Friday, November 14, 2008

Our Father Is the Lord of Truth

"The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" frequently seems like an endangered commodity. It's not just that there's been an overall breakdown in morality (however defensible that position may be); and it's not just that the best of us tell "little white lies" to make ourselves look good, avoid trouble, and spare others' feelings. It's also that the more vocal elements of our society now regularly feed the idea that the world is full of falsehood, perhaps creating an impression of more than is actually there, by throwing the accusation of "liar" at whatever political, media, or special-interest groups they disagree with. No longer is it sufficient insult to call an opponent a fool or an idiot; whoever fails to support one's own position is assumed to be not only dead wrong, but dishonest and malicious as well.

This is hardly to deny that deliberate lies are all too common, or that most people lie, even to themselves ("It won't hurt if I sin just a little"), a lot more than they'd ever admit. Nor is there any doubt that people can firmly believe blatant falsehoods; the idea that something can be "true for whoever believes it," without regard to any external facts, is ludicrous. And deliberate lies are indeed at the root of most of the world's problems; the devil isn't called "a liar and the father of lies" (John 8:44, NIV) for nothing.

In direct contrast, Jesus stated, "I am the... truth" (John 14:6). Notice that He didn't just say, "I always tell the truth," but "I am the truth." He is the epitome and originator of Truth; there is no trace of falsehood in Him. God may frequently act in ways we find hard to understand; He may not always give us all the facts (one clue as to why not is in John 16:12 [emphasis added]: "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear"); but He will never lie to us or lead us astray. In a world where every public announcement and many a private promise invite often well-deserved cynicism (who really believes that "your call is very important to us"?), it's good to know there is Someone Whose Word we can rely on.

And in a world where even small acts of honesty can catch people's attention, it's also good if we serve as His living advertisements by following His truthful example.

Our Father is the Lord of Truth,
Our Christ the Truth made real:
His Word will always guide us right,
No matter how we feel.

Our Father is the Lord of Truth:
In Him is not a trace
Of any malice or deceit,
And falsehood has no place.

And those who would deny His Truth
And scorn His holy creeds
May yet discern His shining Light
Within His servants' deeds,

For when a life reflects God's Truth,
It shows to others' eyes
A glimmer of the Truth beyond,
In Whom salvation lies.

Our Father is the Lord of Truth:
In Him the smallest things
Can win new souls into His Light,
Where joy and glory sings.

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