A Lenten Devotional, Day 20

This season, we’re blessed with a set of Lenten devotionals by contributing author Lee Hinkle.  Find out more about Lee at the bottom of this article, or at hinkledownunder.com.

Reading

John 8:12-30 (ESV)

Meditation

When I was growing up, Josh McDowell had a book entitled Evidence that Demands a Verdict. It is a classic apologetic book, and one that I am sure every youth minister in the States had in their library.

Jesus does not need for us to defend Him.

There are many apologetic books out there today. I am not against the practice of defending your faith and being ready with an answer for your hope, but I do think that we often put evidence based on our own understanding above the supernatural intervention of the Creator God bringing us from death into life through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus does not need for us to defend Him. God does not need us to have “the Top Ten Proofs that God is Good.” His testimony about Himself is all that is needed. God is just that big and mighty. He can give testimony about Himself, and it is Truth.

I once heard Josh McDowell tell a Christian young man on stage that he could not be a Christian if he did not believe in absolute truth. I agree—but Josh was not really hearing what the man was saying. It was an answer to a question about someone born in another culture where, unlike America, Christianity was not the public religion. The young man said it made sense for the person to believe Hinduism (in this case).

There is a difference between what is true to someone, and the Truth of Jesus Christ.

The Pharisees were doing the same thing with their own presuppositions of Truth: they were elevating their true. The young man said that Hinduism would be true to those growing up in it. Josh said he was wrong, but I disagree. There is a difference between what is true to someone, and the Truth of Jesus Christ.

We like our true. It is ours, and we don’t like it when someone questions it or tries to prove that it is wrong. Our true is built on our heritage, our experiences, our dreams and our hopes. No wonder the Pharisees wanted to know the proof of Jesus. We do too.

God demands that our true be submitted to His Truth. When this happens those things that are our true will be either cast away or restored in light of The Truth. And Jesus is the Light that shines the Truth onto our true and brings them into submission.

Prayer

Jesus, You are the Light that shines into the darkness of our lives. You are the Truth that brings our true into the throne room of God, the merciful and just, to purify and set right our experiences, heritage, dreams and hopes. We praise you. Amen.

Lenten Action

Look back into your journey with Jesus and identify things that were at one time true to you, but God has taken, submitted to His Truth, and purified. An example could be that you always believed that you should help those in need because that is what good people did. This is your true, and you felt good about it. It was a good thing that gave you a good feeling. The Truth is that we do good things to those in need because of what God has given to us. It does not spring from our own goodness but from God’s common grace and care for all humanity. Knowing the Truth provides ongoing energy and hope when it becomes hard to keep doing good on our own power.

• • •

Lee Hinkle is an American pastor who, with his family of 7, felt God’s call to pack up and plant a church in Fremantle, a town in Perth, Western Australia.  Last Summer, the Hinkles left Indianapolis and arrived in Oz to begin their work.  You can follow their adventures at hinkledownunder.com.

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