Do You Tell Yourself The Truth?

Do You Tell Yourself The Truth?

“Truth fears no questions.” That is our slogan this month as we emphasize the personal Christian characteristic of honesty. There is no more difficult application of honesty than the need to be honest with ourselves. Dishonesty with ourselves will doom us. Consider the scoffers who rejected the possibility of Jesus’ return because they were “willingly ignorant” (2 Pet. 3:3-5). And how about the man who deceives himself in regard to sin (1 Jn. 1:6, 8). And then there are those with darkened understanding because of the blindness (hardness) of their heart (Eph. 4:17-19).

Brothers and sisters, if we are going to build the characteristic of honesty, there are three questions we must continuously ask ourselves.

  • What do you need to change? Do you have any character flaws, any persistent sin or sinful attitudes, We are striving to be like Christ (1 Pet. 2:21-23). Like Paul, it is safe to say, with him, that we have not arrived (Phil. 4:12). So the first order of honesty is not, “Do we need to change?,” but “What do we need to change?” Are you quick to anger (James 1:19)? Are you harsh in your approach (2 Tim. 2:24)? Is your tongue too loose (Eph. 4:29)? Are you timid about sharing the truth (2 Tim. 1:6-8)? Are you a grudge holder (Eph. 4:32)? Do you miss worship at the slightest inconvenience (Matt 6:33)? Are you unwilling to add the ‘Christian graces” to you life (2 Pet. 1:5-10)? Be honest with yourself about yourself. What do you need to change?
  • Are you willing to change? Some people have acknowledged that they have a quick temper for 40 years, or that they are always gossiping, or that they need to control their eating, or that they always speed. Yet, they have no plans to change these difficult habits. Do you have flaws in your character or actions that you admit you need to change? Are you willing to make the change? The Hebrew writer and those with him were “willing to live honestly is all things” (Heb. 13:18). The Macedonians were first “willing of themselves” (2 Cor. 8:3). Are you willing to change those things Christ wants you to change or would you rather stay like you are?
  • Are you in the process of changing? Many of us tell ourselves we are willing to change our character, attitudes and actions. Are we telling ourselves the truth? What are your plans for changing? That is, how will you bring forth fruits showing repentance (Matt. 3:8)? Have you identified your way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13)? If we are always planning, but not doing, then we are not growing more Christ-like. Truth fears no questions? Are these three a help to you?

Faithful Unto Death

What Does It Mean To Give Christ Your Life??    April 20, 2014

India is a country where only 2% of the population claim any kind of Christianity. Members of the Lord’s church are a part of that 2%. What does it take to be faithful to God in a country like India? Of course, it is different for different people depending on the circumstances in which they live. Once, when I was preaching in India, I saw a man drag his wife from the assembly and beat her because she came. At that time, it was legal and we could do nothing. She came back. Once, I saw the back of a man who, along with his family had scars from numerous canings and burning because they continued to evangelize in their Hindu village. Today I want to tell you, via Jim Waldron’s newsletter, about a woman who was beaten many times and finally to death because she was a Christian. Her husband was not indifferent to Christianity as some are. He was hostile as many Hindu and Muslim husbands are.

Let me quote from Jim’s letter: “And this sister who suffered for the cause of her faith stood tall with courage, conviction and a backbone defending the One who washed away her sins and promised her eternal life. Throughout the beatings when death was teasing her relentlessly and Satan enticing her to compromise for just once, she put death to shame and defeated Satan by embracing her Lord till the last breathe of her life (Rev. 2:10). She did not fear the one who was able to kill her body, but joyfully adhered to the One who had the power to redeem her soul (Mt. 10:28).

So that you might know, such beatings have been illegal for several years now and the husband has been arrested. Her children have been placed in the hands of a Christian family.

Brothers and sisters, in this month when I pray that you are emphasizing growth in godliness in your life, the events referred to above bring us new thought about becoming godly. To reverence our Savior so that we would die for him is not something we face (yet), but many do. Thank God for the example of those who have “resisted unto blood” (Heb. 12:4) and those who “endure a great fight of affliction” and who take  “joyfully the spoiling of their goods” (Heb. 10:26-35). Shall we not at least examine ourselves in regard to the possibility that we may one day face such suffering? Let us be encouraged, first by our Master, and then people like the woman above who became a willing martyr for our Lord.  mg