Norman Rockwell was a master of his art–the art of illustration. If you’ve ever seen any of his works you know that he had this amazing ability to communicate the character of a person in a picture. Whether it’s the young girl staring at herself in the mirror or the umpires checking for rain, you don’t have to meet the people in the artwork to understand them. The very picture itself communicates so much about them.
A Self Portrait of God
In much the same way, truth is a picture of God. Yesterday we talked about how Jesus Christ is really God’s living Word, or what God is really all about. When we read the Scriptures to learn about the truth laid out in them, what you’re really doing is studying a picture of God. Josh McDowell, renowned Christian author, in his book Right and Wrong clearly defines this idea. Every command in the Bible is really a lens through which we can see God. For instance, when God tells us in Exodus 20 not to kill, we look through that lens and understand that God values life.
It’s Who You Know
Just last week I had the privilege of hearing Josh McDowell speak, and one of the themes of his message was relationships. He spoke about how that one of the greatest testimonies about God’s love that we can give to someone is a loving relationship. He shared the results of a survey he had just completed. The results were startling. Most teens who are involved in violent crimes are not from single parent homes, they are from homes where their father was abusive or neglectful. What does this have to do with truth?
Quite a lot, especially if you consider that the truth is a revelation of who God is.
Let’s let Paul make the connection:
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 1.Cor.13:3
Love is the hinge pin for this whole issue of truth. The beauty of Christianity is that the truth it puts forth values others. The truth we are given in Scripture tells us that love reigns supreme. At times professing Christians have not held true to this dogma, but that doesn’t change the importance of the teaching. Jesus Christ Himself, the One who embodies Divine Truth, said that loving God and loving others were the most important commandments.
This brings several important implications with it. First, we must realize that all of our journeying for truth must be driven by love for God and love for others. Christians are often known by their propensity to fight, which isn’t really what our hallmark should be; Jesus said that it should be love. (John 13:35) Remember, the truth is a portrait of God, and our search for truth is really just a quest to know God better; it’s about the relationships.
Secondly, realize that God’s truth results in a better world. Any ‘truth’ outside of God’s truth becomes self-centered and by it’s very nature, greedy. Even the desire to help others only springs from the need for “personal satisfaction” and is ultimately selfish.
Do You Really Want To Know?
And that brings us to the most vital question we will consider during this study. And that is, “Do you really want to know the truth?” So many people are running around, claiming that they’re following hard after truth; but the reality is that if they caught it, what would they do with it? If you found out that the truth meant you had limitations on your sexuality, would you accept it? If the truth meant you had to give up something that gave you pleasure, would you do it?
The greatest question to answer is also the most applicable one. In this Information Age, where knowledge is power and truth is the grand prize, would you be willing to accept the truth of God’s Word? I’ll end with a quote from G.K. Chesterton:
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and left untried.”