My Search for truth

 

Scripture: (John 8:32 NIV)  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

 

            Before we get into today’s message I just want us to spend some time in prayer. I know that God has a perfect plan for our lives and it is my prayer for all of us that we discover that plan and fulfill our divine calling.

            Heavenly Father; Thank you for giving us the gift of life. Thank you for supplying our every need and keeping us safe from the many dangers that exist in this world. Lord I pray right now in the name of Jesus for a special touch of your Holy Spirit. Bless these words that they might bring encouragement and hope in the truth which is in you. Thank you for your forgiveness as we keep our eyes upon Jesus our Lord in whose name we pray; amen.

 

    Some one once asked me why I was a Christian. Upon thinking about it, it is clear to me that Christianity is the end result of a life long search for truth. Being a professional magician I know how easy it is to deceive people. Having myself been deceived by so many well-intentioned religious philosophies I have found it of the utmost importance to discover the truth. Some times the simple truth is too simple for a lot of people. We would like to complicate reality with our own concepts and descriptions. My hope for today’s message is to give you the gospel truth in which is the most encouragement and hope for the future that when we all grasp the reality of it no lie will ever be able to defeat us again.

            The best way to get to the truth is to first be sure of the standard by which you measure. I wrote before about how in order to know if a weight is true it is compared to the standard that is at the international borough of weights and measurements out side of Paris France. There are weights that all other weights stand by. There are measurements that all other volumes equal. If you had a liter of soda and wanted to know if it was indeed a full liter you could take a trip to Paris and go to the I.B.O.W.A.M. and compare your liter to the true one.

I remember hearing a story about how people falsely interpret the truth for their own advantage. Jose Fernandez was a notorious out law. The government hired the strongest, baddest lawman they could find to hunt down this outlaw and get back all the money he had stolen. Jose Fernandez was tracked down in a small town in Mexico. When the lawman entered the tavern where Jose was suspected to be he asked a stranger if he knew where Jose Fernandez was. The stranger told him that the big man sitting by himself at the end of the bar was the man he was looking for. The lawman walked up and asked, “Are you Jose Fernandez?” The man shrugged his shoulders and said he did not speak English. So the lawman went back to the stranger and asked him to interpret for him. The man agreed and they discovered that the man at the bar was indeed the famed Jose Fernandez. The law man told the stranger to tell Jose that he could either tell him where all the money was that he stole or the lawman was going to shoot him right there. So Jose told the stranger how to go down to the creek and turn over a stone where you will find the millions of dollars that he had stolen over the past couple of years. The lawman asked the stranger what Jose had said. The stranger told him. “Jose said to go ahead and shoot.”

We too often interpret the truth to fit our own selfish desires. Intrinsically we desire for the truth yet too often we will settle for less then the truth if it fits our distorted idea of fulfillment. Some people do not even know when they are not telling the truth. Others will try to rationalize their behavior by trying to define what “is” the truth. It is sad to know that these people will never experience true peace and contentment until they let the truth set them free. It is the truth that frees us from the confusion of deception. It is truth that frees us from the lies of insecurity. It is the truth that releases us from the despair of guilt. It is truth that delivers us from the bondage of addiction. It is truth that reconciles us with the God of truth through Jesus Christ the Lord.

So, what is truth? That was the question we find Pontious Pilate asking Jesus in the 18th chapter of the book of John. Jesus was taken before the judgement of Pilate for the purpose of condemning Him to death. The Jews could not lawfully sentence anyone to death so they took Him to Pilate. The first thing that Pilate asks Jesus is if He is the king of the Jews. Jesus responds with the question of Pilate being put up to that question. Sometimes we do not even know the questions to ask. We are not even sure of the truth that we are looking for.

The main reason that I have found for people avoiding the truth is the fact that the truth hurts. Like a surgeon cutting deep into the flesh the truth digs up layer after layer of misconceptions and hard-held false beliefs that have become a part of us. So why strife for the truth if the truth hurts? Because it is worth it. Because it is real. It is when we stop playing games and become real with ourselves and others that we gain self-esteem and respect. It is when we stop playing games with God and accept His plan of redemption that we enter into His rest and experience His glory.

The hard truth is that we are all sinners. It is true, you are a sinner. I do not care how long you have been a Christian you deep inside know that you fall way short form the standard of God. If Jesus is our standard we all fall short. Lets look at 1st John 1:8.  If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

          Unfortunately, too often that is where we stay. It is in the bad news. We come to realize our faults and wallow in them. We admit that we do not live up to the high stand of God and give up. We once may have felt better when we did not believe because at least then there was not this constant conviction and condemnation. We as Christians too often live ineffective lives because of this truth. You see that is how we become deceived. It is like in magic. If I can get you to see half the truth your mind will fill in the other half while I do something completely different. Yes it is true that we are all sinners and we deserve nothing to do with God. We deserve death and damnation. And on the other side of the coin there is pleasure in sin. But when you get the revelation, when the curtain is pulled back and the mystery is revealed that pleasure, which is in sin, is only for a short season and the mercy and grace of God are endless.

            Don’t stop at the sin. Do not get stuck in sin Jesus did not come to condemn the world. He came so that the world could be saved. God knows the beginning from the end. He is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. Jesus is the way the truth and the life. It is time for as Paul Harvey says the rest of the story.

            1st john 1:8 may have said that the truth is we are sinners but 1st John 1:9 continues that He is faithful and Just and He will cleans us from all of our sins when we agree with Him that sin is sin and get it out of our lives. “Go and sin no more.”  You have eternal life the moment that you trust in Jesus. All your sins have been paid for. Now go forward. You know what you have to do. You have become a new creation. Sure the old you still is being led to go back and do the same old selfish things you use to, but the truth is you are more than a conquer in Christ Jesus. You can overcome these trials and temptations and you will be made stronger by them. The peace that you have been seeking is now right there within you. The joy you have been running around looking for is right there in your heart. The center of your personality has changed. The truth is shinning through. As you get more and more of the word of God in your mind and let it become a part of you, you are being transformed into His image. When you boldly confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and unwavering believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the grave your salvation, your deliverance, your victorious life will spring forth like a gushing well of pure water. There is so much more in store for you. The revival within your spirit has just begun. Your relationships will improve. Your finances will straighten out. Your health will improve. Your entire life is about to be turned around for the good as you learn the truth of God’s love for you.

            My life has been a search for the truth. I took many bunny trails leading to dead ends. I followed some paths that seemed well traveled but ended in tangled webs of fallacies and confusion. The truth was always right there before me and it was so simple. God loves you. He died on the cross to pay the price of your sins. Then He rose again so that you too like the phoenix rising from the ashes of a burnt out life can soar on eagle’s wings free from all the bonds that ever held you. It is true the truth will set you free. So let go of the chains that have been keeping you down. All that false security. All the false religions. All the superstitions and dead end practices. Let go of the things and let God give you more than you ever hoped for. The truth is you can hope again because God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.