Day 24: Transformed by Truth – 40 Days of Purpose-Driven Life

Purpose #3: You Were Created to Become Like Christ

Point to Ponder: The truth transforms me.

Verse to Remember: “If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed;

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” — John 8:31b32 (KJV)
Question to Consider: What has God already told me in his Word that I haven’t started doing yet?

[Read More] thoughts on Day 24 of Rick Warren‘s Purpose-Driven Life* especially about truth, God’s word, and orthopraxis.

I had to laugh at today’s devotional from Rick Warren, coming as it does just after my conversation with Alan about truth and absolutes. I occasionally wonder if Alan ever reads these “Devotionals” along with the “Beliefs“, and if so whether he finds it strange that I interpose high-minded philosophy with gut-level theology.

In case any of you are wondering, I don’t find it strange (even if I sometimes find me strange :-). I am a devout believer in both orthodoxy (“right-thinking”) and orthopraxy (“right-doing”), and in fact believe the best test of each is how well they support the other. In my life, the only way I have found to reconcile the two is through the person of the Jesus Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the presence of Father — as revealed in the cross. After all my years of philosophizing, ultimately the cross is the only thing that enables me to even attempt to consistently — and simultaneously — affirm truth and manifest love.

Interestingly, I am just starting to recover a genuine love and thirst for God’s Word, after being soured on the hollowness of a merely intellectual orthodoxy and the hypocritical Bibliolatry of many evangelicals (having the “forms of godliness while denying its power”). While I’m willing to concede that our present canon and translations bear the scars of their human-mediated transmission, I nonetheless affirm — along with countless generations before me — that the Scriptures bear faithful witness to the nature and character of God. And that the better I comprehend the “data” given to me there, the better off I will be. Along with Rick, I affirm that God’s Word:

* generates life
* creates faith
* produces change
* frightens the Devil
* causes miracles
* heals hurts
* builds character
* transforms circumstances
* imparts joy
* overcomes adversity
* defeats temptation
* infuses hope
* releases power
* cleanses our minds
* brings things into being
* guarantees our future forever

Not by itself, of course: God’s Word requires faith, hope & love — not to mention the power of the Holy Spirit — to be effective. But those by themselves without God’s Word are as fickle as a boat without a keel. I love Rick’s picture of God’s word as “our milk, bread, solid food, and sweet dessert” — a nourishing (if not exactly low-carb 😉 diet.

I also accept Rick’s admonition to abide in God’s word as I:

* accept its authority (vs. culture, tradition, reason, or emotion)
* assimilate its truth (as I receive, read, research, remember and reflect on it)
* apply its principles (“The truth will set you free, but first it may make you miserable!”)

As Ricks quotes D.L Moody as saying, “The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge but to change our lives.” Amen!

Prayer: God, I sometimes fear I’ll treat truth like some families treat fine china: something too valuable to use, but rather collected to be admired in a glass case. Help me to hunger and thirst for righteousness, truth, and your presence in my life, that I may both submit to and glorify Your Word, as I abide in it. And you. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.