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.
September 20, 2018
Jesus Christ makes it clear in this statement that to be His disciple involves three important steps. The order of these steps is of the utmost importance, and yet so often, we try to work in the opposite direction. If followed, these three steps help us to live free in Christ and experience His best in and through us.
First, Jesus encourages us to be devoted to the Word. To “continue in My word” means to have a hunger and desire for His Word that is consuming. God’s Word tells us that faith comes through hearing and hearing through the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Faith starts with hearing God’s Word and results in the obedience that comes from faith (Romans 1:5). True faith results in obedience and is important because faith without works is dead (James 2:20). Therefore, we are called not only to be hearers of the Word, but doers of the Word as well (James 1:22). This is why Jesus tells us that if anyone is ashamed of Him and His words, that He will be ashamed of us (Mark 8:39). Hearing, believing and acting on God’s Word demonstrate that we are His disciple.
Second, Jesus encourages us to become intimately acquainted with Him. Once we hear and obey the Word, we will know the truth. Remember, truth is not a “what” but a “who”. Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life. Jesus himself is the truth. When we hear and obey Christ, then we grow in our knowledge (relationship) with Him. John even tells us that eternal life is knowing Jesus Christ (John 17:3). We are called to experience the person of Jesus Christ and the way we know Him is by first by trusting and obeying His Word.
Finally, we learn that we are set free by Christ. Jesus is the truth, the very one, who alone can set us free from bondage. We cannot set ourselves free and apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). As a matter of fact, if we could set ourselves free, then we have no need for a Savior. The challenge for us is trusting Jesus to do what only He can accomplish.
Too many times, we work the process backwards, which involves little more than behavioral modification. We sometimes say, “I struggle with anger,” and then we begin to work on it. Perhaps then we add prayer to our equation, and then hope that leads us to hungering more for God’s Word. THIS WILL NEVER WORK. God wants us to hunger for Him and His Word. As we are obedient to what He shows us, we grow in our love for Christ and ultimately Jesus frees us to be better servants of Him.
Dear Jesus. I pray for a greater hunger to hear and obey Your Word. I have a great desire to become more acquainted with You and believe that You can set me free from my struggles. May I glorify You today in all I do. Amen.