By Paul Bawden
As we see the different happenings in the USA and the world, such is a very relevant question. Why so?
Without truth, a person is cast out on the sea of uncertainty with no return. In fact, truth is the basis for the fulfillment and spiritual health of any individual’s life, a family’s life, our nation, yes, any country of the world.
Which brings up another question, “What is truth?” A famous question Pilate asked Jesus. Obviously, man can’t be truth. He may have some knowledge of truth, but he is here today and gone tomorrow. Since he is changeable, he can change things to fit how he wants to think, speak, and act. Just look at what’s taking place in the USA and other countries of the world.
For consider: harmful words spoken, the breakup of the family, drug use, the pushing of equity rather than equality, adultery, murder, envy, pride, deceit, intimidation, lust, cheating, stealing, lying, changing what marriage is, and aborting babies in the womb. Add to this Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the threats from China, North Korea, and Iran. Then there are policies of the US government causing economic hardship for many families, while promoting immorality that can harm adults and children, along with the mess at the US southern border. It’s clear, that when individuals and governments think that they have the truth, results are chaotic and can be lethal.
That means, for there to be truth, truth must come from outside of ourselves, and be that which is ultimate reality and doesn’t change. Such is not accepted in the public square. Why so? For that is saying that ultimate objective reality has a source that is not in man, but in God, really the biblical God who is our Creator, while being eternal, the same yesterday, today, and forever (Psalm 90:2; Heb. 13:8). Since the biblical God is eternal, He is also truth – ultimate objective reality – He doesn’t lie (Heb. 6:16).
Since the biblical God is our Creator and Truth, He gave instructions (truth) in His Word, the Bible, by which His people can live and have fulfilled lives physically and spiritually. One of the greatest of these truths is found in the teachings of Jesus Christ. “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, and mind . . . . You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The apostle Paul added this to Christ’s words, “For love does no wrong to a neighbor, for love is the fulfillment of the law (Matt. 22:37-40; Rom. 13:10).
What a challenge those words are to each of us. Is there anyone who can keep them completely? Only one I know of is Jesus Christ, who is Truth (John 14:6). In keeping them completely in His life, He was able to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our breaking them, which is death, was buried, and conquered the grave bodily to provide all who believe in Him His forgiveness and eternal life. Now believers in Christ, by depending on the Holy Spirit’s power (Gal. 5:16), can live out God’s truth to love God with one’s heart, soul, and mind, and to love one’s neighbor as one’s self. God’s truth is supernatural – it changes a person from thinking one is truth, to one realizing that it’s only through God’s truth that a person can live a life of true holy and lasting fulfillment here with the hope of some day being in eternity with Him.
So how are we doing in our individual lives, in our family lives, in our nation, and around the world? Honestly, we need to do better for our lives, our nation, and our world to hold together. By believers continuing to genuinely love God and their neighbors as themselves, and others accepting Christ as the Truth, and sincerely loving Him and their neighbors as themselves, 2023 can be filled with His truth of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, forgiveness, acceptance, fulfillment, harmony, and hope, which God desires for each of us to experience.
Paul Bawden is married and served in the pastoral ministry for 45 years, retiring in 2011. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Speech and attended Dallas Theological Seminary, receiving a Master of Theology. He has taken counseling courses at Trinity Evangelical Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois. Paul is a lifetime member of the Evangelical Free Church of America, as well as being a member of Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM), which serves churches during their time of transition in searching for a new pastor. He writes for Union Gospel Press, as well as being a volunteer writer for GotQuestions.org. Paul likes to write, read, bike, and work in the yard. The Bawdens have had the privilege to travel to Mexico and Romania on mission trips and visited various countries in Europe.
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