Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Speaking Truth

This is the bible study I'm currently doing. I can't say it's a new study since I've had it for years and attempted to complete it two other times. I have never made it past Week One, Day three; until now.

One thing I took away from my study this morning comes from Ephesians 4:25, "Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH, EACH ONE of you, WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another... v. 29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear...v. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

I know many people, myself included, that grab hold of the "speak truth" part while forgetting the "give grace to those who hear" and "be kind to one another, tender-hearted." I was reminded today of John 14:6 in which "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

If Jesus is truth (and He is) and He is the truth that sets us free, then shouldn't we, shouldn't I, be speaking Him to my neighbor?

"Speaking truth" to one another has always looked more like the Law than grace. I can easily speak the truth of how a person hasn't measured up, hasn't done enough or prayed enough. I speak a hard truth to myself, to my children as well as to other people. It all falls under the "Bearing False Witness" category.

I forget that I simply need to speak the truth of Jesus. Who He is (the Christ, the Son of God), what He has done (redeemed us by His blood and set us free) and what He has given us (the Holy Spirit, every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, boldness and confident access to God).

I can speak of His faithfulness, His goodness, His mercy and the promise of His return.

I can speak of His provision, His strength, His joy and His peace.

I can speak of His ways being higher than our ways. I can speak of His promise to work things out for our good and His glory.

Dear Lord Jesus, I confess of the unwholesome words that have proceeded out of my mouth. I confess the slanderous thoughts of my mind. By Your Spirit, may I practice speaking the truth of who You are, what You have done and what You promise to do to those that believe You and call upon Your name as their Savior. May the words of my mouth be good for building up according to the need of the moment. May my words give grace, the unearned, unmerited favor You provide, to those who hear. Amen.

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