Speaking The Truth

Saturday, November 5, 2022
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Listen while you read: "A Shelter In The Time Of Storm"1 (Lyrics)

Ephesians 4:15 – Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. (NIV)

There's something heavy that has been weighing on my heart for several years. It sometimes causes me to wake up in the middle of the night and sadly reflect on how some people that I dearly love are being misled by what is untrue, unjust, and even unchristian. I see them being drawn into a web of lies by charismatic personalities who only want to sway them in order to create chaos and make money from the confusion. As a pastor, I consider myself a shepherd of God's people, and I want to bring them back into the fold of faith and common sense, away from this influence. But I can't seem to find the right words of caution or the genuine reasons that will convince them to let go of the falsehoods that are actually harming them.

The apostle Paul also went through similar times, especially when corrupt leaders in the early church tried to move people away from Christ and toward themselves. Paul was gravely concerned about how this would affect the faith of the young congregations that he had helped to plant, so he decided to speak the truth lovingly, in order to guide the new Christians in Ephesus — and elsewhere — to recognize what was wrong and get them back on the right path to faith, hope, and love. It wasn't an easy thing to do — confronting foolishness and falsehoods often led to conflict for Paul. But he felt compelled to speak the truth in love, so that all who would listen and respond could reflect on their choices and recognize that they had been totally manipulated by the wrong ideas, bad leaders, and false theories.

So, for the people whom I love so dearly, I need to speak the truth in love because this is what Christ compels me to do, for the sake of their souls and the well-being of their lives. Perhaps you, too, have friends who need to be guided back to the right path.

I leave you with this beautiful verse from Paul which encourages all the followers of Jesus to be Christlike by producing and practicing the fruits of the Spirit as we guide others to the truth of Christ's teachings:

Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NIV)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You always speak truly and lovingly. Forgive us for our foolish notions and for clinging to false words and ways. Help us to seek the truth and to find our faith again. In Your holy name, we humbly pray. Amen.

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About the author:

John Stuart <traqair@aol.com>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    I will be praying for you.

    Thanks, John, for the sage words.

    Wise words for unsettling times, John. Thank you.

    Great job. I love your devotional and agree totally.
    God Bless You.

    Brother John. Very well done; you walked the fine line deftly and made your point.

    Thanks, pastor, for the encouraging devotional and a pragmatic emphasis on caritas.

    I too John am deeply troubled about the trash being marketed even here in Canada. Without truth we have no roots or anchor. Blessings.

    Very well stated. I too am concerned by people I know who are choosing to listen to popular speakers rather take the time to carefully consider the consequences.

    Amen! may I remember these words. I have written it all down to put on my fridge door, hoping it will be a daily reminder for me. Thank you.
    (N S)

    Praise God for people like you who are willing to tell the truth. This country is in a bad place and only prayer and following Christ Jesus will lead us home. Keep everyone in your prayers!

    Thank you for your wisdom and courage to encourage those of us who do not know how to approach people who are following the wrong path in our families.

    Amen, John! Praying that Truth will win the day, that the lies will be silenced, and that those promoting them for their own gain and profit will be shown up for the frauds that they are. May God save our country.

    Thank you, John, for another of your special writings and very good advice. Yes, in today’s world so many people are easily led astray to take the wrong path in life. If only more people would follow those words of Paul in Galatians 5, our present world would certainly be a more peaceful place. Blessings got these encouraging and mindful writings you do.

    John, Paul’s example of always speaking the Truth in love rings true today. Paul was willing to suffer for speaking the truth. It cost him. Am I willing to suffer loss for the sake of the truth when I might encounter resistance and alienation? That is my test of obedience. Thanks for this good example. Praying for us all that we endeavor to speak truth in love.

    Good morning, John
    Thanks for sharing your concerns for our future. Although we live in Canada, we are very upset with the caustic atmosphere around some of the leaders in your country and watch the news feeling helpless as we will be affected by the outcome of actions there.
    Our prayers are with you that God’s teachings will prevail over greed and ignorance.

    Hello John.
    I am not a pastor, but I am an elder and I know what you meant in today’s devotional. We certainly need to keep those folks in prayer. However, I feel we cannot allow ourselves to feel responsible for their actions and decisions. God calls us to preach and teach his word, but the results of our doing are in His hands, not ours. Take heart.
    May God continue to bless you and your ministry.

    I am Canadian, living in Canada and I pray daily that our neighbors and friends in the USA can find a peaceful resolution to what appears to be such anger, chaos, and divisiveness. These are truly trying times, with so much conflict, poverty, and need in so many countries of the world, including both USA and Canada. It is time for the followers of any belief system that preaches human kindness to speak up and begin mending this broken world. In Jesus name, I pray.

    Dear John,
    I can feel how important this problem is for you as a pastor. It is hard to see ones we love get lost in the misinformation that is being delivered by other leaders.
    Your message is encouraging and how we give our message using the fruits of the spirit is also very important so our message can be heard in the light of Jesus. God does not want us to give up and feel hopeless. Paul is a great example because he was persecuted, but he did not give up with telling others about Jesus.
    Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts and feelings. Blessing and joy

    Dear John,
    Thank you for your devotional today. I too feel your concern and heaviness of heart at times, but God’s Word is a powerful elixir! I was also led to the Fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5 earlier today and know the Holy Spirit helps us to produce and know such fruit which honours our Lord and leads others to Him who is “the way, the truth, and the life”.
    I am thankful for your writing throughout the years. May God continue to bless you and keep you in His loving care.
    (ON, Canada)

    Thank you, John, I definitely needed to read your message today. I am dealing with a very delicate situation with a granddaughter, whom I love so much. She is totally lost, and she has finally opened up to me what is going on, this has taken years. I think we are on the right path, but it is going to take time, she doesn’t believe anymore, and I firmly do. I am telling her she is still valuable to God, as each of us are. I am Grandma, and I know we still love each other, but oh my, we have many thorns to walk over before we get her back in the fold. I don’t want to lose her. I am finding that she has been through much more trauma, then I could ever have imagined. God Bless you for this message.

    Thank you and good morning. This a great concern for so many of us, I am sure. I know I had the right words to help take the blinders off loved ones and others I come across. If I can ask you, I have a problem with different ones selling homemade items, cookies, etc. After church at the back. This is still the sanctuary. It was explained that this is different from the verse in the Bible. Jesus overturned the tables of one who brought things to sell in order to have their sins forgiven. Here the money is used for something the church might need. It is like asking what commandment is ok to overlook. Can you shed some light on this for me please?
    Thank you and God bless.

    Thank you for this Beautiful Devotional, John Stuart. The practice of the Truth can be seen in John 8:31-32 English Standard Version
    The Truth Will Set You Free
    31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” GOD BLESS YOU.

    Amen and amen, John. To God be the glory.

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.

    Thanks, John. I have friends who are drawn to these preachers as well.

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