"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.'" — John 8:31-32 (NIV)
Freedom is a right we Americans treasure. We know that freedom isn't free, and when our freedom is threatened, we do whatever we need to do to ensure that our freedom remains intact. Sometimes, though, our understanding of civic and political freedom leads us to think we have earned a right to freedom in our spiritual lives as well. In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells his disciples that freedom encompasses more than civic freedom. To be truly free means being given the ability to set down the shackles of sin that keep us bound to false hope, pride, and selfish living. That freedom comes only from Jesus, who is truth and who teaches a way of living that involves being selfless and loving our enemies as well as our neighbors. However, only Jesus was able to live that life of selfless love and to die not only for his friends but also for those who made themselves his enemies. In that sacrificial act, Jesus did set us free from all that binds us and set us free to live out lives of love.
Prayer: Holy God, through Jesus You set us free from our innate sinfulness so that we may live out lives of selfless love. Give us faith to live into this glorious freedom. Amen.
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