Challenging & Contemporary Insights For Men

Day 3 of 6 • This day’s reading

Devotional

The Firm Foundation of Truth

Wise people determine their convictions before trouble comes, not when it comes.

We need to understand that the tensions of life will always be there, regardless of the options we choose to live by. Systems of values will always be on a collision course with one another, and we will always have to defend what we believe from the assault of a conflicting belief system. If we have no firm commitments and haven’t already determined which of our national convictions are nonnegotiable, our whole system will implode under the weight of momentary decisions. It is critical, therefore, to preserve those convictions or values that have already been tested and have

proven to be a firm foundation. Only then can we test conflicting realities against what has shown itself to be reliable so that the foundation is left intact. This is as true for individuals as it is for nations.

The writers of the Bible were not ignorant of these tensions, nor is the Christian faith a stranger to this challenge. Jesus himself presented the conflict to us in stark terms in the account of his testing in the wilderness by the enemy of our souls (Matthew 4:1–11). In every instance, each temptation was a dangerous half-truth. “Change these stones into bread, and the masses will follow you,” was the first challenge posed by the Tempter. It is interesting to note that the challenge was constructed to appeal either to his power or to his word. In fact, in his second temptation, Satan used the words “it is written” to challenge Jesus to demonstrate his autonomy from any transcendent limitations (verse 6).

>>BRING IT TO LIFE:

Sit down with a trusted friend and have a conversation about your deepest values and priorities in life. Discuss your beliefs and evaluate your practices (both current and desired) when it comes to these things: God, church, marriage, parenting, friendships, money, work/career, hobbies. Write down your deepest convictions. See if you can come up with a better template for living intentionally.