Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began 3 and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior;
In the movie A Few Good Men, one of the more famous movie lines ever spoken was by Jack Nicholson’s character (Col. Nathan R. Jessep) as he’s being examined in a military court by Tom’s Cruise’s character (Lt. Daniel Kaffee). Lt. Kaffee tells Col. Jessep, “I want the truth!”, to which Col. Jessep replies, “you can’t handle the truth!” I can still see Jack Nicholson’s scowl as he screams those words.
Some people can’t seem to handle the truth, but in order to grow in Christ we must know and apply the truth of God’s Word to our lives. A.W. Tozer once stated,
“The Christian is strong or weak depending upon how closely he has cultivated the knowledge of God…Without meaning to do it we have written our serious fault into our book titles and gospel songs. ‘A little talk with Jesus’ we sing and we call our books ‘God’s Minute’, or something else as revealing. The Christian who is satisfied to give God His ‘minute’ and to have ‘a little talk with Jesus’ is the same one who shows up at the…service weeping over his retarded spiritual growth and begging the evangelist to show him the way out of his difficulty. We may as well accept it; there is no shortcut to sanctity”
There is no shortcut to sanctity …those are stinging words of truth. Unintentionally at times, we settle in to this mentality that just a little bit of Jesus will do. Just a touch of Scripture and prayer over our meals is enough to call ourselves faithful Children of God. The truth is that no child of God grows this way. Growth in Christ takes a deep commitment to prayer and the study and application of God’s Word. It’s more than just a little devotional in the morning. As excited as I am that you are reading this devotional, my true prayer is that it will spark a much deeper desire in your heart to pursue Christ with all that you are and all that you have.
The word here for knowledge is the word “epignosis” in the Greek language. It is not speaking of mere mental assent, it is referring to full and complete knowledge. Paul is saying here that true godliness comes from a full and complete knowledge of Christ Jesus, a true experiential knowledge that goes beyond the words on a printed page to life testimony. Some people can tell you what the Bible says, but someone who is truly walking with Jesus does what it says and exemplifies the grace of Christ in his or her life.
So, can you handle the truth? Do you know what the Bible says and have you applied Christ’s teachings to your life? Do you know Jesus from experience or just by words on a page? Can you testify of what He’s done in your own life or just tell about what He did for others in the Bible? Immerse yourself deep into the Word and prayer. Ask the Lord to speak to your heart through His Holy Spirit. Seek Him continually with your entire heart and He will impart Himself to you.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, you said that we will know the truth in You and the truth will set us free. Lord I desire to know and apply Your truth to my life. I want to obey Your Word Lord, so Lord speak to my heart today. In Jesus name, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?