2 John 1-4--The Elder: To the elect lady and her children: I love all of you in the truth—and not only I, but also all who have come to know the truth—because of the truth that remains in us and will be with us forever. Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. I was very glad to find some of your children walking in the truth, in keeping with a command we have received from the Father.
Five times the Apostle John mentions truth in the introduction of his letter. What we learn through him about truth should enrich us. First, the basis for his love for the elect lady and her children comes from a position of truth. Some writers have translated verse 1 as “truly love.” But the Greek context makes it clear that John is not defining his love astrue (using truth as an adverb), but rather that his love is based in truth (a noun)—a key distinction. We see this unfold in verses 10 and 11, where John commands believers “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your home, and don’t say “Welcome,” to him; for the one who says, “Welcome,” to him shares in his evil works.” Love is extended based on rightness.
Second, truth is something that God’s children come to understand. In the process of this, love is corporately shared. The proof that we are God’s children is obedience to His command: “The one who loves God must also love his brother” (1 John 4:21b).
Third, truth is not some passing fad or possession that can be lost. It remains in us and will be with us for eternity. John states this as a promising assurance. The reason for this is God is eternal and He is truth! “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:17). Jesus proclaimed, "I am the way, the truth, and the life . . . When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth” (John 14:6, 16:13). Knowing this should greatly encourage us!
Fourth, the grace, mercy and peace that God through Jesus bequeaths us, remains with us substantiated through truth and love. Truth without love could not tolerate extending us the privilege of adoption. Love without truth would make grace, mercy and peace capricious—as dependable as a cat given voice commands.
Fifth, John is very happy when he sees young believers doing what is right. As a parent, few things encourage me as much as seeing my children make wise decisions and live honorably because they value obeying God’s instruction. I know experientially that when they prize truth, they will be blessed and experience the fullness of God’s activity in their lives. Genuine gladness is truth-encased. So live in truth and have complete joy!
I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.—Martin Luther King Jr.
Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters, must not be trusted with important matters.—Albert Einstein
©2008 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)