Journal John 8 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: So, 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 (in charge) forever. So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
(Look) I know that you are offspring 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 have heard from your father.” John 8:31-38
Observation: It is all about embracing God. It is all about embracing his Word. It is all about dropping preconceived religious notions and seeking Him anew every day.
Analysis: Writing this I am caught with this thought: How hard is it to lose weight?
For me, it is hard, very hard. Why is that? Because it is way easier to keep on, keeping on, and not making any changes in my life. This is the same with seeking God anew daily—it is easier to draw on the bank of scripture memories and not draw new living water.
Another variation: It is easier to draw on commonly defined morality than to base actions on the Biblical principles.
This is the basis of conversation Jesus had with these Jews:
“The truth will set you free.”
“Wait a minute, we are not slaves. Besides, we are offspring of Abraham. We will not be slaves.”
“Do you practice sin? If you do, guess what: You are a slave to sin.”
Jesus continues: “Slaves may run the house for a while, but not forever. At some point, they are not in charge anymore. But the Son of the Owner is in charge all the time. If the Son (who is always in charge) says ‘You are free’, you are indeed free!”
John 8:32 is one of the first Scripture references I memorized way back when. At the time, it was the right thing to get me going. As time progressed, the truth of being set free hadn’t been diminished, but reading further (both before and after) broadened the meaning and application. The Gospel now becomes expanded with meaning and intensity and furthers walking in maturity.
Hammer point: Walking worthy of the Gospel and being free to do so means that we make any kind of effort to look for new mercies every day. (Lev 3:22).
Prayer: Father, I hope that what I write finds a home in my heart. It is easy to be lazy in seeking You daily. AMEN