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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

If I Want to Change, Then I Need to Face the Truth

In review of Ephesians 4:21 it says, “You have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him” (NLT).

Today’s verse comes from Ephesians 4:21-24. In it, Paul says, that since I’ve heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, I’m to throw off my old sinful nature and former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew my thoughts and attitudes. I am to put on my new nature, created to be like God, truly righteous and holy.

A natural tendency for me is to think my way away from God, leaving me confused. Intellectual pride, rationalizations, and excuses keep me from God. But Paul tells me that those around me should see a difference in me, because of who I follow and the way I live. Although I have a new nature, I don't always automatically think all good thoughts and express all right attitudes. But if I keep listening to God, I will be in the process of change. Although change may be slow, it will come as I trust God to change me.

My old way of life before I believed in Christ is completely in the past. I should put it behind me like old clothes to be thrown away. When I decided to accept Christ's gift of salvation, it was both a once-for-all time decision as well as a daily conscious commitment. I am not to be driven by desire and impulse. I must put on my new nature, head in the new direction, and have the new way of thinking that the Holy Spirit gives.
The secret to personal change is not willpower. The secret is to know and face the truth. I must know and face the truth about myself and my nature if I want to change. Nothing will change in my life until I know and face the truth about my weaknesses, my relationships, my successes and failures, and my past and future. Nothing changes until I know and face the truth. And that truth is found in Jesus Christ.

It's necessary to learn the truth before anything can change because behind every self-defeating habit in my life is a lie that I believe. For example, when I got in debt, it’s because I believed some lies like “I can spend and get away with it” or “I can always pay it back.” I even overestimated how much I was going to make, or believed the lie that I needed a much more.

The Bible teaches me that personal change starts with truth. It is the truth that sets you free. The apostle Paul says, “You have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him” (Ephesians 4:21 NLT). Who is the truth? It’s Jesus, and because Jesus is the truth, he will always tell me the truth. His word is the truth. The Bible is his Word, and that means the Bible is truth (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

What I hear on television or read in books isn’t always going to help me, because it’s not always the truth. What God tells me is always going to be the truth. God’s Word shows me how to get back to the life I was created to live, and then it shows me how to stay on God’s path.

This is why it is important for me to maintain my daily quiet time in the Word of God. Nothing will change until I get the truth into my heart. As long as I build my life on a foundation of lies, misconceptions, deceptions, or half-truths, I will never change. But when I face the truth and respond to the truth, I will see change in my life.

Bottom Line:
Learn the truth that comes from Jesus.

What this means to me:
Because I follow Jesus, I will learn the truth that comes from him.

In summary, the truth comes from Jesus. I'm to get rid of my former ways of thinking and acting and instead live a life renewed by the Spirit and my learning and living out the truth. Staying connected to and getting God's Word into to my life daily is the best way for me make changes and live as he wants me to live. The secret to change in my life won't come from willpower but rather from knowing, facing and practicing the truth.

Father, this morning I ask you the help me see my weaknesses more clearly, allow me to learn from and take actions toward the truth. I trust in you for guidance and I ask for your wisdom today with how I conduct myself, how I think and how I organize and encourage others. I pray for your truth to permeate my communications and interactions with others. I want to keep from making excuses for the way things are or how things have taken place. I want to take positive actions to correct things. These things I pray in your Son Jesus name, amen!