Devotion: Monday, October 28, 2019
Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections from His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s reading is John 8:31-36.
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
SET FREE TO LIVE FREELY!
Freedom and liberty are at the heart of what it means to be human. Why? Because God created us to be free to love, free to serve, and free to do what is right in Him for others. St. Paul reminds us, “For freedom Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1). The Christian life could be summarized as being set free by faith in Jesus to freely love and serve others as He loves and serves us. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it. Even the Founders of the country in which we live took freedom pretty seriously. They sought to protect and even unleash liberty; they sought to create a country where citizens, motivated by their faith, would discipline their lives and use their liberties in service to their fellow citizens. Now that’s an experiment worth trying for sure.
But there’s one thing that gets in the way of God’s freedom plan for you, and it’s worse than physical slavery. It’s the depravity of the human heart. Our sin and rebellion against the God who created and redeemed us not only corrupts and destroys our freedoms, it gives us a false sense of freedom when our souls are actually in peril. In our reading, Jesus says it this way, “Everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.” That’s the kind of bondage that corrupts and destroys eternally. That’s why Jesus engages the Jews in the text who boldly asserted their earthly freedoms. They made the mistake of thinking that their earthly freedoms were the essence of God’s grace in their lives. They were dangerously close to missing the whole point.
Today, we all need to learn that there is a greater bondage than the oppression of earthly slavery. But there is also a greater freedom than earthly political freedom. It is the freedom that comes by faith in Jesus who sets us free from sin and death to live eternal lives of love and service to others even now in His name. To be truly free, free in a way which the world can never take away, one must be set free by Jesus. Faith in Jesus’ work on your behalf does just that. Rejoice today in the freedoms and liberty that you have, but remember the one which lasts eternally. Remember, then, that the freedom that comes by faith compels you to love and serve others in the name of the Savior who set you free forever by His life, death, and resurrection. That’s worth celebrating, sharing, and even defending each day.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for setting me free by reconciling me to the God who created me to live freely in Him for others. Give me a heart that cherishes all the freedoms that You provide, putting those gifts to good use each day. AMEN