09 August 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: John 7:14-20 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
14 Then, midway through the festival, Jesus went up to the Temple and began to teach. 15 The people were surprised when they heard him. “How does he know so much when he hasn’t been trained?” they asked. 16 So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. 17 Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. 18 Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies. 19 Moses gave you the law, but none of you obeys it! In fact, you are trying to kill me.” 20 The crowd replied, “You’re demon possessed! Who’s trying to kill you?” (John 7:14–20 NLT)
Partway through the festival, Jesus began teaching in the Temple. When the Jewish leaders questioned his “credentials” and wondered how he was so knowledgeable when he hadn’t been to “seminary”, he told them, “I’m not teaching my own ideas, but those of God who sent me. Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own!”
God has given us his Holy Spirit who will lead us into truth. It’s a matter of the heart! Those whose hearts are committed to God and whose minds are committed to the truth will be drawn to truth and repelled by lies and falsehoods. The Bible warns that those who don’t “love the truth” are at risk of being drawn into a web of lies. Here are some ways we can recognize whether teachers are teaching God’s truth:
1) Their words will agree with, not contradict the Bible. They will teach in harmony with the overall message of Scripture and not merely pick out “proof texts” to try to validate their teachings.
2) Their words will point people to God and not to themselves. They will honor the good, honor those who are doing good, and encourage their hearers to test every idea and thought by the Spirit and the Word.
3) Their own lives will match the truth they teach. What they teach will be in harmony with God’s Law of Love, and their lives will demonstrate the same Godly qualities their teaching promotes.
Father, Please protect us from self-promoting teachers. Give us a love for the truth that will expose the lies. Help us to “smell” the stench of falsehood. As we live our daily lives, make us living examples of the truth we believe and teach. May we live in the Spirit and walk in the Truth. Amen.