We laugh at a jingle about hypocritical religious people: “We don’t smoke and we don’t chew, and we don’t run with the girls who do.” No wonder many people think Christianity is a life of ‘don’ts’ and no one has any fun!
Nevertheless, being kept from evil is important. Jesus prayed that for His followers. He knows that a life of sin is destructive and deserving of God’s wrath. Like parents who want the best for their children, He also wants the best for His lambs.
Jesus also prayed that His people be set apart for Him. Holiness is not merely about staying away from evil, but about knowing the truth and being set free by it. He said…
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. (John 17:17)If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:31–32)
Truth has the power to make me holy. Sin began with a lie that God does not want the best for us, and because that lie was believed, the human race plunged headlong into ruin. We still struggle with this lie. Even those who know and believe in the goodness of God stray because they are duped into thinking that God’s way is not the best way. This is why every Christian needs to read, study, think about and obey God’s Word. Without it, we are prone to fall for deception.
His truth is my lifeblood, my daily medicine for my soul’s ailments. I cannot be holy nor do the will of God apart from truth. For me, the Bible is God’s tool to produce piety and zeal for Him. It is His way of purifying my thoughts, words and actions. I’m thankful to have it on my desk, bookshelf, even on my computer. Truth is never out of reach. I can read it in private, hear it read in public, and remember it when unable to read or listen.
God tells me to fill my heart and mind full of His teachings. He has taught me to pick it up with a prayer that I will hear Him speak and the expectation that He will say what I need to hear. Even as I read, I become aware of the state of my heart. When I am prone to obey I know it, but when I’m dangerously close to disobedience, the Word of God also makes me aware of my condition. It keeps me alert to lies that hover nearby, ready to turn me aside.
Sometimes I hear Christians say, “I know the Bible says… but I’m not sure where to find it” or they speak revealing that the liar has diverted them from truth. Those are sad times because I know what happens in my life when I neglect or forget the Word instead of being devoted to it.
I’m thankful Jesus prays for us, caring that we are godly people. May that prayer be answered so we always know truth and find great joy as He sets us free by His Word, the Word of truth and power.