Shake Off the Chains
Written by: Meredith Miller
Click HERE to listen to today's devotion
And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
- John 8:32 (NLT)
One thing that always strikes me about Jesus’s ministry on earth is how frequently the people He spoke to did not understand Him. In today’s reading, John 8:21-59, John writes in several different ways that Jesus had to repeat Himself because the people just did not get it, even though He was bringing them God’s truth.
His main message in these conversations is the juxtaposition of truth and lies, and knowing the difference between the two is the difference between freedom and slavery.
The people were appalled Jesus would call them slaves! They were descendants of Abraham! They had never been slaves to anyone in their lives! But they had - and so have we. Jesus makes it very clear here: we are all slaves to our sin.
One of the definitions of the Greek word for “slave” that struck me is “devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests (emphasis mine).”
Isn’t that so true of us? We fall into sinful habits so easily because we aren’t even thinking about the consequences of our actions. We completely ignore the fact that what we are doing will be so damaging to us in the future.
Why is it so easy? Because the father of lies, Satan himself, makes it so. He uses deceit to make sinful things look much better than they actually are, and time and again, we give into our human desires and fall for his trap.
So how do we get out of the spiral of slavery to Satan’s lies? The answer is right there, plain as day, though the people - and us, admittedly - fail to see it: If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will set you free. - John 8:31-32 (MSG)
The truth Jesus speaks of is what Scripture tells us about how we should live our lives as followers of Christ. It is knowing that Jesus died to make us right with God. It is sharing this Good News with all who need to hear it. It is obeying God’s Word and seeking to do His will. These are the truths that will break the chains of slavery to sin. And then we shall be free!
Among the many definitions for the Greek word for “free” is “not bound by an obligation.” That is the beauty of the Gospel! We are not bound by any obligation to do anything to earn God’s grace. No work is strong enough to put us back in right relationship with Him. Only the blood of Jesus is capable of setting us free, and when we know and believe this truth, we will be set free.
We have already been given this freedom through the death and resurrection of Jesus, yet we frequently find ourselves returning to our shackles of slavery to our sin. Let us shake off these chains once and for all, declaring that in the name of Jesus, we are free indeed!
1. What shackles of slavery are weighing you down today? How can you use God’s truth to shake them off?
2. How does knowing that you are not bound by any obligation to earn your freedom with Jesus change your outlook?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You so much that You have given us freedom through the blood of Your Son, Jesus. Help us to never return to our slavery to sin, and help us to remember Your teachings so that we may be free indeed. In Your Son’s precious Name, Amen.
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD? CLICK HERE