This week’s memory verse:
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart…
1Peter 1:22 ESV
Love rejoices in the truth, with the truth, whenever truth wins out.
We just finished talking about the unloving nature of rejoicing in evil. Love does not find joy in wrong-doing. This week we look at what love does rejoice in or with: truth.
…[love] does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
1Corinthians 13:6 ESV
In the original language, two different Greek words are used for rejoicing in evil and rejoicing with truth. The one connected to evil is chairo and simply means to rejoice or be glad. But the one associated with truth is sugchairo which means to rejoice with, take part in another’s joy (Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon).
The joy found in wickedness happens within self, it is solo. The rejoicing in truth is a shared joy.
Read John 14:6
Who does Jesus say He is?
Therefore, when we rejoice with or in truth, who do we rejoice with?
Rejoicing in truth never happens alone, solely within self, because we rejoice with Jesus who is Truth. No matter whether the truth is good, bad, or ugly, in Christ we can find joy with Him.
Love rejoices in the truth even when it’s about us or our loved ones.
Is there a truth or reality in your life you avoid on a regular basis? what about in the life of someone you love?
God is truth and His Word is always true. His way always right.
Are there places in His Word which offend you and cause you to get angry with God?
Go ahead, write the offense down. God is big enough to take it. When we take our offense to God, it gives Him the opportunity to grow and change our hearts.
Read Matthew 16:21-23
What was Peter’s response to Jesus’s words?
Why do you think he responded this way?
What comes to mind when you consider Jesus’s response to Peter’s rebuke?
What does this say about truth?
Read John 8:31-32
In John 8:31-32, Jesus makes an “if… then…” statement. (Fill in the blanks.)
then __________________________________________________________________________________ and
You’ve heard it. Seen it quoted many times.
The truth will set you free.
I wonder how many times the one saying this understands where it comes from. Do they know it is God’s Word taken from the book of John? Better yet, do they understand this isn’t the entire truth?
Truth alone sets no one free. There are many people in prison today because of truth. Truth is merely a statement of fact, unless we take a look at the Scripture in context.
I remember the first time someone pointed this out to me. It was mind blowing because I was asking difficult questions. Questions which caused me to struggle with my understanding of God and faith. It was a time of discovery for me. Trying to discern if what I believed was true. When my friend encouraged me to look at this Scripture in context, peace flooded my soul.
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
It was a light bulb moment. If I wanted to know the truth, then I needed to know the one who is Truth. Knowing the answers is never enough. For me, knowing Jesus more and more is the one truth I continue to desire each day.
There is only one Truth and it is established by God, but according to the world, truths are many and varied. It seems everyone has been and is seeking truth solely for truth’s sake.
Some try to fill the God-shaped void with facts and proofs. Others depend on their own feelings to determine truth, ranging in claims of no truth, to all truth is relative. We must never forget truth only comes when we hold fast to Jesus’s teaching. When we follow His way and His will, then we recognize truth is so much more than proofs or facts. Truth is a Person, and yes… He sets us free.
Sometimes, the freedom of truth only comes through confession.
There is an ugly truth in my past. I’ve never denied it to myself or to God. But I certainly spent many years hiding it from others.
When He called me to begin sharing my painful truth with family, revealing my ugly truth to them, it was very difficult. My flesh cringed at the idea. My spirit felt rejection was imminent. But if He was calling me to do it. It had to be done. There was no other way.
The most surprising thing happened with each confession. No. It wasn’t the tears. The sorrow. It was the grace. The forgiveness. The love. And the freedom which followed was beyond my imagination.
I never would have believed exposing this truth about my life would ever lead to joy. But in the revealing and healing brought about by the One who is Truth there was miraculous rejoicing in the new found freedom.
Only Jesus’s love can bring rejoicing and freedom from an ugly truth.
Ask God to prepare your heart to receive and deal with truth even when it is ugly or uncomfortable.
Read John 16:13
Who guides us into truth?
Since the Holy Spirit resides in the hearts of Believers, where then does truth come from?
How do you get it?
What should we do with the truth He reveals?
God alone is the source of all truth. He is the Reality on which we are to base our lives. And because of His love we can rejoice with Him, in Him, no matter the truth.
Lord, prepare my heart to see Your love in every revealed truth. Enable me to find joy with You in every truth.
This week’s spiritual discipline:
We love to share and be reminded of the truths which uphold our beliefs and ideals, our way of viewing things. But… there are other truths in our lives we would rather avoid or keep hidden where nobody sees.
Some examples of hard truths might be: the number on the bathroom scale, the state of our marriage, the success of our children, the depth of our faith, or level of our own integrity.
This week, in an effort to rejoice in and with the truth, spend time with your uncomfortable truth. If you recognize several in your life, choose one. If you’re unsure of your hard truth, take a look at what you avoid in your life or what really bugs you in the life of others. When we complain about someone else’s “speck” we may very well have a “log” in the same area.
Bring your hard truth to God in prayer. Ask Him how He wants to work in your life through this difficult truth. Be open to what He wants to reveal through this truth and determine to embrace it each day. Ask Him to bring you to the point of finding joy in the uncomfortable truth through the light, life, and freedom He wants to restore to you.
Coming to grips with our uncomfortable truths helps us to be more loving toward those who have hard truths in their lives. It sets us free to receive His healing grace and love others the same way. Grace-fully.
Questions for the Summer Soak Journal:
What Scriptures come to mind when you consider rejoicing in truth? rejection of truth?
Did you practice the spiritual discipline this week? Why or why not?
What truth is hard for you to digest? Why?
Where did you experience freedom this week?