Links Daily Devotional

Truth That Sets Us Free

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32, NIV)

In golf, we often speak of “free swingers.” The label suggests a fluidity that creates swing speed, which results in nice distance. However, it also connotes that the player doesn’t really know where the ball is going from shot to shot. He swings away and takes his chances!

Many people live by this same philosophy, which really means no philosophy at all. They awake each day and approach it as a series of circumstances, opportunities, and disturbances. They go with their instinct, and come what may, they figure they’ll resolve it. This is the way most folks “live freely.”

It’s great to live without worry. Even Jesus told us to “let tomorrow worry about itself.” But it isn’t good to live without forethought, especially when we’re thinking ahead to the day we stand before God. We’ll have trouble winging it then!

When Jesus spoke of freedom in the widely quoted John 8:32, he did so with some significant parameters of context.

First, as we introduced Jesus’ words yesterday, we discovered that Jesus wanted his believers to step forward into followership. And this following required a demonstration of our holding to Jesus’ teaching. There is obedience required, and commitment, and perseverance.

Today we add to that contextual understanding by seeing that freedom follows the knowledge of truth.

It’s a fascinating sequence, viewed in reverse:

Freedom is granted to those who know the truth =>

The truth is given to those who follow Jesus =>

Follower of Jesus (disciple) is the name given to those who obey him =>

Those who obey him are motivated by their belief in him

We eye a direct progression from Jesus to freedom. But this freedom comes when we dedicate our lives to him. In military terms, we would recognize that when one enlists, they are choosing to surrender a number of their freedoms. Paradoxically, in a democracy at least, they are doing this in order to defend freedom! Indeed, they are—in most every hour of history—free even to enlist or not.

So what of us when we enlist? We too surrender the freedoms of going our own way. However, we have discovered these are easy to surrender, because when the Spirit opens ours eyes, we understand that they have been freedoms based on falsehoods. But what we gain by enlisting is a whole new freedom, the freedom that comes from truth, the freedom that comes from Jesus. In him, we are freed from the things that really are not freeing—and that makes all the difference!

Jeff Hopper

May 9, 2012

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