Value #2: Truth

May 16, 2019

By Erin Bird,

Hope you are finding some ways to get out and enjoy this wonderful Spring weather. Last week here in the News & Notes, we kicked off a three-part series on the values of Riverwood, starting with Grace. Which means this week, we come to the topic of Truth.

What is Truth?
In John 18Jesus is having a conversation with Pontius Pilate. At this point in the book of John, Jesus has been arrested by the Jewish leaders, has already endured a false trial before the Jewish high court, and is now standing before the Roman governor, who is being pressured by the Jewish leaders to kill him.

Pilate is trying to figure out who Jesus is and why the Jewish leaders handed him over to the Romans to be put to death. As they converse, Jesus says the reason he came to earth was to "testify to the truth."

But Pilate mocks this concept. He responds, "What is truth?"

Modern-Day Pilates
I think Pilate would fit well in 2019. Many people today say, "what's true for you may not be true for me," or cry out "Fake news!" all of which is just another way of echoing Pilate: "What is truth?"

When it comes to food or art - sure, I will admit you can have different "truth." One person thinks chocolate is amazing while another thinks it's awful (and we all know THAT person is completely crazy! 😜 ) You could then say these two individuals both speak the truth, even though they have differing opinions.

But with most things in life, you can't do this. You can't look at a blue shirt and say it's red, then claim that it is your "truth" that blue is really red. To do so makes you a modern-day Pilate.

As much as it makes many people in our culture uncomfortable, the fact of the matter is truth is truth. It just is, no matter what you believe or say.

The Knife of Truth
But let me caution you - truth is like a knife. When you "wield" it, some will be scared and run away.

I remember before Riverwood even launched public worship gatherings, I was told by someone who was investigating our yet-to-be church that my teaching was too "fundamentalist," narrow-minded, and conservative - simply because I chose to believe there was such a thing as truth. (The ironic thing is I've also been told I'm not conservative enough!)

But even though truth can seem "scary" to some, the reason we "lean on truth" at Riverwood is because of what Jesus himself said in John 8:32:

" will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

You see, the truth Jesus is talking about is Himself. When you know Jesus, He will set you free from your sin.

Yes, truth sometimes hurts. It is usually uncomfortable to face our sin. But when we let Jesus wield the knife of truth, like a master surgeon, He carves out our sin, removing it from us, so we might be spiritually alive and free.

This is why we lead with grace, welcoming ALL people regardless of their past or present. But we will also lean on truth, leading them to the One who loves them exactly as they are, but loves them too much to leave them that way. We will lead them to the truth of the gospel.

So may YOU lean on truth. May you not be afraid of it. May you continue to study it through reading Scripture and being part of a Growth Group. And as you continue to pursue truth in Jesus, may you experience more and more the freedom He generously gives.

Erin Bird Lead Pastor - Riverwood Church

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Riverwood Church, Waverly Iowa

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