Summary: In most of our experiences, we find that it does not pay to be truthful and we end up not liking and not trusting the truth. We need to learn to love the truth, learn the truth and live the truth. We are most like our Lord when we are truthful.
Show video clip: Heart2Heart [Take A Look At Me]
People hide their true selves. It's been said that honesty is the best policy.
• It sounds like the simplest thing in the world; but being truly honest – with God, with others and even with ourselves - is a real challenge.
In the courtrooms, you can hear this one line repeated over and over again, every day - “I will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”
• A person in the witness stand is made to say this before the judge – with one hand on the Bible (or whatever he believes in) and the other raise in the air – he makes this pledge.
• It is man’s attempt at making sure that the person will speak the truth, and nothing but the truth.
A store manager heard his clerk tell a customer, “No, ma’am, we haven’t had any for a while, and it doesn’t look as if we’ll be getting any soon.”
Horrified, the manager came running over to the customer and said, “Of course we’ll have some soon. We placed an order last week.”
Then the manager drew the clerk aside. “Never,” he snarled, “Never, never, never say we’re out of anything - say we’ve got it on order and it’s coming. Now, what was it she wanted anyway?”
The clerk said, “Rain!”
Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6)
• In the Gospels, you read this line often. Jesus starts his sentences many times with “I tell you the truth…” - 30 times in the book of Matthew alone.
• He does not just say the truth, but lives it. What you see is WHO He is. What you hear is WHAT is true. No hypocrisy, no camouflage. No mask.
Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. 19We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
This is one thing God CANNOT do. He cannot lie. God’s Word cannot be false.
• Yet He took an oath to confirm it, making a covenant to affirm it, so that by TWO unchangeable things – His Word and His Oath, we can be very sure of the hope we have.
• God speaks the truth. He is the truth. ‘What you see is what you get, the real thing!’
In the OT there is this incident. Prophet Balaam was asked by the King of Moab, King Balak to curse the people of Israel when they were encamped along Jordan (opposite Jericho), in Numbers 23.
• But instead of curses, the prophet ended blessing Israel, because God puts words of blessings in his mouth.
• And then God had this message for King Balak: “19God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? 20I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it.” (Num 23:19-20)
We are called to be just like Christ. We are witnesses of the truth.
• Imagine being called to the witness stand. Your job is to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
• You are not to expand upon it nor dilute it. Just present it as it is.
• The judge may be unseen, the bench may be vacant, but the world is watching. The world is the jury.
There is, however, one difference between the witness in court and the witness for Christ.
• The witness in court eventually steps down from the stand after a few minutes.
• You are under strict scrutiny, but that last only for a few minutes.
• We as witnesses for Christ today, never do step down. The court in our life is perpetually in session, and we remain under oath.
• We must stay truthful and faithful to God, until the end.
For the Christian, deception is never an option.
• It wasn’t an option for Jesus, and it is never an option for us.
• Max Lucado says, God’s desire is not to decrease or minimize deception in our life but to eliminate it altogether.
• Prov 12:22 “The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.” The ninth commandment says: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.” KJV (Exo 20:16)