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devotions

God's Honest Truth
By Karen Hetrick 
Saturday, April 16


Scripture
Isaiah 45:18-19 (NIV)
For this is what the LORD says. . . he says:
“I am the LORD,
    and there is no other.
 I have not spoken in secret,
   from somewhere in a land of darkness;
 I have not said to Jacob’s descendants,
   ‘Seek me in vain.’
 I, the LORD, speak the truth;
   I declare what is right.”

Devotion
Have you ever heard someone end a story with an emphatic: “God’s honest truth!”?  Translation: “If I’m lyin’, I’m dyin’.”  Years ago our son, around age three, would end his most earnest accounts with: “and that’s the truth of it!” (pronounced “troof”).  We begin early to learn how profound is truth – how essential it is that when we speak the truth we are believed.

God is Truth.  God is the essence of truth; truth is a component of God’s nature.  Because God is Truth, God is incapable of being un-true, of misrepresentation, lying and deceit.  In Isaiah 45 God identifies himself to Israel as Creator, the one and only God.  When God says, “I declare what is right,” it goes beyond setting the standard for right and wrong.  It’s a declaration that God can say only what is right in the purest sense – because of God’s True nature.

 “God is not human, that he should lie…”  (Num. 23)  Sadly, we humans by contrast, are quite capable of “bending the truth” or worse, deluding ourselves until a lie becomes our truth.  Mary Astor’s self-serving, calculating character In “The Maltese Falcon” laments: “Oh, I don’t know what’s true and what’s a lie anymore.  I’m so tired of telling lies.”  A four-year-old can look a parent in the eye and insist she did not draw on the wall with the crayon in her hand—a developmental stage most children work through.  We hear of persons who swear they are not guilty of murder, despite clear contrary
evidence—a troubling condition of complete disconnect from the truth that God would have us live out.

Not being pre-schoolers or murderers, we’re off the hook—Not.  Isn’t it ironic that God’s children are so susceptible to the perversion of God’s Truth?  Raise your hand if you would rather be right at all costs and don’t mind skewing or ignoring God’s Word in the process.  No one?  Yet, that’s what happens when we are at odds with a sibling in Christ.   God’s Truth is manifested in Christ-like humility, not sinful pride.

Thankfully, God has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit so we need not try to discern God’s Truth on our own.  Isn’t Lent a wonderful time to further unpack that gift?  Our hearts are purest and our witness most powerful when we invite God to be Lord of our beings and doings.

And that’s the Truth of it.

Prayer
God, our Truth, we praise you that you created us in your image to live in the power of that truth.  We celebrate your gift of Jesus Christ, our one, true way to relationship with you, and of the Spirit, who guides us into all truth.   During this Lenten journey, help us to realize that your truth is our very life and our very best good; and open our eyes daily to the Truth that is ours to experience in you.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Other scripture references
Isaiah 45:19; John 14:6; John 16:13

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