September 17, 2020
John 8:31-32
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
New International Version (NIV)
Who is telling the truth?  We want to know.  It is hard to know who to trust.  I have no double-blind study to prove it, but lying seems to have become a way of life.  People lie and then accuse other people of lying.  Who knows who is really telling the truth?  God.

Maybe it is just genetic.  A brief perusal of scripture reveals that we come from a long line of liars.  Adam and Eve tried to pass the buck.  Abraham’s family had a bad habit of lying when they found themselves in a pinch.  Do you ever wonder what people would do if a person came who actually told the truth?  John’s gospel shows us the answer.  They crucified him.    

When Jesus speaks, his opponents attack him as a liar.  While they question Jesus’ paternity, Jesus verifies theirs.  Jesus speaks as plainly here as he ever did, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires.  He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth for there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks his native language for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (8:44).  It turns out that the Lord of the flies is the Lord of all lies!

Years ago a survey led to a book called, The Day America Told the Truth.  Survey participants admitted that they lied early and often.  This could discourage us.  We might say, “Well if you can’t beat them, join them.”  God forbid!  Followers of Jesus must never become comfortable with deceit.  Disciples of Jesus tell the truth.  So Jesus told the ones who believed, “If you hold to my teachings, you are really my disciples” (8:31).  We authenticate our discipleship to Jesus when we live truthful lives and speak truthful words.  Even better, by knowing Jesus, who is the Truth, we find ourselves free from the painful pattern of prevarication.  The truth liberates us.  We are free to tell the truth today.  Why not try it?  

Pray with me:         
Father, thank you for sending Jesus to tell us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  We have tried Jesus and found him to be true.  Please do not let us acclimate ourselves to falsehood.  Help us to know the truth and to align ourselves with Jesus who lives and tells the truth.  Give us wisdom to discern the difference between the truth and a lie.  Set us free in Jesus’ name.  Amen.      
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 6:33-34
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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