Tag Archives: Truth

Be Content

1 TIMOTHY 6:4-8

4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

If you thought I was harsh with that last quote, just look what Paul says here. He shows no mercy on these false teachers, calling them men of corrupt minds, and destitute of truth. He tells us to withdraw ourselves from them because they think that gain is godliness. One has to wonder how people who serve our loving God could get this way. How could they one day be preaching the glorious truth of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice and resurrection and then the next be teaching false doctrines designed to please the flesh? How could they turn from the truth of servanthood and start teaching mastery and dominion? How could they come to the place where they believe demanding from God is what the Bible intends?

Paul gives us the answer to these questions and many more in the first three words of verse 4. “He is proud.” Pride is at the root of all false teaching and deception. Pride instills in the individual the idea that they can do no wrong, teach no wrong, believe no wrong, and think no wrong. They believe their way is the only way and they stand by it no matter what the evidence dictates. I have had my bouts with pride through the years and have come to a point where I can usually identify it and bring it into subjection. You will never get rid of it, but you can control it to a certain extent. You also need someone to help you see it when you don’t. For me, that would be my wife. That accountability is priceless to me because I never want to get to that overly prideful state again. Do you have someone in your life who will point out when pride begins to rise up within you? If you don’t, please make that happen.

My pride manifested itself often with the words “I know.” I used these two words constantly to indicate you don’t need to tell me anything because I know everything. This was especially true when it came to Bible truths. It would be hard to teach me anything because I was the teacher and my ideas were much better than yours when it came to interpretation. So, when you start to show me something you had noticed, I would say “I know” in an inquisitive, excited fashion. This remained true after having my gross sin exposed back in 2003. At that time a Pastor took me under his wings and prayed me back to righteousness only to have me fall into the same trap again. When I got caught again in 2008 and lost my job and almost my marriage. That same pastor found me a place where I could be helped. I remember distinctly walking toward the front of the church as he said to me “Pete, you’ve got to take care of this or it will ruin you.” I said back to him in a low voice “I know.” He quickly said “No, you don’t know. If you did you never would have started up again in the first place.” He was exactly right and I realized I did not know! If you find yourself saying “I know”: a lot, perhaps you know nothing as I did. Ask God to search your heart!

Paul says these false teachers have corrupt minds and are destitute of the truth. The word corrupt is a very strong Greek word which means to be thoroughly degenerate, or wasted away by the decaying influence of moral impurity. How evident that is in the church today. Divorce and adultery are almost the norm even in our churches as they are in society. We see Pastors addicted to pornography at a high level, and others taking advantage of their congregation. We see churches rising up that profess to be preaching salvation message only top say that practicing gay people are Ok with God and will go to heaven. We see sin ignored for the most part because grace covers all sin. The decaying morals fill the church and the false teachers just preach on without addressing the truth. That word destitute in the Greek means to keep away from and this is exactly what they do. They keep away from the truth in order to please those who are listening. This can build very big churches! They even suppose that gain is godliness. That because God is blessing them financially and materially, they are godly people. They feel saved because they have all this stuff God ahs allowed them to have. Paul says we should stay away from these false teachers and followers. You can easily be lured into their version of the truth if you are not careful.

Are you content with what God has allowed you to have at this very moment? Are you walking in righteousness every day? If you are accomplishing both of these two things Paul says you are having great gains in your walk with the Lord. Not because you have a lot of stuff and money, not because you have fame, or power, or lots of friends. You see, it’s all about Him. Walking with Him. Finding our peace, joy and hope in Him. Being content in Him is the greatest place we can find ourselves. Saying “God, you have me here and I am walking with you, and that is all that matters. I am content.” If you can say that, God bless you! This is the closing thought of Paul in this portion.

Contentment had reached into Pauls’ heart. In Philippians 4:11, Paul says that he has learned to be content in all situations in life. Paul knew suffering and pain more than any of us most likely. He knew what is was like to be rejected, put down, mocked, betrayed, and disliked yet he was content. Her had found peace with God and that was wall that mattered to him. The trappings of this world were not his concern. Only Jesus crucified. Only the cross. Only Jesus! Let us all get this same mindset.

What is Truth?

Philippians 4:8 Part 2

Finally, brethren,

whatsoever things are true,

whatsoever things are honest,

whatsoever things are just,

whatsoever things are pure,

whatsoever things are lovely,

whatsoever things are of good report;

if there be any virtue,

and if there be any praise,

think on these things.

 

We will look at these things to think on one at a time.  There is so much to consider.

In the recent election accusations were flying on a constant basis.  The two presidential candidates threw words back and forth all the time and you really didn’t know what was true. I was amazed at how often each of them called the other out for lies.  In the end, I think we were all glad when the campaigning was over.  I firmly believe there’s a blurring effect going on in our society that kind of neutralizes everything so that no one can really say what’s true and what’s not.

When I think of things that are true I must eliminate gossip out of my head.  It is so hard to find the truth now because everybody has a different story. And the internet is loaded with untruths. News agencies report different stories, and have different ideas about how things go in our society.  We can’t trust them for truth.  Even n Jesus day, it was hard to discern what was true.  Remember Pilate asked Jesus “What is truth (John 18:38) ” So, our problem is to find a source for the truth.

Let’s first look at Jesus. Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). One thing I can do to think about things that are true is think about Jesus since He is the truth. We can think about His love, mercy and grace toward us.  We can think about His sacrifice. We can meditate on His teachings,  We can take heart in the miracles He performed, knowing that He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8).

What else can we find that’s true? Certainly, not the newscasts, not television, not movies and not the internet. It’s hard to find truth in any of those things. It seems even channels like The Weather Channel and National Geographic have fallen into the politically correct area. As we search for truth in this world there’s really only one place that we can find it. And that’s the Word of God.

The Bible gives us truth on just about every subject we can imagine. Whether it’s dealing with your neighbor or finances or marriage, the Bible provides for any situation that will come up. The truth contained there spreads over every religion and every culture. They are recognized worldwide as true. I think of things like the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule which are universal in nature. I sell insurance for a living and one of the things that you have to do every three years to go through an Ethics Course. One of the first things on the ethics course is that we need to practice the Golden Rule. Even in business the Bible is recognized as a source of Truth.

If you are not in your Bible on a regular basis it will be hard for you to think about those things that are true. You can think about Jesus and you can meditate on His word as far as you know the word. As you get to know the word more you can meditate on the truth easier.   There are so many wonderful truths and promises God has given us in His word.  Set aside time to get into the word so you know the extent of what God has for you.

There are other the things on this list of things to think about that should be combined with truth to really transform our lives.  Tomorrow we will talk about things that are honest.