NOVEMBER 28

Loving the Truth

Bible Reading: 1 Peter 2:1-2; 2 Timothy 3:16-17

1 Peter 2:2, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation.”

I owned a Bible, and I’d open it up from time to time, but no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t make any sense of it.  But family members and friends were praying for me, and though I didn’t know it at the time, the Spirit was working to convict me of sin and open my eyes to the truth.

One day, having been encouraged to attend by my fellow submariners, I found myself in a gospel preaching church.  The Pastor spoke of the death and resurrection of Jesus.  I recall asking him afterwards how he could know for sure that Jesus rose from the dead.  He spoke to me of how the risen Jesus had worked to change him.  After the service, a fellow with the Navigators approached me and wanted to know if I knew for sure that I was saved.  He saw my hesitation and then proceeded to clearly explain the gospel to me.  Soon after, I placed my trust in Jesus.

I didn’t understand a lot of what was happening back then, some 40 years ago.  But now I know better.  The Spirit was at work.  That’s why I was so burdened by sin guilt (John 16:8).  It was by His working that my blind eyes were opened to the truth of who Jesus is and what He had done for me (2 Corinthians 4:4-6).  It wasn’t me “figuring it out,” it was God intervening in my life (1 Corinthians 1:30). 

An amazing thing happened to me when I was born again.  I don’t recall the details of my first birth, but I do remember what happened in my second, when I was “born of the Spirit with life from above into God’s family divine.”  That huge burden of unrequited guilt in sin was taken away, and I joyously had a sense of that.  The other obvious change had to do with my perspective towards the Word of God.  I was Spirit-borne to a love for truth.  I was amazed when I discovered that I could read the Bible with some degree of understanding.  A whole new world (of truth) was unveiled to me.  I got myself a pocket New Testament and took it with me wherever I went.  I was in the Submarine Service at the time.  I had a lot of free time, so I spent a lot of it in that New Testament.  I couldn’t get enough of it.  It was all new to me.  I read it with a certain sense of awe.  I bought a little package of memory verse cards at the Bible Book store and started memorizing Scriptures.  I would take those memory verses and go over and over them in my mind so that I knew them by heart. 

I was Spirit-borne to a love for truth.  My experience was not unique to me. It has been the shared experience of every believer since that day on Pentecost when the Apostle Peter preached that very first sermon.  And those saved were henceforth Spirit-led to devote themselves to the Apostle’s teaching (Acts 2:42).  They were saved by the Spirit through the Word to a love by the Spirit for the Word.  They were spiritual newborns and by the Spirit, they instinctively knew what to do.  By the Spirit, they devoted themselves to the Apostle’s teaching—they yearned to hear what the Apostles were teaching them—what has since been recorded for us, as a part of God’s inspired word, in the New Testament.

I have an Old Catholic Bible.  In the preface of that Bible, it instructs the readers to apply themselves to the practice of reading their Bibles.  The motivation it offers is contrary to that which was the experience of myself or of those early believers.  That Bible erroneously promises to the reader, for their Bible reading time, certain indulgences that will alleviate for them punishments that they would otherwise experience., saying: “An indulgence of three years is granted to the faithful who read the Books of the Bible for at least a quarter of an hour with the reverence due to the Divine Word and as spiritual reading.”  Bible reading is promoted as a religious endeavor through which religious merit is achieved.  And we might be tempted to look at reading our Bibles as a burdensome religious duty that we must do out of necessity. But that is not the way the Spirit works.  The Spirit of Truth works to impart a love for truth for truth’s sake.  There is an inherent beauty to the truth.  The Word of Truth is the truth of the reality of God unveiled to us.  It speaks to us of a Glorious Savior and a Glorious Work whereby lost sinners are saved and provisioned and instructed in how to live in Christ.  The Bible is inherently compelling because it unveils to the Spirit-enlightened the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The ministry and work of the Spirit coincides with the subject matter of the Bible.  Jesus said of the Spirit, “He shall glorify Me” (John 16:14).  The Spirit works through the Word to that same end.  The Bible is a book all about Jesus and that’s reason enough to love it and yearn to know its truths (John 5:39).

We live in difficult days!  The aversion to the truth that we see in the post-modern day has spilled over into the church.  What is needed is a return to our roots as Christians.  Every revival of soul or society has been accompanied by a Spirit-borne love for truth.  It’s a very simple thing.  Newborn babies love mama’s milk.  Newborn Christians love the truth.  And they need to keep loving the truth that they might grow in Christ.  Lord, bless us in this needy day, with a Spirit-borne passion for truth, that will prove to be a blessing not only to ourselves, but to others who need to hear!

SPEAK, O LORD

Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
To receive the food of Your Holy Word
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness

That the light of Christ might be seen today
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us
All Your purposes for Your glory

Teach us Lord, full obedience
Holy reverence, true humility
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
In the radiance of Your purity

Cause our faith to rise, cause our eyes to see
Your majestic love and authority
Words of pow’r that can never fail
Let their truth prevail over unbelief

Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
That will echo down through eternity

And by grace we’ll stand on Your promises
And by faith we’ll walk as You walk with us
Speak, O Lord, till Your church is built
And the earth is filled with Your glory

Songwriters: Keith Getty / Stuart Townend
Speak, O Lord lyrics © Thank You Music Ltd.

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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