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Welcome to my blog: Today's Lady Virtue. This site is for women--wives, mothers, singles, widows, family, friends, etc.! My heart is to share loving encouragement coupled with timeless truths from God's Word, the Bible, to enlighten, uplift, and empower women of today. At Today's Lady Virtue we're about "Reclaiming Virtuous Womanhood today the Time-tested Way!" Here you will find a variety of posts from poems, to "Put into Practice" principles, to pictures and more! I invite you to voyage with me on the quest to become Today's Lady Virtue.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The L's of a FruitLESS and FruitFULL Marriage, Part III

The Way of Liars 
The Way of Truth-Lovers

Sometimes (OK, most of the time) I am so S L O W to figure things out...I'm a visual learner, too.   Just ask my sweet husband how many times he has actually had to  draw me a picture or flow chart to help me "Get it"... Consequently, understanding certain ideas or concepts convert from "Duh...Huh?" moments to "Aha!" ones.  Perhaps that is why Jesus often taught using parables.  Using these, Christ Jesus cited physical examples that people could relate to in order to drive home a greater message about spiritual truth.  

In my last two posts we have looked at Truths and Tendencies of Lying as well as Truths about Truth.  Today we will further explore these two paths by contrasting The Way of Liars V. The Way of Truth-Lovers.  We will close with a few prayers that we can say for ourselves, others, our leaders and authorities, as well as Jesus's own  prayer that He prayed for Believers before the hour of his betrayal had come.

 The Way of Liars:
God's Wrath Against Mankind
 18"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the TRUTH by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.  21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
 24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the TRUTH of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
 26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
 28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." Romans 1:18-32

This passage is so difficult to read.  Sometimes (a lot of the time) the truth hurts as first...however we must remember this principle:  

the TRUTH may hurt (my pride) at first
Saves, Frees, and Loves at Last!

There is no "in-between" or "middle of the road" road.  No, there is simply the Way of Truth or the Way of Death.  Truth-lovers will live eternally in the presence of Jesus Christ.  Liars (i.e., Christ-deniers) will be condemned.   Ouch!  However, sometimes the truth hurts as the saying goes...yet the TRUTH SAVES, the TRUTH FREES, and the TRUTH is "True Love" take your pick...

The Way of Truth-Lovers:

Living as Children of Light
 17"So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.  20You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the TRUTH that is in Jesus. 22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
 25Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak TRUTHfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26"In your anger do not sin"[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold. 28He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
 29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:17-32
Walking in the light
 5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the TRUTH. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[a] sin.  8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the TRUTH is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives."  1 John 1:5-10

Has the picture been painted for you, my friends?  I can see the TRUTH in living color.  Now we should consider also this principle:

The Way of Truth is a CHOICE:
 29 "Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through your law.30 I have chosen the way of TRUTH; I have set my heart on your laws. 31 I hold fast to your statutes, O LORD; do not let me be put to shame." Psalm 119:29-31

Prayers for God to Instate Truthfulness in Our Hearts and the Hearts of Everyone:

  1.  God's Truth in MY heart: 10 "For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. 11 Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your TRUTH; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. 12 I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever." Psalm 86:10-12
  2. God's Truth in Everyone's Hearts (including our authorities): 1"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the TRUTH. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time. 7And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the TRUTH, I am not Lying—and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles." 1 Timothy 2:1-7
  3. Jesus' Prayer for God's Truth to be In Believers: 16"They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17Sanctify[a] them by the TRUTH; your word is TRUTH. 18As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world."  
John 17:16-18
God wants us to be SANCTIFIED (that means to be made more like Christ) by the truth of His Word.  How do we do that?  Well, it is really simple.  We open the Bible and read it, just like we open e-mails, blogs, Facebook, and whatever else we read each day.  The more we read about the Lord from His Word, the more TRUTH we take in.  The more truth we take in, the greater our knowledge of the thoughts, ways, desires, plans, and promises of the Lord.  The more we know Jesus, the Truth, the more we become like Him (through the help and work of His Holy Spirit of course).  God wants us to become more and more like Jesus.

I am speaking to married women now.  Remember, we belong to our husbands and they belong to us.  While I'm quite sure we can see all the ugly things that need to be changed in them (and that is likely the truth), let us ask ourselves if our efforts to change them really work?  How effective have our attempts to change our husbands truly been?  Hmmmm...

Nevertheless, what can we change?  Well, besides diapers, bed sheets, hairstyles and such, we can only CHANGE OURSELVES.  When we realize this truth and bring our "stuff" to the Lord...well, the restoration can commence!  So, let us quietly go to the Lord with our burdens, casting our cares on Him because He cares for us.  Let us air our dirty laundry to Him (He already knows it anyhow).  Let's CHOOSE to be CHANGED by the Truth...and then marvel at God's grace to use us for His good purposes!

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