Choices; March 22, 2020

2 Thessalonians 2:10 They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

The Japanese translation of this verse has an interesting slant: “They did not receive the love of the truth [needed] to be saved.” God provides absolutely everything we need, but we have to receive it. Ephesians 2:9 famously proclaims that faith is a gift from God, and here it speaks of a love of the truth, but sadly there are many who simply say, “No thank you”. That is tragic indeed. As James says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17) However, gifts must be received in order to be operative as gifts, and all too often we refuse what God offers us. I suppose there are many things that could influence that, with a love of the flesh and its pleasures being prominent, but at their root is the fatal flaw of pride, of saying I’m going to decide, I’m in charge of my life. It was Lucifer’s desire to be first that got him thrown out of heaven, (Isaiah 14:12-14) and pride was what he used to trick Eve into direct disobedience toward God. (Genesis 3:4-5) People get all worked up over “How could a loving God throw people into hell,” but it’s all a matter of our choice. Those who choose deviant lifestyles often claim they’re “born this way,” but there is no genuine scientific evidence to back that up. All sorts of emotional wounds can blind us to the truth, but that doesn’t change the truth. It’s ultimately up to us to receive the love of the truth that is called for to be saved.

I could say, “been there done that,” here, because I’m all too familiar with pride that blinds me to the truth. I love acquiring information, but that’s not necessarily the same as loving the truth. I need to focus on the fundamental humility that God’s God and I’m not, and that’s a very good thing indeed. I need to rest in the assurance that everything He does is rooted in love, whether it looks that way to me at the moment or not. I am not the final arbiter of truth! As a pastor I am called to help others understand this as well. Sometimes they love the truth and receive it, and sometimes they refuse it, preferring the lies the devil feeds them. That is tragic, but it’s not my choice. I am not to abandon anyone, but rather pray for them and continue speaking the truth in love, offering myself as an instrument of God’s grace toward them, just as He has poured grace out on me so abundantly.

Father, you are doing good things here, and I thank You. I can’t figure it all out, but then I don’t have to. Help me be where You want me to be, saying and doing what You desire, on Your schedule, so that in all things Your will may be done for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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