Encouragement for Today
"Swine or Truth"
Sharon Jaynes, Author, She Speaks Graduate
John 8:32, "Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." (NIV)
I read a bumper sticker once that read, “If mother’s place is in the home, why am I always in the car?” Welcome to the new millennium where the car is indeed [the moving] extension of the home. Whether it’s a mother running carpool, a business woman sitting in commuter traffic, or a senior citizen volunteering in the community, the fact is, we live much of our lives in the car, which means God lives there with us and speaks to its mobile inhabitants. One such “moving” experience taught me about the importance of not jumping to conclusions.
John 8:32 is one of my favorite Bible verses. So much so, that I had the fine people at the license plate bureau make me a personalized plate that read just that: JOHN 8:32. The verse reads, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."
My good friend Mari noticed my license plate for the first time as we passed one day on the highway, and made a mental note to look up the verse when she arrived home. After she found the verse, she spent some time meditating and wondering why in the world I would put that verse on my license plate. She looked again to see if maybe there was some deep meaning that she was missing. Maybe it was a joke.
Mari gave me a call and asked, "What possessed you to put a Bible verse about pigs on your license plate?"
"What are you talking about, Mari?"
"You know. You have Luke 8:32 on your license plate.”
The problem was, Mari had remembered the verse as Luke 8:32, not John 8:32. That verse reads, "Now there was a herd of many swine feeding there on the mountain, and the demons entreated Him to permit them to enter the swine. And He gave them permission." Can't you see it now, bumper stickers that read, "When pigs flew, Luke 8:32." Or, a Chick-fil-A billboard with Luke 8:32 written in the bottom right hand corner with the message "Don't eat pork."
After I set Mari straight, telling her that she had the right verse but the wrong book, we had a good chuckle – but it was a “moving” experience for me. The next time I question someone's motives or actions, I need to remember that I usually don't have all the facts. I might have the right chapter and even the right verse, but I may be in the wrong book altogether. And that can make the difference between demon possessed pigs and spiritual freedom of the truth.
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, help me to always seek the truth. You are truth, and I know that it breaks Your heart when we do not walk in truth. Help me to not jump to conclusions, but seek the truth in every situation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
At ever turn today, ask yourself these questions:
“What is the truth of this situation?”
“Do I have all the facts, or am I filling in the blanks with my own imaginings?”
“Have I jumped to conclusions or am I waiting to gather all the details before I come to a conclusion?”
Think of a time when you jumped to a conclusion and it turned out to be completely wrong.
How would it have been better to wait until you had all the facts?
What emotions could have been avoided if you had waited to get the facts correct?
John 8:44, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (NIV)
John 14:6, “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’" (NIV)
John 16:13, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.“ (NIV)
Becoming a Woman who Listens to God, by Sharon Jaynes
Secrets of the Vine, by Bruce Wilkinson
Searching for God’s Treasures in Everyday Life (4-set CD or tape), by Renee Swope