At the evening service July 29, 2013 Pastor Sunday was teaching on “Loving the truth.”
Heavens belong to the people who live according to the truth of God: the man loves God and His truth more than oneself. “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke14: 33).
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me..”(John.14:6).
The love of truth leads people to the way of righteousness – the way that leads to heaven.
The love of truth does not mean being perfect. According to the Bible, perfection is striving forward to please Him. “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead.” (Philip 3:13-14).
It is normal for human beings to make mistakes. We are all inclined to wrong judgments and to making mistakes. Sincere people can make mistakes, but they have never been deluded or flattered, because when they are wrong, they immediately repent, confess and refuse wrong behavior and move on.
If people have a love for the truth, even if they fall, they will rise up. “for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.” (Proverbs 24:16).
The action of the spirit of flattery is different from error. Those who are wrong listen, think, look at all sides and recognize when they are wrong. The action of the spirit of flattery, lies and deception do not touch people for nothing. God allows deception and lies to come through his people, and lets them hear and react to people who already have a seed of falsehood inside of them.
“Sin is not in the dark, but in reluctance of living in light,” said Marina Tsvetaeva (Russian poet, novelist, and translator).
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. (John 3:19-21).
The love of truth requires paying the price. But often we do not love the truth enough to suffer, to stay in minority, to be the black sheep. If you know the truth, you have to stand in it till the end; and not “slither down” and not look for slip roads.
“These also are sayings of the wise: to show partiality in judging is not good: whoever says to the guilty, “You are innocent,” will be cursed by peoples and denounced by nations. But it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and rich blessing will come on them” (Prov. 24:23-25).
If a student knows that 1 +1 = 2, then he is confident in that, in spite of the way he dressed, what his financial position is, and the reaction of others. When the teacher comes, everything will be at its place.
For example, a Russian Orthodox priest was murdered just because he was telling the truth that was inconvenient for someone. It cost him his life. “Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favor rather than one who has a flattering tongue.” (Prov.28:23).
“If the truth can cause a scandal, it is better to allow a scandal than to deny the truth” (St. Gregory the Great).
Pastor Sunday is certain that he does good things: saves addicts, raises leaders and businessmen. God knows that pastor Sunday’s heart accords with what he does and says. Pastor Sunday walks before Him, and God knows that he has one wish – to please Him.
Martin Luther King (leader of the movement for civil rights): “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands at moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, “Is it safe?” Expediency asks the question, “Is it political?” And Vanity comes along and asks the question, “Is it popular?” But Conscience asks the question “Is it right?” And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor political, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right..”.
What is the difference between truth (being right) and the truth?
Truth (being right) is absolute, obvious, it is something that is out of the question. The truth is what always corresponds to the position of God, God’s point of view.
Statement: “The believer cannot smoke, smoking is bad” – it’s true, but it is not the truth. If a person smokes, it’s bad for his health, but his salvation does not depend on that. It is not written that one who smokes will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Example: A wife cannot forgive her ex-husband because he hurt her. The fact that he hurt her and is guilty is true, but not the truth; because God forgives even the worst sinner. If God commanded us to forgive people, we should forgive them, regardless of the severity of the sin.
We all deserve to have God destroy and send us to hell. But the truth is that “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John3:16). “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John1:17).
When God speaks, our opinion has to be moved to the back side. You have to put the truth above your position, opinions and feelings. We must at all costs put up with the truth and not to prove the truth to other people. With people, we ought to do what Jesus would do.
How to tell the truth to unbelievers?
Example: It is usual to write bogus reports at Ukrainian enterprises. If one comes and just tells people that they are doing wrong, they are all sinners – that is judgment and pretense: – it is a sin of pride – one begins to think that he is fighting for the truth.
If one should tell the truth to people who are not prepared for this, be ready that you will be face counterattack. The Word of God acts like a sword. “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12).
No need to forcefully eliminate any disagreement with you. When we give a person the right to speak or to remain with his opinion, he does not shy away, or “shut down” on us, and he is then ready to accept our words, our point of view.
It is necessary to find the right way to tell the truth and understand who you are talking with. “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20), and if someone does not have this power, then people will not react to their words. It is important to sow the word of truth, which will grow as the seed of salvation in people.
The principle of God. “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” (Matt.10:16, Luke 10:3).
The World is filled wolves, but we have to communicate with wolves with wisdom and the innocence of a dove. Condemnation is not innocence of a dove. A dove is innocent and pure, it is not a kite, it does not attack anyone.
Complaints and accusations lead to no good “because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” (James 1: 20).
Accusation only brings defensive response and anger to those whom we want to correct. “Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you.” (Prov. 9:8).
When starting a “fight for justice” people often start to fight, while they are not living in the truth. Pharisees did that, as which Jesus taught (Math. 23:3).
If we love the truth we should test ourselves first of all. When people pay more attention to the behavior of other people, they start to judge and to point to others. Even if they commit abusive deeds, it’s not your business. This is a business between them and God.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matt.5:4). If a person is grieving and weeping for the wrongs of others, not judging people, it leads to intercession prayer. Most often, God allows us to see the imperfections of others just to pray about it, and proclaim the truth of God. If we do not go against the people, God knows how to open doors for us and opportunities to reach their hearts and to bring changes.
You have to let yourself be crucified, so that the Holy Spirit would be able to act in the people and do his work. “The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?” (1 Corth.6:7). When we are really doing God’s work, no matter what happens, nothing will harm us.
We can teach people on our example: “why I do or do not follow certain principles”. If a person is a great worker, the people will soon chase after them to find out the reason why it all turns out well with them. The most important test for us is how we behave in these situations and how we react to what happens to us.
Love is an vital factor in all relationships.
- Duty without love makes people IRRITABLE.
- Justice without love makes people CRUEL.
- Responsibility without love makes one OFFHAND.
- Truth without love makes one a CRITIC.
- Education without love makes one TWO-FACED.
- The mind without love makes one CUNNING.
- Friendliness without love makes one HYPOCRITICAL.
- Competence without love makes one UNYIELDING.
- Power without love makes one a TYRANT.
- Faith without love makes one a FANATIC.
- Honor without love makes one ARROGANT.
- Wealth without love makes people GREEDY.
- Faith without love makes one a FANATIC
Homework on this topic:
- What is love of the truth
- Does perfection mean love for the truth? Prove.
- How do you understand John. 3:19-21?
- One has to pay the price for the truth. How do you understand this statement?
- 1 +1 = 2. How does this relate to the love of the truth.
- What is the difference between true and truth?
- How are we to behave in a work team of unbelievers?
From the Summer fast
July 29, 2013, Kyiv, Ukraine
Press Center of the Embassy of God Church