Posted by: forfreedomalone | 25/03/2020

“It came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us, or for our adversaries?”

So He said, “No, as Commander of the Army of the LORD I have now come.”

Have you ever read this and wondered what a ridiculous answer to a perfectly straightforward question?

I used to think that until the Lord explained it to me.

Joshua recognises this man as no ordinary man, but he is unsure if this ‘help’ is to be on his side or on the side of his enemies. He assumes that angelic power is either ‘for us’ or ‘against us’. Is this not just how the modern church thinks? God is on our side, but not on the side of the sinner.

But the man says, “No.”
No what?
“No, I am not for you, nor am I against you.
I am the commander of the army of the Lord”.

The point?
God does not view us as people he is for or against; he views us as people who are for or against him. Once that question is answered the questions of him being for or against us is already settled.

At this time, when we are in the midst of “a plague on arrogance” knowing on whose side WE are will tell us on whose GOD is.

Selah.

Posted by: forfreedomalone | 18/02/2020

How’s the time?

I set a challenge to some groups which some of you who follow this may like to try for yourself.


In one week add up how much time you spend listening to audio material; the videos you watch on the internet, the links people send you etc. Then add up the time you spend reading articles and books; again it seems the majority of this will be on line, it would cover the ‘prophets, preachers and prognosticators’ on line and the books on ‘how to’ which are so popular.


Then add up the time you spend reading your Bible. Not checking the odd verse or following along in church, but actually reading the Bible.


This is nowhere near as hard as you think as those who actually did it attested.


So far the Bible looses out at a ratio of 8 to 1. That means that people spend 8 times more time reading, or listening to, other people’s opinions of what the Bible says and means than they do with the book itself and the one who wrote it. I am quite certain that the ration is MUCH higher than this, but is adjusted downward when people realise how little time they actually spend reading the Bible.


If you want to see God in your life spend time with him. You don’t improve your marriage by going out for coffee with your girlfriends or going down the pub with your mates, you spend time with the one you say you love. You teach yourself to really listen to what they are saying , to ask questions of them and WANT to know the answer. You show interest in them and what they have to say. As many are discovering today, staring at your phone when out for dinner with your spouse does nothing for a deepening relationship.


Put away all the other ‘stuff’ and learn to spend time with God; lots and lots of time with God. Then you may start to see him manifesting in your life.

Posted by: forfreedomalone | 16/02/2020

Nearly persuaded!

I was asked, recently, to talk to someone who was “nearly persuaded. IF you just would talk to them we could get them saved”.


I agreed to talk to the person IF they chose to talk to me and answer any questions they had, but nothing in heaven or earth would persuade me to persuade them. What an appalling thing to do!


It is totally understandable that anyone would want to have complete assurance that all their family and friends will be in heaven with them, but no one and nothing will give you that. Jesus died to redeem the world; not all the people, but the entire universe; from the power of sin. This he has done, yet this has not happened. This is the paradox of eternity and time colliding.


The power of sin will be broken when the heavens and earth are recreated. The power to break that power is already his, but he will not make if fully effective until the end of time. In the meantime, we and everything else in the universe, live in a sea of sin. We are surrounded by it, we wade through it daily and we are in constant battle with it, like mud after a flood.


When we choose to give our lives to the Lord we are saying, “We will walking with you through this mud, we will battle it (by your spirit, but in our flesh), we will lay down all that we have created as our lives and our opinions of who and what we are and we will be utterly subservient to you. ” If one has to be ‘persuaded’ to do that one has no intention of walking in that way.


Jesus NEVER persuaded anyone to follow him, he commanded certain ones and they dropped everything and went. Others struggled with the idea and went away; but he never persuaded anyone.


He said that the gate was narrow, the path hard and the way long and full of trouble. Few will choose to walk in it and, for those who do, it is only the beginning of troubles, not the end of them.


If you see ‘salvation’ as the end of all your troubles, or those of the ones you love, you are missing the real message. Salvation is reserved for those who overcome; who overcome all that the “the way” has in store for them from the moment they say they have laid down their lives to the moment they are given new lives in the new world. The whole point of the trials and tribulations is to test your resolve and trust, to develop patience and character; to mould us to the shape of Jesus. If you had to be persuaded to begin this traumatic journey you will never overcome, you will not stay the course and the end state of the man will be worse than the first. The press-ganged always jump ship at the first storm.


Live YOUR life in such a way that joy, humility, endurance and faith are SEEN by others and desired; like the believing wife of the unbelieving husband, win them, without a word.

