Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Daily Encouragement (08/12/14) "Are You On The Side Of Truth?"

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Flower wagon at Blue Gate in Shipshewana Indiana
Another flower wagon at Blue Gate Restaurant in Shipshewana Indiana.

"Are You On The Side Of Truth?"

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"You are a king, then!" said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me"."'What is truth?' Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, 'I find no basis for a charge against Him (Jesus Chist)'" (John 18:37,38).

Today's message is in part prompted by a sordid new expression of rebellion and godlessness too graphic to describe in this opening paragraph but given the downward spiral is not surprising. * It seems like a validation of Paul's statement in Romans 1:30, "inventors of new forms of evil". One of the great casualties of our increasing drift from a foundation of Biblical morality is truthfulness. Psalm 51:6 states, "Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being." Today let us examine a lesson from Christ's final hours before His sacrificial death on Calvary.

The last person recorded to have a one-on-one conversation with Jesus prior to His death was Pilate. It's plausible that Christ might have spoken to others on the Via Dolorosa and many are familiar with His last words from the cross. But His last recorded conversation was with Pilate.

This conversation so typifies humanity's response to Jesus. Pilate is an enigma. On the one hand he was very reluctant about proceeding with the conviction, sensing that Jesus was not guilty with his famous words, "I find no fault in this man" (Luke 23:4). But on the other hand he was a typical politician "wanting to satisfy the crowd" (Mark 15:15), thereby developing his helpful alliance with Herod; "that day Herod and Pilate became friends" (Luke 23:12).

Jesus had said to Pilate, "Everyone on the side of truth listens to me" to which Pilate responds with the probing question, "What is truth"?  That is the crucial question humanity has always dealt with and we recognize it most especially in our postmodern era. 

Jesus had said hours earlier to His disciples, "I am the way, the truth and the life" (John 14:6).

Pilate asks the question,
"What is truth?" I believe it's significant that he does not give Jesus an opportunity to answer. Instead the text records, "With this he went out again to the Jews"Pilate was face to face with truth but his ears were not open to truth.

I firmly believe we have entered a period in history prophesied in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11. "The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

One of the great spiritual responsibilities we have is exercising discernment and teaching those whom we influence to do so as well. There is a cacophony of voices that call out to us to go against the truth. We are exposed to these voices at all ages, but our youth are particularly vulnerable.  We need to constantly commit to hearing the voice of God, foundationally through His authoritative, inspired, and inerrant Word, the Holy Scriptures.

Pilate seems at one point to have the correct revelation that Jesus is a king when he said, "You are a king, then!"  Since Pilate's body language (which often speaks louder than words) is not described by John, did he say it in jest as he raised his eyebrows and grimaced at those who stood nearby?  Whatever the circumstance, he certainly did not act appropriately and of course was instrumental in the false conviction of Jesus.

I am so enriched by what our Lord Jesus said to Pilate and through the Word He says to us, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth."  Christ knew who He was and why He had come. He came to testify to the truth.

But let us consider the latter portion of our Lord's response. "Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."  I certainly want to be on the side of truth and thus I want to hear the voice of truth. Lord, give us discernment to truly tune in to hear, listen to and heed Your voice today! The lesson for us today: let us listen to the One who is the author Truth, even if it goes against the answers we want to hear!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:
Father, I want my heart to be committed to Your Truth and righteousness, for You are the Way, the Truth and the Life. I place my complete trust in You and reject the godless trends and vain philosophies promoted by the world regardless of how popular they may be, what celebrity or famous person promotes them or how they may be validated by the wisdom of this world.  Like our Lord Jesus stated, "Thy Word is truth." May Your words be embedded in my heart and mind through the faithful study of Scripture so that I might not sin against You and so that I will recognize truth from error. Keep me faithful and true.  Amen.

Some more scenes from our trip

Blue Gate flower cart 8/7/14
Shipshewana has lots of flowers in creative planters such as this garden cart.

Stuffed bear at Shipshewana gift shop 8/7/14
This stuffed bear at a Shipshewana gift shop brought back a childhood memory of visiting some friends of my folks, Warren and Juanita, who had a large bear rug. I must confess it scared me to death as a child.

Repurposed item at the Blue Gate gift shop 8/7/14
We enjoy repurposing and found this creation in Shipshewana gift shop interesting.

Family meal at the Blue Gate restaurant 8/7/14
A family style dinner for two of us at the Blue Gate restaurant in Shipshewana, Indiana! This was in addition to our salads and a small loaf of bread.

Mike Weber playing Frisbee 8/11/14
Stephen's older brother Mike is visiting from California and they are both enjoying an attempt at youth renewal with some Frisbee toss.
(What you don't see is Mollie, our border collie, in the middle wondering why it isn't being tossed to her. She probably thinks Frisbees were made for dogs, not humans.)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"The Voice Of Truth"  Video   Casting Crowns

"Truth is Marching On"  Video  Talley Trio

Some say His birth was of a virgin,
some think His miracles can be explained away
Some say that He was just a good man,
even though He died, He wasn't really raised
Skeptics rise and speak their lies.

Truth is marching on, truth is marching on
Down the corridors of time, Invincible, Divine
Until all that's false is finally gone
Truth is marching on

There will always be cynics and scoffers
Our faith has always had its noisy enemies
They may rise up but only for a moment
Yet we see evidence through the centuries
It's Jesus Christ, He's the Way, the Life

A reader from the United Kingdom sent us this poem this morning that relates to and reinforces today's message.


Lord, grant me the wisdom
to have an undivided heart.
One totally given to You.
One with crystal clarity,
fully engaged in obedience to You

Lord, grant me an uncluttered mind.
There is such a flood of options,
all seeking to catch my attention.
Brush out all the peripheral material
and create space for clear thought.

Lord, grant me an unshackled spirit
vibrant with energy
to pursue Your purposes.
Released and free to serve you
with vivacity and joy.

Lord, grant me an unlimited vision
to see potential on every side.
A world vision, rich and complete,
to see “Your Will done on earth,
as it is in Heaven” Amen.

David Short – United Kingdom

* Here is a link to the disturbing article
that we referred to in the first paragraph describing the new form of rebellion against God's design. Caution: It is bizarre and graphic.

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Personal Mission Statement "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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