By Michael J. Brooks
I shared with a friend that I’d received a request to write a 750-word article for a denominational magazine called “Standing on Truths: The Case for Absolute Truths.” My friend and I agreed we seem to hold fewer absolutes than we did when we were younger, and he told me I should write “there are no absolute truths” 150 times to fulfill the word count! Of course, he was joking. But this is an intriguing assignment.
What are the most basic absolute truths in life? I’ve been thinking of several.
First, all of us are broken. The Apostle Paul said it succinctly: “All have sinned and fallen short of God’s plan” (Romans 3:23). The God who made us gave us rules to follow, and these rules ensure our happiness. Alas, just like our first parents in Eden, we believe God’s not really serious and we try to find another way. Our wrong choices impact our fellowship with God and with one another.
Second, God’s love for us is constant. Though we’ve chosen to disobey him, he continues to speak to us. The scripture says he speaks to us by creation, by his prophets and by his word. He speaks to us most clearly in his son. “While we were still living in disobedience, God sent his son,” Paul continued in Romans 5:8. In other words, God doesn’t decree we “turn over a new leaf” or leave our evil behind; he seeks us in the midst of our disobedience to offer forgiveness and a change of nature.
Third, humanity is accountable. When we accept God’s forgiveness, we’re instructed to live our lives in his service. He has given gifts to each of us for service, and each gift is unique. We must discover and use our gifts. And we must refuse to compare what we have with somebody else, though we’re all prone to do this. The old spiritual says, “If you can’t pray like Peter / if you can’t preach like Paul / You can tell the love of Jesus / and say he died for all.”
A mentor said to our youth group many years ago, “God made only one Billy Graham since he needed only one. He made you, too, and you can make a difference.”
Part of accountability is the promise that one day we’ll stand before God when the judgment books will be opened. One Bible teacher insisted this reference to books is a metaphor since God doesn’t need to write anything. He believed this refers simply to the mind of God. Whatever the case, on that day of accounting we want to hear words of commendation from the God we’ve served with our whole heart. -30-
Reflections is a weekly devotional column written by Michael J. Brooks, pastor of the Siluria Baptist Church in Alabaster, Ala. The church’s website is siluriabaptist.com.