Posted by: forfreedomalone | 20/01/2020

Who’s the Gospel for?

It is generally taught and accepted that when Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel” he meant, “Go to every country on earth and tell the sinners that I have died for them”. Now, while I would not disagree with that concept, I would take strong issue that that was what he meant.

Gospel means “good news” and there is no doubt that knowing that you have been ransomed from slavery to sin is good news; but it is, in another way, not good news if that is where it stops.

It is a little like taking a child out of mud and filth, bathing him, giving him clean clothes and then setting him free to play in the mud again. If he has no concept of how to stay clean, while playing with his friends, he hasn’t really benefited much from his bath and clean clothes.

Having decided that the good news is the news of the redemption the Cross offers and that this news must be conveyed to the lost masses the preachers then take all of the rest of the Bible and try to make it fit into that context too. I have a friend whose mother loves to do jigsaws, but has no patience to find the right piece for the right hole; she just bangs in the one she had and makes do. This is what happens when you believe you were supposed to tell the world to “Get saved” and then find that you have a mountain of Scripture telling people how to live, what to do and how to deal with problems. This is obviously for them too, right?

Well, no.
The really good news is that all of the letters Paul wrote, all of the law of God, all of the correction, advice, direction and teaching in sanctification and endurance awaiting the day of salvation is for those who have ALREADY come to the Cross. The good news is you are set free, now here’s the REALLY good news, this is how you LIVE free.

It begins with guilt and shame, which cannot be felt by those still under the thrall of sin, as it can by those set free. It leads to repentance; usually taught as preceding accepting Jesus as Lord, which is impossible; and leads to a new being living a new life.

Nothing Paul wrote was to the lost, it was ALL to the found. All of it was the directions on how to get saved; which will not happen until Jesus returns; how to endure to the end in the muddy field in which you live, without getting filthy.

When the church stops telling the world how to live and starts applying its teaching to itself, we will start to see the light of the world shining in the dark.

Posted by: forfreedomalone | 17/12/2019

…..and finally.

Q. I am going though some tough stuff right now and my Pastor says it is an attack of the devil. My pal says it is God who is testing me, but my Pastor says that God never tests or tries anyone and that all trouble comes from the devil; just read Job! I am confused and don’t know how to handle the stuff I am going through. Can you help?

A. I believe I can, I will certainly try; but it will take a very great willingness to see what you have never seen.

It is standard teaching which your Pastor is teaching you. God is good and only good, he wouldn’t hurt a fly and if you are suffering it is either sin in your life or Hasatan attacking you. This may sound good but it leaves us helpless and confused. If it is sin in my life, which sin is it? What am I to do about it? I have confessed everything I can think of, I have repented over everything that ever came to mind and still I am where I was. If it is Hasatan, what do I do about him? I have screamed and shouted at him, I have cast him out, down and away. I have rebuked him, taken authority over him and pleaded with him, but nothing changes. This stuff is just powerless to help but only those who are truly honest will acknowledge that.

To get real understanding one has to be willing to accept that one’s definition of ‘good’ may be more than a little lacking.

God is good. But his goodness does not involve kowtowing to our demands and desires, bringing him down to our level, but in making us rise up to his. His level is holiness and he desires that we meet him there, in holiness and purity. Quite obviously we cannot be holy or pure of our own doing so, many dismiss the idea that we can be pure and holy at all; others say it is a gift of God and we have already received it, so we have nothing more to concern ourselves with.

Hebrews chapter 12 tells us otherwise and explains to us what is happening when we are going through, what you call, “tough stuff”. This is the discipline of God. God, a loving father, disciplines the son he loves; he does not, as so many do today, indulge his beloved son, he disciplines him. He trains him to run a long and hard race because he knows the race will be long and hard. To do otherwise would be anything BUT loving or good. He gives his Spirit to his son and says, “Walk with me”. We see this in the life of Jesus, why do we think we are any different if we consider ourselves to be sons also?

In the Book of Job we find a self righteous and arrogant man who believes that God is delighted with him and ows him. God knows differently and allows Hasatan to knock Job down to size. Hasatan does NOTHING to Job under his own authority; everything is with the permission of God. In the end, Job realises that he is an arrogant man and acknowledges that he needs a mediator. When he is humbled God restores him.

When we are going through difficult times they are tests and trials presented to us by God. He is disciplining us in our walk with him. The discipline we need is to stay the course, fight the fight, run the race and NEVER give up. But what is this fight about? It is the fight to overcome.

