March 16, 2020
Today's devotion is based on John 8:31-36, "Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, "If you abide in My Word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered Him, "We are offspring of Abraham and have never 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 practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."
I have a hard time getting over what the people said to Jesus that day that they had never been enslaved. They had many times. What about the time in Egypt, 400 years, the major focus of their most significant national holiday, the Passover in which they, just as the Jews today, remember how God saved them and set them free! How could they ever forget?
But before we through spiritual stones, don't we show a similar forgetfulness? Our slavery was to something even bigger and more dangerous sin. What exactly is sin, anyway? It's that horrible twist in our nature that makes it impossible for us to go on doing right, even when we desperately want to. It's that tug that pulls us to do what we know is wrong, immoral, harmful, and no matter how hard we fight it, we still find ourselves slipping and giving in. It's that addiction, that pull, that slavery, as Jesus calls it, which rules our lives and distorts all the good things we try to do.
God knows we need help. Jesus promises us that help. He promises to set us free: "If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." Because of what He has done. Because He has paid the price for our freedom through His suffering, death, and resurrection, we will be declared free from the condemnation of sin when we stand before God on Judgment Day.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: We are a sinful people, who by our very nature, want to rush back into the slavery of sin. Lord Jesus, thank you for breaking those chains, setting us free of condemnation of our sin. Thank you for your act of wonderous, gracious love toward us. All praise to you. In your holy and blessed name, we pray. Amen.