As He [i.e. Jesus] spoke these things, many came to believe in Him. So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.”
– John 8:30-34
A couple of days ago, we read Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan – how this traveler didn’t let the busyness of his life crowd out the opportunity to show compassion to a person in need. Yesterday, we read of how Martha let the busyness of her life crowd out the opportunity to sit and listen to what Jesus was teaching. If busyness was a problem in the 1st century, how much more in the 21st?
One of the reasons that the expression “drinking from a fire hose” has appeared in print so often in recent years is that it so effectively describes what daily life has become for most of us. The inputs are coming at us faster than we can process them. Social media has brought the pace of daily life to breakneck speed. It is, therefore, all the more important that we carve out private, personal time with our Creator-Redeemer.
This quiet time with Jesus is certainly not the only time of day that we should “continue” in His word – but it is foundational for the rest of the day. To continue in His word is to think about it again and again. Jesus’ words are not empty, like so many of the words that come to us these days. His words are rich and full of meaning, and will yield more and more understanding as we continue to think about them – and, most importantly, act on them.
Many people have heard “the truth will make you free,” but do they think this is all there is to it? Do they know that attention to Jesus’ word must precede it? Or that the freedom in view is freedom from sin? You do.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, we are Your disciples to the degree that we embrace Your word. Lead us to this freedom from sin…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)