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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 06/09/21

So Help Me God: A Devotional Study on Truth

Truth has consequences, but it also has comfort. ~Kathy Carlton Willis

STORY: On Trial

Have you ever been sworn in at a court hearing? I have. I will never forget what I swore to while holding one hand up and one hand on the Bible. The bailiff asked me, “Do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” I swore to tell the truth. The truth is a big deal in court. Not just a partial truth but a whole truth. Not truth mixed with lies—nothing but the truth. And not merely in front of mortals, but in front of God!

The trial was in front of a God-fearing judge who used the swearing-in Bible as a reference when giving instructions to the defendant and the plaintiff. I was relieved that he valued the truth of the Bible, not simply asking us to affirm truth or be held in contempt of court. He still brought God into the oath. I knew I would be safe. Truth has consequences, but it also has comfort.

STUDY: Truth in Epistles of John

So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. (1 John 1:6-8 NLT)
  • What lies happen when we flirt with darkness while trying to reside in the light?
  • How is the pull to be in darkness sometimes stronger than our joy in having fellowship with God and with others?
  • How do we overcome this weakness so we can practice the truth when we say we are in fellowship with God?
  • What does it mean to live in the light?
  • What does the sacrifice of Jesus have to do with our battle between dark and light, between truth and lies?
But you have received the Holy Spirit, and 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 NLT)
  • Who is your truth teacher?
  • How do you know if what you are thinking is knowledge from the Holy Spirit?
  • What does it mean to remain in fellowship with Christ?
Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. (1 John 3:18–20 NLT)
  • What is the truth about love that we can show others by our actions?
  • What does it mean to belong to the truth?
  • How do actions show if we belong to the truth?
  • It is a good reminder to see that our feelings sometimes make us believe we are guilty when we are not.
I am writing to the chosen lady and to her children, whom I love in the truth—as does everyone else who knows the truth— because the truth lives in us and will be with us forever. Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love. How happy I was to meet some of your children and find them living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded. (2 John 1:1–4 NLT)
  • In these epistles of John we see truth and love mentioned multiple times. What do you think is the significance of this pairing?
  • Truth is important to Christ followers because it is what binds us together. It will never change—it will be with us forever.
  • How do you live in truth and love? Also this verse says we live according to the truth. How does that show up in your life?
Some of the traveling teachers recently returned and made me very happy by telling me about your faithfulness and that you are living according to the truth. I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth. (3 John 1:3–4 NLT)
  • Our spiritual mentors are pleased when they hear of our faithfulness and that we are living according to the truth. How does that contrast to living according to the flesh?
  • It is a great joy to hear how those we mentor are growing in their steps of obedience following truth. Who are you mentoring in the faith?

STEPS: Walk in Truth and Love

  1. Focus on daily truth. Today ask the Spirit of truth to give you a nudge every time you have a choice between truth and deception. How does choosing truth enhance or simplify your life?
  2. Make truth a priority in how you show love. How does this change the way you communicate with someone?
  3. Choose truth over feelings. It’s not wrong to be aware of our emotions. God created them. But it is wise to always select truth if it differs from what we’re feeling.

Copyright © 2021 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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