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Freedom

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Today is the Fourth of July ~ Independence Day for Americans. It’s a day when we honor our country and celebrate the freedoms gained over 200 years ago. It’s also a time to spend with family and friends, celebrating with cookouts, picnics, festivals and fireworks.

As I reflect on the freedoms I have as an American my mind also wanders to the freedoms I have as a child of God.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then,
and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.    Galatians 5:1

We are born as slaves to sin. Our very nature is to question authority and want to do things our own way. But this sin separates us from God and keeps us from spending eternity with Him in Heaven. The immediate sense of satisfaction we have by exerting our   independence in doing things our own way keeps us from an even better reward after our time on earth is done.

Thankfully Jesus came from that incredible Heaven and lived a sinless life here on earth.  For anyone willing to submit to God’s will for our lives and trust in Jesus to lead us in His ways we receive freedom from our sinfulness and so much more.

We are free:

  • from guilt and shame 
  • from bad habits 
  • from believing the lies of the evil one!

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.  John 8:36

Wouldn’t it be something if we celebrated our freedom in Christ as jubilantly as we celebrate our country’s freedom?

Happy Independence Day from me to each of you!

blessings and peace…
Paula

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Truth ~ Words Worth Remembering Week #9

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
                                                                                           John 8:32

Truth.

It can be defined:

  • sincerity in action, character, and utterance
  • the state of being the case : fact (2) : the body of real things, events, and facts
  • a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true <truths of thermodynamics>

And it can be debated.

In this passage Jesus says we will know the truth and it will set us free. So what is He talking about?

How do we know the truth?

Jesus was with His disciples and other Jewish leaders (who wanted to kill Him) as He was speaking. Just before the above statement Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.” (vs. 31) But the Jewish leaders debated Jesus’ statement saying they had never been slaves to anyone. This is a sentiment we might share.

So how can we be set “free” if we have never been slaves?

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (v 34-36)

As followers of Christ our truth comes from God’s Word and is interpreted for us by His Holy Spirit. The Spirit convicts us of sin and compels us to confess and be forgiven. The more we know God’s Word the better we are able to listen and follow the truth.

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The challenge comes when we choose to create our own truth because we don’t like what God’s Word tells us or we ‘adjust’ His truth to make it easier for us to accept and follow, perhaps to make it easier to get along with others who don’t believe God Word is the truth.

But watered down truth is no truth at all.

The consequences of watering down the truth are a less intimate walk with God and a slippery slope towards believing the lies of the evil one. It can happen slowly so that we don’t even realize what is happening. That’s part of the plan.

If you are a follower of Christ I encourage you to take some time today to consider whether you are consistently following the truth of the Bible or are watering it down so that you ‘fit in’ with those around you. It is difficult to be challenged and chastised by those who don’t think as you do. Jesus was killed for following God’s truth. But He did it so that we could be set free.

I’m so thankful for God’s truth. Even when it’s difficult!

blessings and peace to you today!
Paula