Hebrews 12 tells us that there is something without which we will never see God. It is often said that this thing is faith, but that is incorrect; without faith it is impossible to please God, but there is something else we require in order to see him and Hebrews 12 tells us that thing is holiness. Holiness is not perfection; we are not perfect and will never be in this life; sadly, many believe that they are and this hinders their walk and progress to holiness. Holiness is what you achieve when you set something apart from everything else for the exclusive use of God. This is why we need discipline.

God wants us, body, soul and spirit, as his exclusive property. If you have ever tried to concentrate on a book in a noisy place or to do some mental arithmetic when someone is talking to you, you will know how hard discipline can be; but if you don’t discipline yourself you will not be able to complete the task. It is WAY too easy to get distracted and wander off the path you are supposed to be following. God knows this with our intention to be holy; it’s pretty wholly, we need training and discipline.

When we are God’s and God’s alone we will trust him in all circumstances, we will never be moved from walking a very narrow path with him, we will cling to him no matter what the circumstances and no work of Hasatan will ever drive us from him. This requires us to be fully his; holy (set apart for his exclusive use) and humble (dying to self in every sense). If we have any element of ‘self’ left in us we are not and cannot be holy, because we are not set apart from ourselves for God’s exclusive use.

Every trial is a test of how willing we are to humble ourselves, be his alone and refuse to return to running our own lives, with our arrogant assumption we know what is best. This is very “tough stuff”, but his call, no matter what we are going through, is one I heard many, many years ago; “Will you trust me anyway?”

Posted by: forfreedomalone | 08/12/2019

Still a babe at 30??

Another question to answer. I hope these are helpful.


Q. In Hebrews 5 Paul talks about milk and meat, what is he talking about?


A. As every one knows babies need milk. No one would think of giving a new born, or even a 6 month old, a steak. Even if they could eat it they couldn’t digest it. Paul is likening those who need milk to newborns in the faith and those who can eat steak to the mature believer. The newborn gets his milk by listening to basic doctrine and the mature believer gets his steak from the more advanced doctrines. PLEASE NOTE – when the Scripture says “doctrine” is it talking about teaching from God; it is NOT talking about church doctrine; that is, the teaching from a denomination or church. Some of those are true doctrine and some are not.


It is normal and natural to have babes in the faith, but it is not normal, nor natural to 5, 10 or 50 year old babes. These ones have ended up as immature, grown ups by “become dull of hearing”; in Greek that would be “lazy”, resulting in it being hard to teach them the things they need to know.
They are unskilled in handling “the word of righteousness”. This is rife in the church today. Immature adults of faith are mishandling the word of righteousness. I don’t know how often I hear that we are all righteous, saved, delivered, perfected etc etc etc. It is all done and dusted. I have even been told that we can no longer sin as we have a new nature and we are now perfect. This is outrageous mishandling of the word of righteousness; this is what the immature do, the babes, who have no understanding. It leads to arrogance, pride and excusing sinful living. In the previous chapters, the writer says that the failure to grow up also leads to being ignorant of the great deliverance, lack of trust and disobedience. It is easy to see why the writer to the Hebrews says this is what will happen when ‘children’ are given only milk and never made to grow up.


The mature, on the other hand, are identified by their faculties of discernment having been trained by continuous use, to distinguish good and evil; this is what discernment is all about; their good works and their ability to be taught and grasp the more advanced doctrines.


It is worth noting that in the next chapter, the writer mentions what are the basic doctrines and these are usually misunderstood as they are interpreted from a Greek viewpoint and not a Hebrew one. They are three groups of two, being:-1 Repentance from dead works and faith toward God.2 The doctrine of baptisms and the laying on of hands.3 Resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.


Repentance from dead works, means repenting of sin. Many say they have repented of their sin, yet they do not trust God; this is hypocrisy. Many others claim to trust God but do not, on an ongoing basis, repent of their sin; this leads to pride and self-reliance.


The word used here, translated as ‘baptisms’, is not the word used for baptism elsewhere in the NT. It does not mean baptism, as we tend to think of it, but rather purifications. This would be a concept at once understood by the Jewish readers. Likewise, with “laying on of hands”. Gentile readers assume this means delivering healing miracles; it does not, it means ordination of an individual for specific positions and tasks. Early Messianic Jews would not have understood the need to lay hands on someone to pronounce a miracle, as that would have been a misuse of the action.
Without the resurrection of the dead it is hard to see how, exactly, God is just and what the point of a believer’s life has been. Eternal judgement is not the same as eternal punishment. Eternal punishment is but one judgement, the other being eternal reward, both being eternal. God’s judgement, guilty or innocent; heaven or hell, will last for all eternity and so it will be an eternal judgement.


