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Wednesday, April 5: "The truth will make you free"

Gospel Reading:  John 8:31-42 

 

Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to any one. How is it that you say, `You will be made free'?" Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

 

I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father." They answered him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do what Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God; this is not what Abraham did. You do what your father did." They said to him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God." Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.

 

Old Testament Reading: Daniel 3:14-20, 24-25,28

 

Nebuchadnezzar said to them, "Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image which I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image which I have made, well and good; but if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast in and who is the god that will deliver you out of my hands?" Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up."

 

Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was wont to be heated. And he ordered certain mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He said to his counselors, "Did we not cast three men bound into the  fire?" They answered the king, "True, O king." He answered, "But I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a  son of the gods." Nebuchadnezzar said, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who  trusted in him, and set at nought the king's command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.

 

Meditation: Do you know the joy, peace, and freedom which God offers to those who trust in him and obey his word? God sent his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to bring us God's kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Jesus came to rescue us from our sinful pride and slavery to sin. He came to rescue us from Satan's snares and the clutches of hell, and to free us from the world's temptation to empty glory and lust for greed and power. Only Jesus can truly set us free and reconcile us with God - every other way falls short of God's plan to save and deliver us from death, corruption, and sin.

 

Why did the religious authorities reject Jesus's offer of freedom, forgiveness, and new life in the kingdom of God? Despite Jesus' numerous signs and miracles, the Jewish authorities could not accept his claim to speak and act in the name of his heavenly Father. They were blinded by their misguided ideas of how the Messiah would restore Israel and rule the earth. And Jesus revealed to them how Satan had led them into temptation - both to reject him as the Messiah and to thwart his claim by killing him.

 

Jesus met their opposition and hostility with courage and determination to do his Father's will. He willingly embraced the cross in order to destroy the works of Satan and to save both Jews and Gentiles through his atoning sacrifice for the sin of the world. Jesus shows us the way to the kingdom of God - through faith and obedience to God's word and will for our lives. To be a follower and disciple of the Lord Jesus requires faith and obedience - they are two sides of the same coin. The word disciple literally means one who learns from the Master and who listens to the voice of the Teacher. And the word for obedience literally means to listen under and be subordinate to the one who has rightful authority to teach and command what is just and true.

 

 

"Lord Jesus, write your words of love and truth upon my heart and make me a diligent student and a worthy disciple of your word."

 

 

 

From www.dailyscriptures.net

Added on Wednesday, April 5, 2017


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