Section One: The Spiritual Characteristics of a Godly Life.
Our current theme: Characteristic Four: Being A Warrior.
Our reading for today: John 17: 15-19 (MsgB)
I’m not asking that You take them out of the world, but that You guard them from the Evil One. They are no more defined by the world than I am defined by the world. Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth; Your Word is consecrating truth. In the same way that You gave Me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world. I’m consecrating Myself for their sakes so they’ll be truth-consecrated in their mission.
Eugene Peterson, author of The Message Bible, translates Jesus’ prayer for His disciples here in a way that truly brings out Jesus’ undying passion for Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth.
You see, to Jesus of Nazareth, God the Father is Truth, and any message and ministry commissioned by the Master, must be birthed out of Truth and carried out in that same manner. It’s not surprising then, that Paul, when he is listing six vital tools of discipleship in his letter to the Ephesians (6: 10-18), places the Belt of Truth right at the beginning of his list!
So, for those of us who claim to follow Jesus (giving Him our lives and telling Him we want Him to be our Lord and Savior); living outside of the Truth is simply not an option. Yet, in Truth, there has been no person in the history of the Church (outside of the Master, Himself) who can claim to have lived a life free of half-truths and out-n-out lies.
Am I telling the truth here? (You know I am!)
So, let’s face it, friends, as human beings, none of us would ever want to have the lives we live in secret to be broadcast to a waiting world which thrives on uncovering skeletons in people’s closets. Yet, here’s the absolute amazing news about God’s amazing grace. Our Father in heaven knows that we, even on our best days, are not keepers of Truth, nor are we spotless, pure lambs that never traffic around half-truths and lies! But this is why Jesus, the blameless Lamb, was sent on our behalf, to cover our selfishness and sin with His purified blood.
You see, it’s the Truth of the cross that allows each one of us to know, as followers of Christ, that for every selfish, sinful act of untruthfulness, there is a grace that covers us, as we turn from those ugly actions, asking the Author of Truth to cover us in His forgiving mercy. As a result of our daily confession of living outside the whole Truth that Jesus establishes for us, we can now lift our heads out of our shame, place the Belt of God’s Truth around our waists, and go out in confidence to share this Good News message with others.
Our mission then, is not to become purified Truth-speakers through our own strength and sin-management techniques, going out to arm-twist our fellow human beings until they cry uncle. But as day-to-day recipients of God’s Truth (or as Eugene Peterson puts it, being “truth-consecrated”), receiving His mercy as a purifying agent over our own selfishness and sin, we become men and women on assignment with Jesus, the Author of Truth, sent into a world where half-truths and lies permeate the fabric of our society from sea to shining sea.
Our message, then, to the world is this:
Just as God’s amazing grace is constantly setting an untruthful sinner like myself free from my life-style of half-truths and lies, so that same grace, through the blood of Jesus, is able to set you free as well!
Hmm. Sounds pretty inviting doesn’t it.
And that’s the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth!
My prayer: I hear your prayer, Jesus…Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth. Yet Father, I confess that my life, when left to my own devices and to my own strength, will never be a holy life, truth-consecrated for Your glory alone. So I ask for the indwelling and empowering work of the Holy Spirit to break-in today, bringing me God’s Belt of Truth, that I might wrap it tightly around me. And then, Lord, I receive Your mission to go and tell others about this work of amazing grace that can break the power of half-truths and lies, for Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: Am I fully understanding the way God’s Belt of Truth operates in my life? The Belt is not mine to own, nor is it obtained through my hard labor of sin-management. Yet, through grace alone, am I accessing the power of God’s Belt of Truth, placing it firmly on my life today, so that I might be truth-consecrated for the glory of Jesus?
So what is God speaking to you today as we attempt to live the Christ-centered life?
Over a thirty-six week period, you and I will take a deeper look into twelve key characteristics of a godly life. In other words, we’ll take A Journey into Christian Discipleship. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Journey home page for ease of use. ENJOY!
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