Summary: Just because we don't like the truth, can't handle the truth or it doesn't line up with our experience/feelings doesn't make it any less truth. Can you handle truth bombs?
Pt. 1 - Delivery
Truth is talked about a lot. It has been said that truth is different for everyone. I would beg to differ. Truth is truth because it is truth across the board. That is what makes it truth. There has to be a standard of truth by which what we believe to be true is judged. We have been very clear in our declaration that the standard for a true believer is the Word. By the way . . . Just because we don't like the truth, can't handle the truth or even if truth doesn't line up with our experience/feelings that doesn't make it any less truth.
So, over the course of the next few weeks I want to drop some truth bombs. You might ask what is a truth bomb? The urban dictionary defines a truth bomb as "a fact spoken in clear, easy to understand terms and without bias." So, my goal is to share some thoughts and ideas as simply and clearly as I can. We know truth is important because we know that truth is the basis of freedom. Truth will set you free! The logical conclusion then is that the lack of truth will keep you bound. We also need to know is that not only does truth make you free it will often also make you miserable until you embrace it.
And Saul just went wild, devastating the church, entering house after house after house, dragging men and women off to jail. Forced to leave home base, the followers of Jesus all became missionaries. Wherever they were scattered, they preached the Message about Jesus. Going down to a Samaritan city, Philip proclaimed the Message of the Messiah. When the people heard what he had to say and saw the miracles, the clear signs of God’s action, they hung on his every word. Many who could neither stand nor walk were healed that day. The evil spirits protested loudly as they were sent on their way. And what joy in the city! Previous to Philip’s arrival, a certain Simon had practiced magic in the city, posing as a famous man and dazzling all the Samaritans with his wizardry. He had them all, from little children to old men, eating out of his hand. They all thought he had supernatural powers, and called him “the Great Wizard.” He had been around a long time and everyone was more or less in awe of him. But when Philip came to town announcing the news of God’s kingdom and proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ, they forgot Simon and were baptized, becoming believers right and left! Even Simon himself believed and was baptized. From that moment he was like Philip’s shadow, so fascinated with all the God-signs and miracles that he wouldn’t leave Philip’s side. When the apostles in Jerusalem received the report that Samaria had accepted God’s Message, they sent Peter and John down to pray for them to receive the Holy Spirit. Up to this point they had only been baptized in the name of the Master Jesus; the Holy Spirit hadn’t yet fallen on them. Then the apostles laid their hands on them and they did receive the Holy Spirit, When Simon saw that the apostles by merely laying on hands conferred the Spirit, he pulled out his money, excited, and said, “Sell me your secret! Show me how you did that! How much do you want? Name your price!”Peter said, “To hell with your money! And you along with it. Why, that’s unthinkable—trying to buy God’s gift! You’ll never be part of what God is doing by striking bargains and offering bribes. Change your ways—and now! Ask the Master to forgive you for trying to use God to make money. I can see this is an old habit with you; you reek with money-lust.”“Oh!” said Simon, “pray for me! Pray to the Master that nothing like that will ever happen to me!”
This is a powerful account of a man named Simon who has an encounter with the truth of Jesus. Instantly impacted. Instant follower. Instant change. But we also know that very shortly after this change when he witnesses the power of the Holy Spirit he tries to buy the power he sees demonstrated. The Message has an interesting phrase in the account. Peter responds to Simon with this statement, "I can see this is an old habit with you!" Stop a moment and really think about that statement - Simon has a Jesus encounter. He walks away from his sorcery business. Then a few days later he goes back to trying gain power over people. An old habit according to Peter.
Here is the truth bomb for today . . . Can you handle it?