His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)


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The Last Prayer

I’ve been reading the gospel of John, again. It’s my favorite of the four gospels. This morning I read chapter 17. And a reality that I’ve seen before hit me in a fresh way – I love it when Jesus does that to me.

In the last section, Jesus is praying for all “those who will believe in me (Jesus) through their (Apostles) message.” (verse 20) He’s praying for all Christians, including me. Well, that reality began to stir my emotions. And then the last verse in chapter 17 knocked me over…

“Righteous Father, … I have made you know to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” (verse 26)

My first though was that this was Jesus’ final prayer before He was arrested, chained, tortured, and dragged to His death. But then I remembered that He prayed again in the olive grove just before His arrest, and then again while hanging on the cross.

Though verse 26 isn’t Jesus’ final prayer, it still amazes me that even so close to the torture that awaited Him, Jesus could care so much about all Christians who would come after Him. And His prayer was that He Himself would be in us… His Holy Spirit living in all who believe!

So close to death and Jesus thinks of those who would follow 2000 years later. I’m humbly grateful and I want to honor Jesus and His prayer by opening myself to His Spirit.

Dear Jesus, come on in.


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Thinking God into Existence?

I think I had fallen into another trap; a trap baited by my own natural pride.

I’ve been feeling and believing that I need to be thinking of Jesus and consciously aware of His presence in order for Him to influence my actions and the words that come out of my mouth. And to a lesser degree, I’ve been feeling that Jesus’ Spirit is within me only when I’m thinking of Him.

On the surface, this may seem fine and make some sense. But while driving home from work the other day, it hit me – the truth of what I believed punched me in my shoulder, like a tough-loving friend. And I woke up to the truth of what I was doing.

The truth is, Jesus is within me whether I consciously think of Him or not (same goes for you). This is more than a belief or a hope. How could I possibly control the presence of God by my own thought? How could I possibly dictate when God will act or speak through me, just by thinking of Him?

My pride was trying to take control again, thinking It could control God.

But my hearts desire is to absolutely surrender to the Spirit of Jesus within me. And I now realize my pride was getting in the way. And my prideful self is clever, seeking all kinds of ways to gain a sense of control. Yet as Paul said, “The mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6)

Surrender; leaving control of my mind and self to Jesus’ Spirit within me. I choose to give control to Jesus, rather than my prideful self. Oh, my pride will fight back – I don’t think it will ever give up. After all, I’m just a normal human. But I believe Jesus is stronger than my pride. Wow… that’s for sure. And I’m so grateful.


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Want Truth?

Are you looking for truth? Does your life feel full of confusion, delusion, and deception? Does truth seem hard to find? You will find truth in a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit… the Spirit of Jesus Christ. As Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth.” (John 14:16-17)

And… “When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13)


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One Way

One way

We all like choices, though too many choices drives me nuts. How can I pick one shampoo from the 100 flavors on the store shelves!? Keep it simple – that’s what I crave these days.

Anyway, this morning while reading in John’s gospel, I came upon a message from Jesus that a lot of people stumble on: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Jesus is the way, the one and only way to heaven. I have friends and family who aren’t able to accept this message. They don’t like the idea of only one way to heaven. Well, keeping it simple – that’s what Jesus is doing for us. Yet why is this so hard for many of us to accept?

Thanks to my ever-present ego, I think I know the answer. Our natural human ego wants choices. With choices, our ego can make the selection and be in control. Having no choice takes all control away from our ego.

Yes, it takes humility to accept the truth of Jesus. Noble humility. It saves us from ourselves, and our pride-filled ego. The way to heaven is through Jesus; the way to Jesus is through humility.


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There is no Death

Death

Another groggy morning. But the coffee’s working… slowly. Bible open, though my eyes keep closing. Come on coffee – work harder.

Anyway, been reading John’s gospel again. I think John’s is my favorite gospel. In chapter 11, John records that Jesus said, “Whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:26) Really? As Jesus then said, “Do you believe this?”

You know, when a flower dies, it turns to dust and ceases to exist. By saying that we who believe will never die, Jesus is saying that we will always exist. When our body stops working, though it turns to dust, our person lives on. We just change form. There is no death for those who believe.

What do you think about this?