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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

If I Want to Change, I Have 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 is Ephesians 4:21. It’s speaks of living as children of light. Paul tells me that I should no longer live as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused, minds full of darkness; with hearts hardened against God. Since I have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, I am to throw off my old sinful nature and former way of life. Instead I am to let the Spirit renew my thoughts and attitudes.

People should be able to see a difference in me because of the way I live. I'm now a person of light. I'm leaving behind my old ways. Living for Christ is and will be a lifelong process. I won't automatically think all good thoughts and express all right attitudes. But If I keep listening to God, I will be changing all the time.

What I’m learning is that the secret to personal change is not willpower. The secret is to know and face the truth. You must know and face the truth about myself, my relationships, and my own nature.

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 that is found in Jesus Christ.

Why is it necessary to learn the truth before anything can change in your life? Here’s why: Behind every self-defeating habit in my life is a lie that I believe. If you get in debt, it’s because you believed some lie like, “I can spend and get away with it” or “I can always pay it back.” You might have overestimated how much you were going to make, or you believed the lie that you needed a much bigger house. But do I? Am I sure it’s the truth? Can I prove it’s the truth? Am I absolutely certain that what I believe I’ve said about my finances is true?

When it comes to relationships, what about the things I say to myself about myself? Is the way I think about my past or about some event the truth, or is the truth what God says about it?

The Bible teaches that personal change starts with truth. It is the truth that sets me 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? Jesus, and because Jesus is the truth, he will always tell you 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 isn’t always going to help me, because it’s not always the truth. What I read in books isn’t always the truth. But 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 so important for me to continue to have a daily quiet time in the Word of God: Change requires learning the truth. 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 begin to see change in my life.

Bottom Line:
Live differently, now that you have heard about Jesus and learned the truth from
him.

What this means to me:
I am now living a differently light, one that others should be able to see a difference in, because I follow him and are learning the truth that comes from him.

In summary, since I have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from me, I can throw off my old sinful nature and ways of living. Instead I can let the Spirit renew my thoughts and attitudes. People around me should be able to see a difference in me because I am following Jesus and learning/practicing his truths. Living for Christ is a and will be a lifelong process. I won't automatically think good thoughts and express the right attitudes, however, If I keep listening to God, I will be changing all the time. The secret to change is not willpower, but for me to know and face the truth. Behind every self-defeating habit in my life is a lie that I believe. It's important to learn the truth, for  it's the truth that will set me free. What God tells me is always going to be the truth. God's Word will show me how to get back to the life I was created to live, and shows me how to stay on the path.

Father, thank you for helping me daily to see and learn your truths. I pray this morning for your wisdom and guidance in my role at work, in my leadership and in my interactions with others. This I pray in your Son Jesus name, amen!

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