Knowing the Truth

Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32). Of course, as always He was exactly right. Untruth, error and lies will bind you up and burden you down. It will mess up your life, mess up your mind and mess up your future, but the truth will set you free. As a youngster, I always dreaded when report cards came out because I knew that I was about to learn and have to face the reality, the absolute truth about where I stood in relationship to the learning process. I also had a sneaky suspicion that in some areas especially it would not be a good thing.

I never quite understood how my parents always knew when the reports were coming out. I did not know that there was a network of understanding and information that parents and school folks shared with each other. When the truth came out and the grades were there on that card, many times things were about to get interesting. Frankly, I did not feel free, but apparently my parents felt free to tell me what was about to happen if I did not buckle down and shape up. When you know the truth, it can set you free, bless your life and make a difference in your future.

Recently, I was passing through one of our fine, small Mississippi towns. It was a beautiful, sunny, early spring day. As I drove through the town, I noticed that they had never taken their Christmas decorations down. Not only were the Christmas ornaments still out, but they were still lit. As I was talking with a fellow from that area, I was kind of poking fun and making light of the fact that they still had their Christmas decorations up, and they were still lit.

It was then that I discovered the truth. There was a good reason as to why they still had their Christmas decorations up. They left them up because the soldiers who had been deployed from their town to Afghanistan did not get home for Christmas. They were leaving them up and burning until the troops came home. What a great thought! What a wonderful, constant reminder to think about those soldiers, to remember them in prayer and look forward to their soon and safe return.

What I thought was somewhat dumb and thoughtless became a wonderful, thoughtful, significant and meaningful symbol with the light of truth shining upon it. In fact, throughout the remainder of the day and into the week, I kept thinking about the wonderful people in that small town in Mississippi. I thought about the way they were so thoughtful and loving as they anticipated the return of those soldiers who had been sent away to serve.

I also thought about the many people who make fun of that old, ancient book, the Bible, and of the people who read it, love it and listen to what it says because they think that it has no relevance in today’s world. They think that their thoughts are far more important than the thoughts of the Word of God. But they do not know that the Bible’s truth cannot only set them free but turn their thinking to a place where they will understand that this is a glorious thing.

I thought about how many of the people in our world today make fun of the church and take lightly the many saints who find their way week after week to join with other people of God in praising the Lord. These people find new strength and encouragement to face life with its difficulties and day by day activities with its uncertainties. They find a new hope and an unwavering confidence and contact with God that will enable them to live. The truth will set you free, lift you up and fill your heart with joy.

I thought about the people who question the existence of God Himself and live their lives bouncing from one thing to another trying to keep all the ends of life tied up in a neat little package only to have it come unraveled at one place and then in another or on one day or another. At the same time, they do not recognize that God Himself is standing right at their heart’s door waiting to come in, to bless, to forgive, to lead and to undergird them to face whatever life may hold. If they would just trust God and look to His Son and our Savior, Jesus, He stands ready and willing to give them life and life abundant. The truth will set you free!

We who have experienced Him in all of His fullness of grace and all of the facets of His incredible love poured out upon our lives need to sing, shout and head off to work, to school, to games or to be with our families with the truth. Not only will it set us free but it can also set free those with whom we come in contact. Rejoice in the truth and today be a blessing to someone else.

Jim Futral
Executive Director-Treasurer