The writer is urging those who are young and inexperienced in the faith to make it their mission to grow up; he is admonishing those who are older, but still immature, to grow up and laying the foundation of faith in three neat packages so that one can see at a glance where one is on the maturity road. If you have only just come to Christ these teachings are ones you need to know, understand and believe before moving on, if you have been a believer for a few years it is LONG past time you stopped listening to the same teachings over and over again and moved on to higher and deeper things.

Posted by: forfreedomalone | 02/12/2019

Son of Man/Son of God

I’ll try to answer another question today.


Q. My Pastor tells me that the reason Jesus was called, “The Son of God” and “The Son of Man” was to show that he was fully divine and fully human. I wondered what your thoughts were on this?


A. Excellent question and one which I have not been asked before, although one on which I have taught.


Your Pastor’s response is fully in line with Christian understanding and teaching and completely at odds with Biblical and Jewish understanding and teaching. Today the church is ignorant, but in days gone by they were wilfully antisemitic and removed the links between ‘Christian’ teaching and ‘Jewish’ teaching. This wilful distancing has lead to ignorance and to the understanding that those two terms mean the things your Pastor says. Let’s look at what they really mean.


The first time the term, “Son of God” is used in the Bible is in the Book of Daniel. It is used to describe the fourth man in the furnace with the three Hebrew men. However, in Psalm 2 David says that God has called him, “my son” and in 1 Chronicles Solomon is declared to be a son to God, who will be a father to him. This lead to the concept that the Kings of Israel were “sons of God”; not in a physical sense but in a spiritual one. They were commissioned by God and anointed by him to reign as King of Israel. God was the father of the King, who was father of the nation. This concept was very much alive in Scottish culture until 1603 when the father of the nation, King James VI went to London to assume the English crown and, as many saw it, abandoned his ‘children’. The King was the father of the nation, but he ruled under his father, God.


Note also, that as the anointed ones the King and the High Priest were both called Masheakh – the anointed one- which translates into Greek as Christ.
Therefore, the title “Son of God” is the title which refers to Jesus humanity, his right of Kingship over Israel and his linage from David.


The title “Son of Man” is found in many books of the Bible and is used to mean, quite literally that, the son of a man. However, where it gets its meaning specific to Jesus is in the Book of Daniel also. Daniel, in his vision of the coming of God upon the clouds, sees with the Almighty “one, like the son of man”. What Daniel is seeing is a being who looks like a human being, but, as he is with the Almighty, the Ancient of Days, arriving on a cloud {a concept reserved only for the Father} this “son of man” MUST be divine. There is no way a sinful human could be sitting on a cloud in the presence of the Holy One so he much be divine, but presenting himself in the form of a human. From the days of Daniel the Israelites were looking for the “Son of Man” as the divine one who would be their saviour. The “Son of Man” nomenclature points not to his humanity but to his divinity.


Jesus allowed the term “Son of Man” to be used of him on many more occasions than he allowed the term “Son of God” to be used. He was pointing to the fact that he had come as the second person of the Godhead; a concept which is not at all a Christian invention, or revelation, but a truly Jewish one, well accepted long before Jesus day. The preconceived ideas of the Jews of his day and the fact that God had blinded them to the truth, meant that they were looking for the Son of God to come first and so they rejected the Son of Man who was before them.


The Son of Man, the Son of God and the second person of the Godhead were all well established Jewish concepts by Jesus’ day, as was the suffering servant Messiah, all of which have been claimed by Christianity as revelation belonging to them alone. Sadly, the acts of the 1st century church have had lasting effects and today, the thoroughly Jewish meanings of the titles assigned to Jesus have been totally twisted and reversed.

Posted by: forfreedomalone | 30/11/2019

Look into hell, before you can see heaven.

I know someone who will not read the Book of Revelation because it terrifies her. In it she sees a God who judges and condemns; a God completely different to the one she is taught about in her church, a God of love and goodness alone. The fear this God invokes in her is so strong she cannot read about the return of our Lord and Saviour and the destruction of the wicked. Her fear totally undermines her faith in this good God who pours out his favour on her continually and so she concludes that Revelation should not be read.

