June 20, 2019
The Only Unchanging Source of Truth
“Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” John 8:31b-32 (NIV)
C.S. Lewis wrote, “You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.” This lesson took on even greater depth and meaning for me when I turned 16.
I had a newly minted driver’s license and was loving the freedom it brought me.
One of the most important safety lessons I learned in Driver’s Education focused on a seat belt: I was more likely to survive a car accident if the belt was properly fastened. I’m glad I took this information as truth.
After having my license for only a few months, I was at a stoplight when I heard brakes screeching. I glanced in my rearview mirror and saw a car headed straight for me. There was nothing I could do to avoid the collision and braced for the impact.
Then, a loud crash and my screams. A car going at least 45 mph had slammed into me.
Glass shattered all around. I was terrified, so I quickly put the car in park, unbuckled and got out. Thankfully, nothing was broken or bleeding. Praise God, both the other driver and I were relatively unharmed. With my first car totaled, I was grateful to walk away with only whiplash.
That experience early in my driving career taught me to value the fact — the truth — that wearing a seat belt increases safety and saves lives. This truth wasn’t something I could throw around, telling my friends, “Seat belts may be true for you, but who are you to say they are my truth?” I had experienced the truth of seat belts for myself, and I was convinced!
Perhaps you’ve experienced this as well — that truth in the end is immovable and unavoidable. Often, we come to terms with the truth when we have no other choice. The truth is like light. It illuminates and exposes what is real. This is why Jesus claimed if people followed Him and His teachings, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
When life gets messy and everything around us comes crashing down, we long for an anchor in the storm that’s unchanging, timeless and true — just like that seat belt that safely held me in my totaled-car accident. And I’ve found that out of anything I’ve ever read or heard, the Bible is the only sure and unchanging source of truth in this life.
This is a wonderful message, except our culture tells us another set of messages:
Objective truth is unknowable.
Ultimately, it comes down to your interpretation.
Ultimately, it comes down to you and what you think.
But these are lies.
Our generation generally hesitates to accept any truth outside of personal experience and opinion. We like to avoid arguments about personal behavior, morals, politics and religion by employing the well-worn phrase, “Well, whatever works for you; we all have our own truths.”
What if truth is not just a point of view? What if truth is not just a list of rules — yours, ours or anyone else’s? What if truth is not the ever-changing crowd consensus, but instead, is a person whom you get to know and who knows you? This person’s story is told in the Bible. His name is Jesus.
Jesus offers the kind of freedom that comes from living and breathing what is true. Instinctively, we can appreciate this and recognize we have a need for this kind of stability. Not only that, but knowing Jesus is the key to life or death for all eternity.
Our generation hungers for an answer and desires to find something valuable we can believe in and trust. While we’re an informed generation, linked together by technology, aware of many of the answers our culture provides, our instinctive hunger for truth continues, and we experience a gnawing dissatisfaction.
The good news is that there is an answer to this quest for truth, found in the Bible. The Bible isn’t just here to offer us rules. The Bible offers a relationship with the Truth. Just like the main hero in an epic narrative, Jesus is the key to all of life. Yours. Mine. And the whole world’s.
Lord, we pray that our hearts would be focused on the central story of Your Word — namely, the work You have accomplished through Jesus Christ. May this cause us to focus more on knowing You, bringing glory to Your Name. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Matthew 5:17-18, “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.” (NLT)
So, maybe you're skeptical about the Bible ... thankfully, you're not alone! For hope for the next generation’s Bible engagement, check out Michael and Lauren McAfee’s book, Not What You Think: Why the Bible Might Be Nothing We Expected Yet Everything We Need
How’d you like to win a copy of Not What You Think? To celebrate this new book, Lauren’s publisher is giving away 5 copies! Just leave your thoughts in our comments section by Monday, June 24, and we’ll notify the winners there.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Think about your own quest for truth in life. How does knowing that God’s Word is constant and unchanging affect your everyday life?
© 2019 by Lauren McAfee. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.
Originally published Thursday, 20 June 2019.