Read: 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:17-21; Psalm 12:6
Twice this week, I have been reminded of an invaluable truth. Once while talking with my brother and a second time as I was preparing to write this devotion. The truth that came to mind? When two authors present facts that offer contradictory information, both can't be true. May I explain?
First, my brother and I were talking on the phone. The subject was gardening. We had to laugh because two blogs so often state ideas that are polar opposite from each other. One lauds the virtue of using a particular fertilizer and the next one says that same fertilizer is useless or even detrimental to the plants? Which one is right? Of course, since it concerns gardening, we're free to try either of the opposing methods and discover for ourselves which is true. It isn't a big deal.
Second, as I was putting thoughts together this morning, I looked up a quote purported to have been said by General Patton. A few sources elaborated on the quote, but a couple of other references stated that he had never made the statement that had been attributed to him. Now there is no wiggle room here. Either General Patton spoke the words or he didn't. Yet, which was true? I wasn't certain. I surely didn't want to base a word picture on a quote that might not have been spoken at all; so, I decided to not even continue down the road on which I was going to travel. Another devotion bites the dust!
What a reminder that in spite of what is so often said, there is absolute truth, and if two statements are given as truth, and they are in opposition to each other, one is false. How I thank the Lord that we aren't left dangling out in the air with no way of knowing where to find truth. No, we find it in God's Word which is flawless, Psalm 12:6. What God has revealed in the scriptures is the foundation on which we stand because it is truth, John 17:17.
How strange this must seem to those who believe that facts that are polar opposites can both be true. No wonder the narrow road on which we walk appears to be a place of finger pointing and narrow-mindedness to so many. Yet, in areas where we would most likely all agree, the careful application of absolute truth saves lives. For example, in the medical field. After I broke my wrist and when I was being prepared for surgery, I was asked on more than one occasion to state my name and which wrist was broken. How glad I was that they operated on the correct wrist. It is my understanding that the use of a simple check list concerning the details of a task has aided in the elimination of errors in other professions as well.
Some might wonder why we who love Jesus are so insistent that the scriptures are the source of truth on which we base all that we believe, 2 Timothy 3:16-17. It is because in the Bible we discover the important precious truths about ourselves and about Almighty God. It is here that we learn truth we could not have otherwise known. Before looking a bit into these foundational truths, let's talk about why we believe the Bible. Why does God Himself say that we can trust His Word? One of the times He has answered this question is found in Isaiah 46:9-10. It is there that the Lord speaks of His uniqueness. He is the only God. The One Who declares as fact what hasn't yet occurred. He confidently announces what will happen, Isaiah 44:26; Isaiah 44:28; Psalm 33:11, and He is always right. He declares and has proven to be without error and totally trustworthy.
So, what has this Holy One said about us and Himself? About each of us, The One Who speaks only truth, Titus 1:2, has said that none of us is righteous, nor does anyone truly seek after Him, Romans 3:10-12. Therefore, not even someone whose life seems to us to be exemplary may boldly approach God clothed in his own merits. I know that surely seems strange to those who aren't guided by what the scriptures declare about us, but let's continue by looking at what the Bible says about Almighty God.
About God, the Bible says He is unique and Holy. It is only those whose sins have been forgiven who can approach Him. Again, how odd this might sound to those who are used to thinking of God as one who takes many forms and is called by many names. He is often thought of as one who can be approached in any way that seems appropriate for the worshiper. It is thought by many that what is important to the deity is that people approach him with sincerity or with good intentions.
Back to my wrist. What if I had awakened from the anesthetic to the news that they had operated on the one that wasn't broken? Would sincerity have meant that there wasn't a correct procedure that still needed to be done?
Jesus Himself made it clear that there is only one way to God, and He is that Way, John 14:6. Paul echoes that in 1 Timothy 2:5 and again in Galatians 2:21. Luke gives the same message in Acts 4:12. The scriptures are filled with absolute truth. Precious truths about ourselves and the Creator/Redeemer Who loves us, John 3:16. They all hang on these initial truths we have shared which are like the hub of the wheel.
Unlike gardening where the application of truth is not life or death, the body of truth concerning the Holy One and ourselves is of the utmost importance. We don't dare disregard it because where we will spend eternity is decided in this life. We choose. It is God Who has said that it is not open to debate, and He is clear because it is His desire that everyone be saved, 2 Peter 3:9.
Lord, Thank You that You have clearly spoken concerning what is true. You alone are always right. Help us to share Your message with great love and boldness, Acts 4:29 and please open many hearts to Your truth, Acts 16:14.