AM I REALLY FREE?

JOHN 8:31-36: “Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you continue in my word, you really are my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” “We are descendants of Abraham,” they answered him, “and we have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus responded, “Truly I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in the household forever, but a son does remain forever. So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.” CSB

OBSERVATION: What does it mean to live in freedom? Is it to live in the United States of America? Is it freedom of choice, or to do what I please? What is freedom anyway?

It is a wonderful thing to live in a country that affords one personal liberties. To be able to travel where you want, or to pursue whatever path in life you desire, is truly a blessing. This type of freedom is not experienced by the majority of the world. Yet, even with these liberties, one can still be be living without freedom. We can be slaves to sin, to attitudes, to unforgiveness, fear, doubt, and sorrow, just to name a few. Even though we live under the banner of freedom, we can still be a captive.

True freedom is not the ability to do whatever you want. True freedom is the ability to say no to the things you do not want. It is to break the bonds of sin. It is to overcome attitudes that limit us and others. It is be be set free from unforgiveness, fear, and doubt. It is to be healed from overwhelming sorrow that cripples us. It is to live unfettered within. To live free within the human soul is true freedom.

How do we do this? Jesus gives us both the positive and the negative. The Jews who heard Him were astounded that He was calling them to freedom. They were not slaves. They were children of Abraham. Yet, they were slaves. They were in reality under Roman occupation, and they were blinded by their unbelief and sin. Therefore, Jesus tells them,

  • “Truly I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in the household forever, but a son does remain forever.”

Whatever we serve, we become a slave to. If we serve the Lord, we become a slave in love unto Him. If we serve sin or self, we become a slave to it. One leads to death, the other to life. The paradox of this truth is amazing to behold. When one resists the Lord because they want to be “free,” they become enslaved to their own sin and brokenness. When one submits to the Lord, and out of love becomes a slave in obedience to Him, they are set free. One is bound by his freedom. One is set free by his servitude. It is a great paradox indeed!

Jesus said,

  • “If you continue in my word, you really are my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

It is not just the Word that sets us free, it is our continuance in the Word. As we grow and obey Jesus’ words we discover the truth. And as we discover the truth, we are set free. When we take His yoke upon us, we are not burdened down with rules and regulations, we are emancipated to live life to its fullest. What the world views as binding is actually that which set us free. And this freedom is powerful!

  • “So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.”

It is a good exercise to check and see if we are really living in freedom. Are we free to say no to sin? Are we free to forgive others? Are we free to love without any strings attached? Are we free to give our finances to the work of the Lord and to help the poor? Are we free to live victoriously over fear? Are we free to not be defined by our past? Are we free to accept our place in life? Are we free to be content? Are we free to rejoice in the sufferings of life?

We could be locked up in prison and still be free. True freedom is not determined by our outward circumstances. True freedom is determined by the condition of our heart. True freedom only comes through Jesus Christ, and it only grows as we continue in His Word.

  • “If you continue in my word, you really are my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Lord, this morning, help me to run to You. Help me to take Your yoke upon me. Teach me Your ways. Set me free. Set me free, indeed!

In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy to follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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