability to transform all of us.

During this series visits to my blog have increased.  I hoped this would happen — I mean, I did link up to several other blogs.  What I didn’t expect, however, is that the vast majority of my new readers are some other countries.  To those of you who have joined me, thank you.  I hope my rambling has pointed you toward Him.

To Love the Truth Day 30: Sharing the Truth

I’m a witness, not the judge.

A motivational speaker recently visited the school division in which I work, and he repeated this line many times.  It wasn’t in reference to the gospel of Truth, but it stuck with me because it fits so well.

For the last thirty days, I’ve been sharing the Truth not as the judge, but as a witness.  I’ve presented my experience.  I’ve told you what I’ve seen, what I’ve heard, and how it’s changing me.  This is my testimony.

It’s a story, not a sermon.
It’s an example, not a manual.

This is my story of how the Truth has transformed my life, how I’ve learned to walk in Truth.

That is how we are to share the Truth with outsiders. Honestly, openly, not apologetically but not judgmentally either.  We are witnesses.  We are to speak as those with personal experience.  It’s not head knowledge and an intellectual exercise anymore.  It’s a deeply personal story of what’s happened to me, and I will tell it softly but with confidence.

I’m His witness….

Thanks for reading my testimony.

To Love the Truth Day 29: Truth in Community

Today’s strategy is one I know is important, but I must be honest and say this is a hard one for me to live out.  As I’ve mentioned a few times on this blog, I have a lot of anxiety surrounding church involvement.  It’s hard for me to feel as if I fit in and I tend to keep my relationships with church friends at a surface level.

In order to learn to love the truth and walk in truth, we must surround ourselves with a community that will tell us the truth –a community that will challenge us to live out truth and remind us of truth as a means of comfort.

Daily Bible reading and a personal quiet time are helpful but not sufficient.  In fact, as my pastor pointed out on Sunday, the quiet time phenomenon is a new one.  For most of church history, Bible study has been a communal experience.  We need each other.

It’s so important that the New Testament alone uses the word “together” about 100 times.

Do not give up meeting together…

Raise your voices together…

Strive together…

Work together for the truth…

And this, the example of the early church:

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-26992BE" data-link="(BE)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-26992BF" data-link="(BF)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-26993BH" data-link="(BH)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> All the believers were together and had everything in common.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-26994BI" data-link="(BI)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-26995BJ" data-link="(BJ)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-26996BK" data-link="(BK)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> They broke bread<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-26996BL" data-link="(BL)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-26997BM" data-link="(BM)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> And the Lord added to their number<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-26997BN" data-link="(BN)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> daily those who were being saved.

This is why we are to do this thing together: so that others will see and hear the truth and be saved.

It’s not just beneficial to unbelievers, however.  There is great value for those who are already saved.

Then we will no longer be infants,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29287AF" data-link="(AF)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> tossed back and forth by the waves,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29287AG" data-link="(AG)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29287AH" data-link="(AH)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> Instead, speaking the truth in love,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29288AI" data-link="(AI)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29288AJ" data-link="(AJ)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29289AK" data-link="(AK)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> and builds itself up<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29289AL" data-link="(AL)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> in love,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29289AM" data-link="(AM)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> as each part does its work. 

It’s in community that we are able to speak the truth to each other.  When we heed those words and learn from them we will grow to become mature in Christ. We will not become deceived but will be confident that we know the truth….together.

To Love the Truth Day 28: Truthtellers

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you probably know I’m a reader.  I love to read…so much that my mom once grounded me from reading for a week.  She even took away the cereal box!

In addition to reading the Bible, I’ve found many authors who speak the Truth into my life.  It’s helpful to hear the way the Truth has changed others’ lives.

Here are some of my favorite truthtellers and a few recommended works.

Beth Moore – Breaking Free, So Long Insecurity

Jen Hatmaker – Interrupted, For the Love

Angie Smith – Chasing God

Tim Keller – The Reason for God, Jesus the King, The Prodigal God

Lauren Winner – Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crises

Ravi Zacharias – Recapture the Wonder, Jesus Among Other Gods

All of these books can be found on Amazon and other sellers.  Find them. Read them. Hear and respond to Truth.

To Love the Truth Day 27: Adoration

The very first book I read in 2015 set a great tone for my year, as I learn to love the Truth.  Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty is beautiful and challenging — she speaks of Truth in the midst of hardship — tasting the goodness of God in all things.  I highly recommend the book, but it’s not what I want to share today.

On Sara’s blog and Instagram pages she shares what she calls “Adorations” every day.  These adorations are a result of years of her daily Bible study method.  Simply put, she reads the Truth and then translates it back to praise.  She describes it as “inhaling His word and exhaling praise.”  She publishes these meditations a month in advance.

I’ve started practicing these adorations in my own Bible reading.  This year I’m trying to read the whole Bible in a year, and I find that some books are harder to connect with than others (minor prophets, I’m looking at you).  Now I try to find a characteristic of God within the passage and praise Him for who He is.  Reasons to adore Him are everywhere.

Take today’s reading for example.  I read Jeremiah 31 and found four adorations that I recorded in my journal.

God is my Husband.
God is my father.
God is my Shepherd.
God is my Comforter.

Four Truths that are worthy of praise.

To Love the Truth Day 26: Walking in Truth

Day 26 of 31 and I’m still going strong! I really can’t believe it.

For the last week of this series I want to start looking at practical ways of walking in Truth.  How do we fill our lives with Truth? How do we learn to love it? How do we keep Truth at the forefront of our minds?

Here’s one that I’ve found recently for those of you on Instagram.  It’s an account called 100 Days with Jesus – each day she shares a Name or attribute of Jesus with a short devotional about what the name or the attribute means.  The words come in alphabetical order and we are counting down to Christmas day.

While this doesn’t replace my daily Bible reading, it is a nice way to have a reminder of Truth right there on my Instagram feed in the midst of browsing.  The posts give me pause to reflect on who He is for a while.

Here are a few that have spoken to me recently:
Guardian of My Soul
Healer
Hope of Glory
Intercessor

The more I surround myself with Truth, the more the opportunity I have see, hear, and live it.