The TRUTH about YOU

“Let me tell you the truth,” is not a phrase that generally prefaces a pleasant conversation. Often ‘the truth’ is that person’s perception of some failure. Sometimes, however, what follows are words that encourage us, that remind us of what may have forgotten while under pressure.  In the last three years since Bev went home to Heaven a friend in my life consistently lifts my eyes to hope. The “truth” offered particularly helped me not to drown in grief in those critical months after Bev’s death.  “The truth” has reset my perspective so that I can see God’s plan and press on days when it seems that there is only chaos and disappointment.

In the opening of his letter to us, Peter tells the truth to us! Inspired by the Spirit, his words are healing and hopeful. Sometimes we tend to skip the opening lines of those New Testament letters, as if they were just stock greetings, but they are so much more than just than that. Look! “This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the lands of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, the province of Asia, and Bithynia. God the Father chose you long ago, and the Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Jesus Christ and are cleansed by his blood. May you have more and more of God’s special favor and wonderful peace.” (1 Peter 1:1-2, NLT)

Go back and look at those words that I put in boldface. Chosen! Holy! Cleansed!

God, in His omniscience, is unbounded by time. He lives in eternity. Let this fact amaze you as you ponder that He knew of you before you were even conceived and made it possible for you to become His beloved child. Why? Because we were lovely? No. Because we did something remarkable? No. He acts according to His own purposes to bring us to Himself, acting on us through His Spirit, drawing us to Himself. “Chosen” is no reason for pride as in “I am better than you because I was chosen for the team.”  If that is how you read this word that Peter uses, you have entirely missed the point. We draw great assurance from the fact that He has opened the door to knowing Him, that He is at work to bring us ‘home’ to His family. Are you living as a ‘chosen’ one, responsive to His invitation to daily grace?

When we receive His gift of grace, by faith, there is a change in us. We start to become holy. There is a caricature of ‘holiness’ that persists among us that sees it only as an exaggerated kind of ‘nice,’ a mild-mannered, inoffensive, naïve person. The word is richer in meaning. To be holy is to be ‘set apart’ for the purposes of God, to understand the high calling of being useful in His hand. People who grasp their purpose, who have a clear understanding of their abilities, can become focused and greatly effective.

Tom Brady, the QB of the Patriots, (that is an American football team, by the way) is single-minded in his pursuit of excellence. He is intense, spends endless hours honing his skills, and refuses to be distracted by the things his fame and wealth could afford him. In a sense he has made himself ‘holy’ for the sake of football. It shows in his accomplishments.

God calls each one of us to serve Him as holy people. The Spirit gifts us with abilities and opportunities and if we understand that we are to be ‘holy,’ we answer His call. Don’t confuse the call to be ‘holy’ with a call to vocational ministry. Not all of God’s people become pastors or church workers, but ALL have a place in Christ’s work in the world. Are you presenting yourself to Him as one who is holy?

Peter reminds us that we are clean through the blood of Christ!  Are you paralyzed by regret? Are you a captive of guilt or shame, held back from fully loving and serving the Lord because you feel unworthy, or because you can only remember some past sin or present temptation?  Sin is real.  We should not try to excuse or ignore those things that are shameful, but those things can be left behind because of the Cross of Christ. There He took our guilt on Himself and presented His with forgiveness and restoration.  Sinful?  Yes, “that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11, NIV)

It is time to believe the Truth about yourself.  The enemy of God and good is a liar. He works hard to present us with distortions about God, about the world, about ourselves. God offers us the Truth. Will you accept it, live in it, and know the blessings found in Him?

Here is a word from the Word. “To the Jews who had believed him, 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 8:31-32, NIV)

The Truth will make YOU free.


O Come To The Altar

Are you hurting and broken within
Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin
Jesus is calling
Have you come to the end of yourself
Do you thirst for a drink from the well
Jesus is calling

O come to the altar
The Father’s arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ

Leave behind your regrets and mistakes
Come today there’s no reason to wait
Jesus is calling
Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy
From the ashes a new life is born
Jesus is calling

Oh what a Savior
Isn’t he wonderful
Sing alleluia Christ is risen
Bow down before him
For he is Lord of all
Sing alleluia Christ is risen

Bear your cross as you wait for the crown
Tell the world of the treasure you’ve found

Chris Brown | Mack Brock | Steven Furtick | Wade Joye

© 2015 Music by Elevation Worship Publishing (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC)

CCLI License # 810055

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