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Daily Encounter: A Week-day Devotional by Richard (Dick) Innes of ACTS International.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Truth or Lies?

"Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts."1

The first mate on a ship decided to celebrate an occasion with a "little" stowed away rum. Unfortunately, he got drunk and was still drunk the next morning.

The captain saw him drunk and when the first mate was sober, showed him the following entry in the ship's log: "The first mate was drunk today."

"Captain, please don't let that stay in the log," the mate said. "This could add months or years to my becoming a captain myself."

"Is what I wrote true?" asked the captain, already knowing the answer.

"Yes, its true." the mate said.

"Then if it is true it has to go in the log. That's the rule. If it's true, it goes into the log, end of discussion," said the captain sternly.

Weeks later, it was the first mate's turn to make the log entries. So the first mate wrote: "The ship seems in good shape. The Captain was sober today."2

Jokes aside, people can make things say or appear to be whatever they want them to say or be. The reality is that we see things not the way they are but the way we are. And the more untruthful (dishonest) we are with ourselves, the more we will distort all other truth, including God's truth, to make it match our perception of reality and to have it say what we want it to say. In other words we exchange the truth for a lie.

Not all, but many politicians are masters of deceit. They pull things out of context and twist them to appear what they are not. They make promises they cannot keep. They accuse political opponents of not fixing problems that they themselves have no way of fixing—all to gain votes. On the news this week the governor of one state was blaming another politician for insufficient jobs in her state. I would like to have asked her what she was doing about the problem in her state and why didn't she fix it. Far too many politicians have become unbelievable. What we need today, as another has said, are statesmen, not politicians.

Of even more serious and damaging consequences are those created by the many today who twist God's Word to say what they want it to say. They call abortion pro-choice. They call the person they are living in sin with their significant other. They say the acceptance of homosexuality and gay marriage is a new work God is doing among us! They seek to destroy the very foundations that make a country great. In all of these they have exchanged "God's truth for a lie." If we sow the wind, as God's truth warns, we will reap the whirlwind.

Only the truth will ever set us free.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, as a nation as a whole we have turned our back on you, we have disregarded your Word, we have forgotten all the blessings you have so freely bestowed on us, we have taken the glory for ourselves, and we have turned your truth into a lie. Have mercy on us. Forgive us of our sins and send a great spiritual awakening that we might turn back to you and follow your ways. And please start your work in me. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Romans 1:24-26 (NIV).
2. Submitted by Stan Kegel kegel@fea.net. Cited on Bill's Punch Line


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