August 5, 2021 — Going beyond just reading the words

“Back before we moved here,” Stan began, “there was a person in our church who made what I think was a crucial error in his faith walk.”

“In what way?”

“He had some addiction issues that he brought with him when he came to faith.”

“Did he overcome that?” I asked.

“I don’t think so, and that’s the error I’m talking about,” Stan replied.

“Error?  What kind of error?”

“Reading something in the Bible, but not going beyond the words on the page.”

“How so?”

“I knew this guy pretty well,” Stan replied, “and he was really miserable with his addiction.  He wanted to be free, but, as far as I know, he never was.  He eventually walked away from church saying that what the Bible says about being free is not true.”

“That’s pretty harsh,” I replied.  “Which part did he think wasn’t true?”

“The part where Jesus said that knowing the truth would set him free,” Stan replied.

“What do you think happened?  Did this fellow not know the truth and, therefore, couldn’t be set free?”

“I think it was more that he just read the words and didn’t take any personal responsibility for implementing them into his life.  In addition, I think he may have failed to read the verse right before that which sets the conditions for being free.”

“What conditions?”

“Abiding in Jesus’ word and being a disciple,” Stan replied.  “Jesus said that if we will do the first, abide in His word, then the second, being a disciple, will follow, and we will know the truth and be set free by that truth.”

Continuing, he added, “I think there’s a whole lot more involved than just reading the words on the page in the Bible.”

“What whole lot more?”

“Believe, accept, and embrace, which, I think, is another view of abiding.  If I will do those things I will be a disciple who is set free through the only One capable of doing that!”

______________________________

Bible verses to consider:

If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.  John 8:31, 32.

If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.  John 8:36.

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13.

Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?”  John 18:38.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for your provision of freedom from the law of sin and death through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Thank you for those who brought me to that truth so I could believe, accept, and embrace it and have the assurance of life in your eternal presence when my time here is done.  Thank you, too, for the truth of being able to pursue knowing you and Jesus while you keep me here so I can abide in you as a disciple, being truly free of all that can entangle me.  Please help me with all I need in knowing the truth and to be set free by it.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this:  What does it mean to be set free by the truth?  Set free from what?  Have you accepted by faith the truth so that you have the assurance of salvation?  If no, why?  What is standing in the way? If you do have that assurance, are you continually pursuing the truth God has for you on this side of eternity so that you are truly set free from all you need to be free from?  If you sense you are not experiencing all of the freedom God has for you, and changes may need to be made, how is that going to happen? Is that something you want to happen? Why or why not?

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