John 8:44 - Insights On Truth And Error.

John 8:44 - Insights On Truth And Error.

John 8:44 (NKJV) You are of your father the devil, and the 
desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the 
beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in 
him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he 
is a liar and the father of it. 

   Nobody gets away with anything in a moral universe if that 
"anything" is dishonest and untrue. The whole history of humanity is a 
commentary on this. Remember the first lie uttered by Satan: "You will not 
die"? He keeps on repeating that well-worn but discredited lie to 
every member of Adam's race. Something dies in us the moment we are 
dishonest--not the least, our self-respect. Death eats away at our hearts the 
moment dishonesty is let in. We are not so much punished for sin as by 
sin. I came across a statement in a book in which the writer said, 
"There are two major principles for getting and keeping political 
power: (1) let nothing, least of all truth and honor, interfere with 
success; (2) be honest and trustworthy in the little things, but boldly 
dishonest in the large ones." What would be the result of someone getting 
political power by following those two principles? I will tell you. Like 
blind Samson, they would pull down the pillars of society around their 
heads and the heads of others also.  
   It is the ten righteous men who spare the Sodoms of this 
world. Fidelity is the cement that holds society together; take it away 
and it destroys itself. I may be stretching imagination too far by 
saying this, but in my opinion the Christian presence, especially as it 
represents fidelity, holds the world on its course. Civilization would have 
disintegrated long ago were it not for the moral and Christian character that 
flows out of the church into the world.  
   Father, help me to be one who holds the world together by my 
character. And let the hallmark of my character be fidelity to truth and 
righteousness. In Jesus' name I ask it. Amen. [Every Day With Jesus Bible with 
Selwyn Hughes devotional re Pro. 18:3] 

   Both we and the universe are made for integrity, and both the 
universe and we are alien to untruth and dishonesty. The whole thrust of 
the universe which God designed and created is simple, 
uncomplicated, and built on truth. There are great mysteries, of course, but no 
lies. Scientific laws are upheld by truth. Gravity, for example, will 
not lie; it is as true in one country as it is in another, as 
reliable in Jerusalem as it is in Japan.  
   It has often been pointed out that the word "evil" is the 
word "live" spelled backwards. Satan delights to take what God does 
and try to reverse it--to move life in the opposite way to that in 
which it was designed to go. Satan is a liar (Jn 8:44), and lies are 
always roundabout, complicated, and deceiving.  
   The fact that the universe is built on truth can be verified 
by the simple device known as a "lie detector." The lie detector 
test works on the basis that people who tell lies and know they are 
telling lies become extremely anxious and uncomfortable, and this 
anxiety is then picked up by the machine. But why does telling a lie 
make a person anxious? Because we are built for truth, and any 
departure from it registers on the inside in a way that can be picked up 
on the outside. A lie detector is not infallible and can sometimes 
(though not often) be fooled. But what cannot be fooled is the soul of 
the person who is lying. The worst thing about being a liar is to be 
the person telling the lie.  
   Father, help me lay hold of the fact that a lie demeans me, 
but the truth develops me. I cannot live successfully by a lie any 
more than I can fling myself out of the window and defy gravity. May 
I be a person of truth. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen. [Every Day 
With Jesus Bible with Selwyn Hughes devotional re Pro. 12:17] 

   To have "truth like a belt around [our] waist" means to be 
possessed by truth. If we are to defend ourselves effectively against the 
attacks of Satan, then truth and honesty are vital necessities.  
   The mental health experts tell us that being willing to face 
the truth about ourselves is an important part of our growth toward 
maturity. The same is true in the realm of the spiritual. How easy it is 
to hide from the truth and imagine ourselves to be truthful when 
really we are not.  
   Whatever his personal idiosyncrasies and his rebellious 
attitude toward Christianity, Sigmund Freud made an interesting 
contribution to our understanding of human personality when he documented 
with true genius the incredibly subtle ways in which we lie to 
ourselves. Psychologists call them "defense mechanisms," but a more 
biblical view of them would be "lying mechanisms." We would all much 
prefer to be called defensive than dishonest. But whenever we allow 
ourselves to be self-deceived, we not only impede our spiritual growth--we 
also lower our defenses against Satan. He thrives on deception, and 
if he can push us toward self-deception, he maintains a definite 
advantage over us.  
   Many of us might react with horror to the suggestion that we 
are being dishonest, for we would not dream of doing or saying 
anything that was not according to the truth. Yet it is possible to be 
open and honest on the outside and yet hide from truth on the inside. 
All of us, even mature and experienced Christians, are capable of 
hiding from truth.  
   O Father, I see that if I am to overcome Satan, then I must 
know truth inwardly as well as outwardly. Search my heart today, dear 
Lord, and bring to the surface the things within me that are untrue. 
In Jesus' name I ask it. Amen. [Every Day With Jesus Bible with 
Selwyn Hughes devotional re Psa. 139:23] 

