Too often people misquote the verse I’ve been alluding to all week. We often leave out the first of it and pay no attention to the verse right before it. Here’s the full thought Jesus was making on this topic of being set free: “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (Jn 8:31-32) First, we must hold, or grasp, what Jesus taught. Because if we do not understand the value in His teachings, why would we even bother with Him, right? Second, we must become His disciples by following His teachings. This means working with the Holy Spirit to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus. Third, we must display that we “know” what Jesus is teaching by applying it to our lives. And it is only when we show that we KNOW this truth by implementing it into our lives, that we will be set free from the lies that keep us bound to our old sinfulness. And the major lie is that life is all about “me”! Nowhere in the Bible is that taught. Jesus teaches us to love the Lord, our God with all we’ve got and to display that love by serving our neighbors, not in having that old, self-serving heart.
If we really take the time to study the Life and instructions of Jesus, we will quickly see that neither His life nor His teachings were centered on you or me. His life, death and resurrection were all meant to point us to God, the Father. Even when Jesus was praying right before His death, His focus was in obeying the Father, not in saving humanity. (see Jn 17) Yes, praise God, His obedience does bring Salvation, but bringing God glory was always at the center of all Jesus thought, said and did. He is our Immaculate Example of how we are to live this life. If we center on God, everything else will stem from that relationship. We can love Him and others. We can have peace and joy. We can achieve great things in this world, as we await the next. But if we still think God is more concerned with our comfort than our character…we miss the point to life and we open the doors to heart break and misery.
2023’s Got A Minute? Book Club
January: The First & Best Book Ever: The Bible
February: Love Is In the Air: “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts” by Gary Chapman
March: Spring Growth: “Secrets of the Vine” by Bruce Wilkinson
April: Living the Resurrected Life: “The Wonderful Spirit Filled Life” by Dr Charles Stanley
May: My Spiritual Mom: “Making Good Habits Breaking Bad Habits” by Joyce Meyer
June: Spiritual Dad: “It’s Not About Me- Rescue from the Life We Thought Would Make Us Happy” by Max Lucado
<>< Peace, Diane