10 Day Devotional Challenge – Day 9

For the past several days, I have been hosting a 10 Day Devotional Challenge. (To find them all, type “10 Day Devotional Challenge” into my website search bar.) You can read the posts here and comment below to discuss what you’ve read. You may also join the discussion in my Equipped Facebook Group. If you don’t already have a copy of my book, Equipped, you can purchase it at mybook.to/Equipped or ask for it at your local bookstore. For a discount on quantity orders (10 copies or more), please contact me at RuthLSnyder at me dot com.

The Belt of Truth

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

—John 8:32

“Hi! How are you?” This greeting habit we have in North America annoys me. Every day people use the greeting. Every day people lie when they answer. Usually the people asking the question don’t take the time to really listen to the person’s answer. The trite answer, “Fine,” conveys no useful information. That’s the best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario is that people are lying because either they don’t want anyone to know they are not fine, or they know that the person asking isn’t interested enough to want to know the truth. Perhaps my annoyance stems from being familiar with the African way of greeting people—where the greeting lasts for anywhere from five minutes to half an hour. Unless it has changed, people in the Africa I know genuinely care about the person they are talking with, and they ask not only about the person, but also about family members.

Just as we need to be careful about how we greet others, we also need to be diligent in telling the truth.

According to Dictionary.com, truth is:

•The true or actual state of a matter

•Conformity with fact or reality; verity

•A verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like

•The state or character of being true

•Actuality or actual existence

•An obvious or accepted fact; truism; platitude

•Honesty; integrity; truthfulness

Some people claim that truth is relative, depending on people’s beliefs, character, and perspective. The Greek word aletheia is translated as “truth, truly, true, and verity” in the King James Version. It’s interesting that there is no single definition of “truth” in Greek. Instead, truth is defined by being the opposite of lies or deceit. According to Larry Pierce, who studies ancient history and publishes biblically related material, the Bible uses truth objectively regarding topics being considered, God’s character, morality, and Christianity. Truth in the Bible also describes the character of people who are “free from affection, pretense, simulation, falsehood, deceit” (Blue Letter Bible, Outline of Biblical Usage for Strong’s G225).

Jesus said we would know the truth and the truth would set us free. He also said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). We know from other passages in Scripture that God is holy, or without sin (Leviticus 11:44,45; 19:2; 20:7; 21:22; Joshua 24:19; 1 Samuel 2:2, etc. You can use a concordance to find other references.) God exemplifies truth. There is no sin in God. He is completely pure, like gold refined by fire and free of impurities. By extension, his word, the Bible, is truth: “Sanctify them by your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17).

This is the firm foundation on which we can base our faith―one that will never shift or fall apart. Hebrews 11:6 states, “And without faith it is impossible to please God.” A couple of chapters later the author reminds us that, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” We can trust in the character of God (Hebrews 13:8).

Isaiah 40:8 says, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” Faith based on God’s word is secure. Unlike the relative truth that is espoused today, God’s truth and God’s character never change. The Bible is as true today as it ever was.

From what does truth set us free? The truth of God sets us free from many things including:

•Fear – Psalm 118:6; Hebrews 13:6

•Distrust – Isaiah 12:2

•Insecurity – Deuteronomy 33:12; 2 Samuel 22:33; Psalm 16:5; Proverbs 14:26; Hebrews 6:19

•Lying – Ephesians 4:25

Truth sets us free to love God and others, with total abandon.

How do we find truth? God does not leave us to muddle our way through life, trying to find it. John 16:3 says, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.”

In Ephesians 6:14, truth is described as the belt of the armour. The belt held the scabbard, which held the sword. According to Matthew Henry, an English Puritan minister who wrote Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, “The belt girds on [secures] all the other pieces of our armour.” Without truth, our armour or protection falls off, and our enemy is able to destroy us. With truth we are no longer vulnerable, but safe.

Think About It

How is truth protecting you? From what is truth setting you free?  Journal your thoughts, or respond in another way that is meaningful to you.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you have provided your Holy Spirit and your word, the Bible, to guide us into truth. It is so easy to slip into half-truths and false inferences. Help me to diligently put on the belt of truth in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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