   The suggestion that even mature Christians can inwardly 
resist truth might shock some, but the real issue is - is it true?  
   Among the popular defenses we use to resist truth, the first 
is projection. This occurs when we are to blame for something, but 
we project the blame onto someone else so that we can feel more 
comfortable about ourselves. It may sound a simple thing, but all dishonesty 
is destructive - even simple dishonesty.  
   Then take the defense of denial. How many times do we refuse 
to face the fact that we may be angry about something, and when 
someone says: "Why are you angry?" we reply with bristling hostility: 
"I'm not angry!" We fail to recognize what others can plainly see. 
And denial, no matter how one looks at it, is a form of inner 
   Another dishonest defense is rationalization. We are guilty 
of this whenever we persuade ourselves that something is what it is 
not. C. S. Lewis points out that when our neighbor does something 
wrong, it is obviously because he or she is "bad," while if we do 
something wrong it is only because we did not get enough sleep, or someone 
gave us a rough time, or our blood chemistry is at fault, and so on. 
   All of these defense mechanisms deprive us of inner honesty, 
and apart from hindering our spiritual growth they also lower our 
defenses against Satan. This is why over and over again in Scripture, we 
are bidden to open up to honesty. The more honest we can be, the 
more spiritually powerful and effective we can be.  
   Lord Jesus, help me to open up to honesty. For I see that the 
more honest I am, the more authority I can wield over satan. I want 
to be able to say, as You said: "The ruler of the world is coming. 
He has no power over me" (John 14:30). I ask for Your name's sake. 
Amen. [Every Day With Jesus Bible with Selwyn Hughes devotionals re 
Exo. 20:16] 

   Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my 
anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me 
along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24 
   These verses used to scare me. Why would I want to be 
searched? I know what's in there. I have a hunch about the things that 
offend Him. But the prayer is a desire to be entirely God's possession 
- for Him to have free rein in a human heart. And once prayed, it 
can produce some surprising results. Some of the things that I 
thought would offend Him didn't; and some of the thoughts I assumed were 
fine turned out not to be. That's good information to know. 
Therefore, this is a good prayer to pray.  
   Notice the invitation in this psalm. God is welcome in this 
heart. After acknowledging the intensely detailed and comprehensive 
knowledge of God - and that God already knows every thought - the psalmist 
asks God to search His thoughts. This isn't a request for God to find 
out information He doesn't already have; He already has it all. It's 
an invitation for God to put His finger on what needs to stay and 
what needs to go. It's an invitation to prompt change.  
   A lot of people have an implicit leave-me-alone or 
please-don't-hurt-me attitude in their relationship with God, a desire to sweep the 
painful stuff under the rug. But we invite the Spirit's holy intrusion 
because it really isn't an intrusion. It's a benefit of the 
relationship. We want things to be right between us and God, and we want Him 
to let us know when they aren't. That's how good relationships work 
and intimacy develops. There's honesty and transparency - on both 
sides. As we open ourselves more to God, He opens Himself more to us. 
Transparency is the only way to reach deeper depths.  
   Yes, Lord - search me. Put Your finger on whatever doesn't 
please You. If there's anything that creates a rift between us, I want 
it gone. Please let me know what You see and help me change it. 
[The One Year Experiencing God's Presence Devotional by Chris 

   Open your mind and heart - your entire being - to receive My 
Love in full measure. So many of My children limp through their lives 
starved for Love, because they haven't learned the art of receiving. 
This is essentially an act of faith: believing that I love you with 
boundless, everlasting Love. The art of receiving is also a discipline: 
training your mind to trust Me, coming close to Me with confidence.  
   Remember that the evil one is the father of lies. Learn to 
recognize his deceptive intrusions into your thoughts. One of his favorite 
deceptions is to undermine your confidence in My unconditional Love. Fight 
back against these lies! Do not let them go unchallenged. Resist the 
devil in My Name, and he will slink away from you. Draw near to Me, 
and My Presence will envelop you in Love. (Eph. 3:16-19; John 8:44; 
Heb. 4:16; James 4:7, 8) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young] 




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