Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 1 Corinthians 13:6 (NIV)
I have been enjoying learning new things about God’s word. One of them is understanding where the words I am reading come from. I have added some new resources to the Bible Study App I use, and I looked up the Greek word for truth.
It is Aletheia with a line over the first e. It means, “What is true in things appertaining to God and the duties of man, moral and religious truth. 1. In the greatest latitude, and 2. the true notions of God which are open to human reason without His supernatural intervention.” (Olive Tree App – NASB Strong Concordance)
Every scripture we read here today that has the word truth in it is from this Greek word and its meaning.
This truth we are talking about is open to reason without His supernatural intervention. We know the truth because the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth. Without His Holy Spirit, we see how human reasoning gets in, and the truth is twisted and confused.
We see this in the world around us all the time. Truth becomes something that is always changing without the supernatural intervention of an unchangeable God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, no matter what culture we are in.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes, His eternal power, and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason, God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way, also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. Romans 1:18-32 (NASB)
This is a full scripture. There are a few things I want to pull out and focus on today. First, God shows us that He can not delight in evil, and He has to address it. He shows us here what led these people to the place they were in. These are things we need to pay attention to in our own lives.
- God revealed Himself to these people. He had clearly made Himself known. They knew Him but rejected Him. They allowed themselves to become futile, which means empty, vain, and foolish, and became wise in their own eyes.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. Proverbs 3:7 (NASB)
Are there areas of our lives we have allowed to become empty, vain, or foolish?
Are there places where we have become wise in our own eyes, trusting ourselves and not God?
2. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature instead of the creator.
Recently, God had been showing me this in my own life. I was seeking Him about where certain triggers and reactions came from. Many led to way back into my childhood. He revealed that I lived out of the lies that I had believed and taken on in my mind and my heart. Reactions come from those places. As God began working on those lies and helping me replace them with the truth, the reactions are fewer and farther between. My responses to the very same things are extremely different because I respond from the truth instead of reacting out of the lie.
Have you exchanged the truth for a lie in any area of your life? Ask God to reveal any place in your heart and mind where this has happened, and ask Him to help you replace it with the truth. I can testify He is faithful to do that for you.
3. We can see that as we allow these things to happen, they can lead to very dysfunctional and evil places. God talks about homosexuality and gender confusion and exchanges here. However, they are not the only things He talks about. He talks about things like envy, greed, strife, and deceit. He talks about gossip, slander, arrogance and boastfulness. He speaks about disobeying parents and being unloving and unmerciful. ALL of these are sins. They are all evil in God’s sight. We have to be careful not to pick and choose sin or look at certain sins as worse than others because God sees it ALL the same.
Do we see any of these sins in our lives? Let’s ask God to speak the truth to our hearts about that today and every day.
The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth.
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. 3 John 3:1-4 (NASB)
God’s heart is for his children to be walking in the truth. I know this is my heart for my children. My heart literally tears when I see my children walking away from God. It has been the most painful experience outside of childbirth. God’s heart grieves when He sees us living in sin and walking away from Him.
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
When we allow ourselves to live in the lie, instead of the truth, and when we live worshipping the created, and not the creator, leading us to become wise in our own eyes, we begin to delight in evil, not just living that way, but also giving that hearty approval to others who are living that way. Instead of spurring one another on towards the Lord, we begin accepting and encouraging sin.
Sin leads us away from God. It hinders our relationship with Him. His heart is for all to be saved and know Him. He desires all of us to be reconciled to Him. This is WHY He loves us enough to speak truth to our hearts. This is WHY we need to be willing to speak the truth to others around us and to live our lives according to the truth so others may know God and know the truth.
I am so thankful God has loved me enough to speak the truth to me. He has spoken truth to my heart and He has given me other people in my life who have loved me enough to speak truth to me when I have needed it.
I appreciate that God also speaks the truth by letting me know I am in the right place. He speaks truth and lets me know He is pleased and rejoices in my obedience to Him. He brings me confirmation and little gifts along the way to love me with truth and He rejoices when He sees me walking in the truth.
Let’s love each other in those moments too. When we see others walking in truth, let’s rejoice in that and let them know we see their obedience to God. Let’s encourage them to keep moving forward toward God.
I pray that we can take these truths today and allow God to examine our hearts. Let’s be thankful for His love for us in the way He rejoices in the truth and does not delight in evil. I know I would not be where I am today without it. I would be far away from Him if He had not loved me enough with the truth.
He is a good God. He truly is for us and not against us, even though it may feel that way sometimes. The enemy wants us to think God doesn’t want what is best for us or that He doesn’t really love us, but the truth is He does, and He will give us what we need to be Holy and live that abundant life Jesus died to give us. He wants us to walk in freedom and out of the bondage of sin, so others will know He is God.
That IS love. May we walk away today loving Him more, and loving one another better.