Thought for the Week - 27th AugustHelen Watkins
John 14: 1-21
Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
In My Father’s house are many mansions;
if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again and receive you to Myself;
that where I am, there you may be also.
And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going,
and how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through Me.
The Father Revealed
“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also;
and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long,
and yet you have not known Me, Philip?
He who has seen Me has seen the Father;
so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority;
but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.
Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me,
or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
The Answered Prayer “Most assuredly, I say to you,
he who believes in Me,
the works that I do he will do also;
and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do,
that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
Jesus Promises Another Helper
“If you love Me, keep My commandments.
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper,
that He may abide with you forever—
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
Indwelling of the Father and the Son
“A little while longer and the world will see Me no more,
but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.
At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.
And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father,
and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
One of the things that’s becoming increasingly apparent in today’s world is that truth is becoming short in supply. However, we can find truth in God, for Jesus tells us “I am the way, the truth, and the life”.
Earlier in the week I read a story about two men called Truth and Falsehood. Truth took off his clothes to go swimming in the river. While he was swimming, Falsehood stole Truth’s clothes. After returning from his swim, Truth found his clothes had been stolen. Rather than putting on the clothes that Falsehood left behind, Truth chose to remain naked; hence the phrase “the naked truth”.
This sums up society as we find it today. Falsehood creeps in and we can find ourselves wearing it quite comfortably, rather than exposing ourselves as we are. However, truth cannot compromise with falsehood. They can never walk in the same way. Truth is full of love, and tries to convince falsehood to leave behind the stolen clothes and start walking naked.
Every day, the world is getting further from the truth. Everything around us is affected – governments, laws, even the news. Even our children are exposed to lies. They see photo-shopped photos of people that influence their thoughts of how they should look and act; and then they feel let down when they see the truth. We’re fed lies by the media. We can even be fed lies by the church at large.
This sort of thing can often make people feel anxious, troubled or worried. However, Christ said “don’t let your heart be troubled”.
It’s important that, as Christians, know the difference. We need to know how to recognise the truth.
How do we know we’re doing right and going about our Father’s business? If we live close to the things of God, we will know. We’re used to the verse “I am the way, the truth and the life” in relation to salvation; but it equally applies to those who have been saved. He is the truth! And if we know Him, then we’ll know the truth.
Phillip was a disciple of Jesus. He knew Him from the first days until His end days. Yet when Christ asked him a question, he was dumbfounded and didn’t know what Christ was on about. We must not be confused like Phillip.
We must pray for discernment. When I looked up the meaning of discernment I found that it is the ability to judge well. It’s the ability to tell the difference between truth and error, between right and wrong. It is something that keeps us on the straight and narrow. It is something that benefits us, our families, our churches etc. However, it is also something that is sadly lacking.
Why is it lacking? Sometimes it’s because we want the good life and the good things, but don’t want to do what God tells us or live as close to Him as we should. However, there is only one way – there is only His way.
With discernment, there can be things that are obvious to us and things that are less so. As individuals, society over the years has influenced our perception and how we see things. Therefore, we need to be careful to make sure that our truth is God’s truth, and that our standards are God’s standards rather than those of society.
We have to know where the truth lies. We cannot deviate and we cannot blur the edges. The only way we can do this is by staying close to God. In Ephesians 5:8 we are told to live as children of the light:
For you were once darkness,
but now you are light in the Lord.
Walk as children of light
To walk as children of the light, we cannot play with or wander into the things of darkness. We also read in Ephesians 4: 23-24:
And be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
and that you put on the new man which was created according to God,
in true righteousness and holiness.
We cannot be righteous and holy if we are dipping into the darkness that is around us. We have to adhere to what God says and His standards. His is the far better way.
In Ephesians 1:17 we are told to pray for spiritual wisdom. With His wisdom, we are shown the truth and will not be caught out.
Search for God’s wisdom in your life. Desire His discernment. Desire love. God is the only one any of us can truly rely on and trust. We need to go to Him, trust Him and know what He teaches is the truth.
Ephesians 3: 17-24
With the Lord’s authority I say this:
Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused.
Their minds are full of darkness;
they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds
and hardened their hearts against him.
They have no sense of shame.
They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.
But that isn’t what you learned about Christ.
Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him,
throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life,
which is corrupted by lust and deception.
Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.