This is a common response to the Scriptures which cause us to tremble since we have been taught that God is good and only good, loves us unconditionally and only favours us. This response totally undermine the value of the Cross.

The Cross is rarely looked upon as the single emblem which encompasses all that God is, that sin is and that man is. It is rarely looked upon as the natural end of man, the inescapable end of man. Death, natural and spiritual, is the end for ALL mankind. Suffering in this life and the next is what we, as humans, are consigned to and there is no way out of it, it is inevitable. Only when you see the inevitability of this is the wonder of a Saviour, wonderful. Look upon the Cross and see this inevitibility before you see the goodness and mercy of God, because if you do not, you will never see the goodness and mercy of God and what you accept will be shallow and unable to sustain you in times of trouble.

We cannot comprehend our salvation if we do not face the full horror of that from which we have been saved. This requires us to see the wrath, vengeance, holiness and purity of God in the face of evil. It requires us to see the depth of our depravity and sinfulness, unadulterated by doctrine and theology about how we are saved from it. We need to stare hell in the face before we can have any concept of heaven.

When you are told of the goodness of God without a pure understanding of the wrath of God his goodness has no contrast. It is like trying to understand light without understanding dark. We need both sides of the coin for there to be a coin at all. It is like looking at the Grand Canyon and seeing a big hole in the ground. It’s magnitude has no meaning because there is no way to evaluate its scale.

Praise and worship hinge on this understanding, because the praise I offer from a trite and shallow comprehension of salvation is all about me, it has left the Almighty God out of the equation almost entirely. I am not worshipping him, or praising him, for what he has done, because I have little understanding of what it is is he HAS done. The focus of my worship is not the one who has saved me, but on me, being saved, There is a, perhaps subtle, but vital difference.

Never be afraid of seeing yourself as a sinner wretched and helpless, fully aware of the end of all sinners, because it is only in that moment that you can see God, as the merciful and gracious Saviour he is and, knowing your need of him, in that very moment, fall on your face in humble submission to him. Only then will you know what salvation is all about and only then will you offer true praise and worship.

Posted by: forfreedomalone | 21/10/2019

Just a humble, little comma.

A Bible teacher once said that you cannot know what the words of God mean if you don’t know what the words of God are. He wasn’t meaning that you need to read the Bible, but that we are responsible for paying attention to what we are reading and to how it is translated.

Naturally, it is not within the remit of all to undertake in- depth study of the original language and the translations, but there are a few simple examples which can give us a pointer as to how we misunderstand some of what the Bible says.

Isaiah 9:6 is a good example.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” This is a well known verse, quoted every Christmas in services around the world, but, if you listen, or read, carefully you will find that there is a variation and this variation is caused by the simple omission of a tiny little comma.

The NLT, NIV, ESV, CSB, NASB, RSB and Vulgate versions all contort the meaning by its omission. The NET version goes one better and omits the comma and then translates the Hebrew into a statement to support its opinion, rather than providing a direct translation of what it says.

In all the above versions the missing comma is between the words, “Wonderful” and “Counsellor”. His name is not called, “Wonderful counsellor” {and most definitely not “Extraordinary Strategist”}, it is Wonderful and it is Counsellor. The child who will be born has five names here listed, not four.

At first glance this may seen to be a rather odd conclusion, as “Wonderful” isn’t really a name you would think to give to anyone, other than as an adjective attached to whatever it is they are wonderful at, such as counselling. But this is not what the Bible says about the one called “Wonderful”, as we will see if we read Judges chapter 13. Here we read of a man and woman of the tribe of Dan who did not have children. The Angel of the LORD came to her and told her they would have a son who are to be raised a Nazairite*. She told her husband and he went to the Lord, humbly, to ask how this boy should be raised in a manner pleasing to God. In response to Manoah’s question the same man who appeared to his wife, telling her of the coming child, appears to Manoah also. Manoah asks the man his name and the response is intriguing. The man says, “Why do you ask my name, seeing as it is Wonderful?”.

The Hebrew means “wonderful” or “incomprehensible”. “Name” as we have discovered before, in Hebrew, means “reputation” more than just a sound to which a person responds as a personal identifier. The reputation of this Angel of the LORD is beyond comprehending, it is truly wonderful. This is the ‘name’ which will be given to the son born to the people of Israel. But the simple lack of a comma removes the wonder of it and allows for the diabolical conclusion that it means “Extraordinary Strategist”. Punctuation matters and it can change everything.

