Daily Devotion for April 13, 2017

'Uncomfortable Truths'

John 8:12-15, 19-30 NLT
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” So the Pharisees said to Him, “You are testifying about Yourself; Your testimony is not true.” Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. You judge according to the flesh...You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” These words He spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one seized Him, because His hour had not yet come.
Then He said again to them, “I go away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come.” So the Jews were saying, “Surely He will not kill Himself, will He, since He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” And He was saying to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” So they were saying to Him, “Who are You?” Jesus said to them, “What have I been saying to you from the beginning? I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world.” They did not realize that He had been speaking to them about the Father. So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him.

Observation: notice that Jesus spoke some harsh truth to those who claimed to be God's people (“you do not know where I come from or where I am going; You judge according to the flesh; You know neither Me nor My Father; where I am going, you cannot come; I am from above; you are of this world; you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins”). He was teaching Jews “in the section of the Temple known as the Treasury” when these words were spoken. The Savior didn't hold back the truth. He told people the truth even though it upset some and made others angry, because it also did something else, something wonderful: “As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him”...

Many came to believe in Him” because the uncomfortable Truth is EXACTLY what people need to hear, folks! The Holy Spirit uses The Truth to “convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment” (John 16:8). Those enabled by the Holy Spirit (“who leads into all truth” John 14:17), they hear the Truth, receive the Truth, and come to “know the Truth...the Truth” that sets them “FREE” (John 8:32)! When the Truth is received, new Believers become beloved children of God! Moreover, they also become “mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within (them, they) become more and more like Him and reflect His glory even more” (2 Corinthians 3:16-18)! So the harsh Truth (“unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins”), the harsh Truth needs to be told—it needs to be heard so people can receive it and be made FREE from sin, FREE to live for Christ, and FREE “to serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13)...

Heavenly Father, help us Believers to faithfully (out of love) tell others The Truth, which includes the uncomfortable truth that all are sinners, and that people “WILL DIE” in their sins if they do not believe in the Son. On the other hand, the Truth also includes the wonderful Good News about the life, forgiveness, and love Your Son freely offers! Make us heralds who declare Your Truth, Father—sensitive to Your Spirit's leading, and bold when given opportunities to speak Your Truth—so others can be set free by Jesus! We ask this in Your Son's name...

AMEN!

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