Sacrificial LoveWhat does it mean for you to carry your cross?
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So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free (v.36).
Many countries annually exercise their freedom to literally change time. I experienced this timely change when I was in the US a few years ago. During my visit in the spring, I witnessed Daylight Savings Time—a national law that calls for all clocks to be set back by one hour. It’s designed to save energy, and it also leads to lighter mornings for children who are heading to school. Interesting!
In our postmodern world, freedom to change is a treasured commodity. It goes hand in hand with individual rights. We see freedom as the liberty to follow our preferences, the ability to do whatever we want. No constraints. No rules.
The Bible reveals that this isn’t real freedom. In John 8:34, Jesus asserts, “Everyone who sins is a slave of sin.” In other words, leading a self-centered life—to do our own will, to follow our willful desires and preferences—will lead to bondage to sin. Not freedom. But if we remain faithful to God’s teaching, then we “will know the truth, and the truth will set [us] free” (v.32).
Satan has switched the price tags in the world. He makes the priceless stuff that brings eternal joy look worthless, while the junk that leads to addiction and enslavement he presents in attractive packaging. We desperately need God’s truth—truth that enables us to see things in their true perspective.
The apostle John, in chapter 8 of his gospel, presents an interesting cause-and-effect pattern. To experience freedom, we must first know the truth. To know the truth, we must first obey God’s Word. The initial step to freedom begins with obedience. Counterintuitive? Yes. But the fact remains that true freedom is only possible when we live under God’s loving authority.
—Poh Fang Chia
Read Psalms 119:45 to discover where we find real freedom.
What are some commandments from God that lead to freedom? What keeps you from experiencing true freedom in Jesus?
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