that you might know truth, becoming people of virtue
"And He said to them, “Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you – and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.” Mark 4:24 AMP
This is going to be my verse of the year.
Jesus was explaining his parable of the sower. That is, a man sows seed and where it falls will determine whether it grows and how productive it will be. Even the disciples don’t make the connection, and Jesus has to tell them the ‘seed’ is the Word of God.
Truth seems a rare commodity. Jesus warned us that truth must be discerned from amidst noise and distraction, and there are bad actors – corporeal and spiritual - who want to steal it from you. It takes preparation to cultivate a mind suited to receive it, and then it requires work – thought and study – in order to make it productive.
Ignorant or evil players ensure each kernel of truth gets twisted. The Apostle Peter warned the church:
“And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.” 2Peter 3:15-16 ESV
And yet, we are surrounded by truth. Here are some of the ways God speaks, through:
Creation – “the heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1 Everything we see and sense points back to a Creator.
Canon – all of the Bible - “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4 ESV
Conscience – whether the still, small voice that spoke to Elijah on the mountaintop, the visions and dreams given to Daniel, or as the Apostle Paul explained: “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26 ESV
Church – “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,” 1Corinthians 12:7-8 ESV Who do you listen to? Who are you letting speak into your life?
Can I suggest three resources that we use and may help you as we grow together?
The Bible App: https://www.youversion.com/the-bible-app/ In 2020, we are reading from the “Eat this Book” reading plan. Read along with the group and share insights online in real time.
Here’s another source that has become a standard: www.biblegateway.com
For news from a Christian worldview: https://world.wng.org/ They offer a news podcast weekdays called “The World and Everything In It.”
Praying that you would do the hard work of seeking and discerning Truth, not just to acquire some facts, but that we might become people of virtue, bringing glory to God and to Jesus, who is the Truth.
“You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2Peter 3:17-18 ESV