Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

John 17: 17

 

Jesus says these words while He was praying to the Father seeking God’s continued care and provision for His followers. They are together in a room in Jerusalem, and Jesus is fully aware that He will soon be arrested and tried for committing absolutely no crime. In these hours of intimate community gathering with the people that God has given Him to disciple and lead, Jesus turns to the Father, and He expresses His total trust in God’s grace and love. This is essential, for Christ knows that life for His people will never be easy in a world that is ruled by compromise, deception, and selfish desires. He also understands our human nature very well; so, in order to protect us from the trap of following the way of this world, Jesus asks God to take us, His people, deeper and ever deeper still into His truth.

 

Truth is an interesting idea, concept, and entity. In our world it is often considered to be a highly malleable thing. It is shaped to fit the situation, and it is formed around the desired outcome. Truth is managed in a manner that makes many of the common sources of it highly suspect. We live in times where most people no longer expect to encounter truth in our public interactions. Thus, we are distrustful and skeptical, and we spend our lives trying to gain the upper hand by aggressively shaping the truths that we share. If we stop the rush through life long enough to consider what Jesus was saying, it should be fairly obvious that He had something different in mind when He spoke about truth.

 

In God’s view of things, truth is not an idea or a concept. It is not something that changes with time or with the times, and human perspective has nothing to do with understanding what is true. For God, truth is. Truth is the touchstone for life. It is that solid base upon which a life of integrity is built. Truth is an absolute that does not allow room for compromise or for doubt. When it is applied to our lives and to the relationships that we engage in, truth brings people together, and it is an essential ingredient for finding peace in our world. As Jesus says, this vital component of sacred life is found in God’s word. We gain it through God’s written word, by the Holy Spirit’s expression of it to us, and through communication and communion with the Spirit filled people who form the body of Christ in our world. When we seek truth, God transforms us as truth conforms us to Christ’s image. As we take truth and apply it to living, that truth touches the secular and turns it into the gloriously sacred.

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