John, chapter three, provided another example. This time the offending objects are inverted commas placed in the wrong spot. They open at verse 10 and close at verse 21 in all translations I have ever seen, made clearer yet by “red letter” versions. However, study will show that Jesus stops speaking at verse 15. The inverted commas not being closed until 6 verses later make Jesus say things John said.

Punctuation can change everything in a sentence as “The Panda who dined” has often taught.
“The Panda eats shoots and leaves”, has one meaning.
“The Panda eats shoots, and leaves”, has a quite different one.
“The Panda eats, shoots, and leaves” has yet another meaning and it is all down to the humble comma and where it is placed. Consider carefully, as you read, whether the punctuation is giving you the true meaning of what you are reading before you conclude you understand what it says, for, after all, “You cannot know what the words of God mean, if you don’t know what the words of God are” and without proper punctuation, you don’t.




* A Nazirite was a holy man, one set aside for God, who was under a vow, either for a time or, in this case, for life. The details can be found in Numbers. This is totally different to a Nazorean, which refers to one who comes from Nazareth.

Posted by: forfreedomalone | 29/09/2019

Speak, but do it with love.

Perhaps one of the hardest commandments we are given, I think, is, “speak the truth, in love”.

Have you ever thought, really thought, about what that might mean? Many people think it means something like, “I see what is happening here, that is, I see the truth and as I love you I must tell you about it”. On one level there could be truth in that, but on another level that is not what it is talking about.

For many the ‘truth’ of a situation is what THEY are seeing, how THEY are understanding it and how it makes THEM feel; rather than how what the other person says, does, or believes affects themselves. The fact that you have a habit of picking your nose at the table may disgust me and make me want to go elsewhere to eat, but to tell you this is not love, it is self centred. It is about making ME feel more comfortable, not about making your life better. If you are eating alone and no one will go near you, but you have no idea why, telling you is love, because it is concerned for your well being.

But how to you tell someone such a thing?
This is where love really comes in. If you are the kind of person who cannot express yourself well, or must be angry before saying anything of consequence, you will never speak truth in love. The ‘truth’ you feel needs to be spoke must fester within you until it erupts and as a result you will harm, not help, you will hurt and damage, not built up, protect and set free. I know several people who need to be angry, or truly enraged, before they will express deep opinions or feelings and every time they do they destroy others, or part of the relationship they have with others. They feel much better for having released something which was festering deep inside them, but they have done more damage than if they had remained silent. They have also destroyed the channel of communication, as no one want to open themselves up to rage, even if it does contain truth which could be helpful. The delivery is self centred and destructive.

Equally, I know people who will never speak, on any subject, saying that it is none of their business and, as a result of their silence, do great damage, because they had a chance to rescue someone from danger by speaking truth, in love and walked away from that opportunity. They destroy communication because those who may be looking for the guidance of truth know they will not receive it and so will not open themselves up to the cold wall of silence.

There are also those who see truth around every corner and need to tell the other about it. Although they may be right about a lot of it, they don’t know how to pick the important things to address and so destroy others and the conduit of communication by appearing to nit-pick continually.

Truth is often the difficult element to define. Picking your nose at the table is something which is easily seen and defined as truth, you do it, we can all see you do and it cannot be denied. But what about attitudes, tones of voice, hidden agendas and the like? They are often our interpretation rather than actual fact. They are often arrived at by us assessing a situation based upon what WE would be doing or intending if we had instigated it. What is the truth of this situation?

Repeated patterns often reveal truth. Is this something which happens regularly? Or is it a one off? Is the result of this behaviour almost always the same? Does the person nearly always suffer in the same way? These pointers can help us define the truth in a situation, but nothing beats prayer. The request for insight to allow us to know the truth and then HOW to speak the truth in love will be the best way to know.

Once we have something to say we need to be fully submitted to the Lord before we say it. If there is anything of OUR agenda in it we need to step back and say nothing. Speaking truth, in love, is a rare occurrence, it is more common to erupt or remain silent. But if we truly love our brothers and sisters, we need to master the art, because when we do we will save them from a great deal of pain and suffering….if they will listen to us….and, conversely, they us. Truth, delivered in love, is the perfect formula for it being received; any other way and it will most likely be rejected.

IF we really love one another, as our Lord instructed us to, let us learn how to speak truth, but to speak it in love and to learn to hear love when it is spoken to us, with truth.

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