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Throughout the coming week, let's meditate on the fact that it is truth that breaks the power of evil. All of the bad things in the world (and there are very many of them) are the result of some lie that Satan has persuaded someone to believe. He began trying to destroy the human race by using the weapon of deceit on Eve (Gen. 3:1-7; 2 Cor. 11:3), and since then he has used nothing but variations of that same weapon. Jesus said that Satan "does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies" (Jn. 8:44). Untruth is the basic tool with which the devil does his work.
Since deceit is central to the devil's character, when we lie we display a kinship to the devil himself. Just as the habit of godliness means that we're "of God," the habit of falsehood means the opposite: we are "of the devil." Jesus rebuked certain ones of His day in precisely those words: "If God were your Father, you would love me . . . Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He . . . does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires" (Jn. 8:42-44).
As important as truth is, it needs to be emphasized that truth must be handled carefully and with humility. It has been said that maturity consists in the balance of courage and consideration. That means we must demonstrate not only the courage to "tell it like it is" but the consideration to tell the truth in a way that is fair to the feelings of other people. We must always strive to speak "the truth in love" (Eph. 4:15).
God, the very embodiment of truth, fights the lying tactics of Satan with the glorious power of truth. Satan has no defense against the simple, pure, and awesome might of truth. Whenever and wherever truth's light pierces the darkness of his deception, the devil slinks away like the coward that he is. It does not take physical strength or carnal tactics to win the battle over sin. It only takes the courage of the person who will refuse to settle for anything less than what is true. Jesus said, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (Jn. 8:32). Let's think about that!
Monday: Genesis 3:1-7
Key Idea: The devil gets us to disobey God by telling us things that are not true.
Questions for Family Growth: Which does the devil really want: to make us happy or to destroy us? What did Jesus say about Satan in Jn. 8:42-44? What should we do when someone tells us we can get something good out of disobeying God?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 22:15.
Tuesday: 1 Kings 13:1-34
Key Idea: When we know what God has said, we should stick with that no matter what happens.
Questions for Family Growth: In this story, why did the man of God lose his life? What if an angel appeared to us and said it would be all right to disregard instructions that had been given by God in the Scriptures? What did Paul say in Gal. 1:6-9?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 22:16.
Wednesday: Acts 5:1-11
Key Idea: Just as God always tells us the truth, He wants us always to tell the truth to Him.
Questions for Family Growth: For what reasons might Ananias and Sapphira have tried to deceive their fellow Christians about the price of the land they sold? What does the word "confess" mean, and what does it have to do with telling the truth?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 22:17-21.
Thursday: Acts 17:10,11
Key Idea: When we listen to teaching, we should study the Bible to see if the teaching is true.
Questions for Family Growth: What attitude or disposition did the Bereans possess to a greater degree than the people in Thessalonica? What does it mean to "search" (v.11 NKJV) the Scriptures? Can we learn what is true about the Bible without working at it?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 22:22,23.
Friday: Philippians 4:8
Key Idea: To resist the devil's influence, we should meditate on truth rather than falsehood.
Questions for Family Growth: What are some things that may happen if we fill our minds with things that are not true? How can we know what is true? How can we keep our minds off of things that are not good to think about?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 22:24,25.