To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.”
“Abraham is our father,” they answered.
“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did. As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. You are doing the works of your own father.”
“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”
Here in the United States, there is a belief that is deeply held in our DNA; that of personal freedom. We are free to choose, believe, and accomplish anything that we set our hearts upon. This idea of being a slave sounds quite ridiculous to us. To quote cultural icon, Eric Cartman, “I do what I want!”
However, as followers of Christ, I challenge you to consider a different paradigm. I challenge you today to consider your life and your surroundings and to ask yourself this question:
“Is there anything holding me back from being 100% onboard with Jesus?”
This 100% isn’t characterized by going to church on Sunday and slipping a $20 in the offering plate. The 100% is characterized by surrendering your entire life to Christ. It is, in effect, giving Him the final say over our finances, our decisions, our relationships, our jobs, and our families. It is asking Him each day, “What am I to do, Lord?” and being willing to do that, no matter what.
If your relationship with Him is not quite there yet, consider the fact that you might not be as free as you once thought. Consider the possibility that you, in fact, are enslaved by something that is keeping you from the joy and peace of walking closely with Him. What is it? And are you willing to let it go?
I come, accepting your gift of grace and salvation. I come seeking your Divine intervention in my troubles. Yet I confess, I do not seek You with my whole heart. For there are things that I cling to more than You. Examine my heart, Lord. Point out anything in my life that creates a wall between us, and show me how to remove it. Help me, my King, to seek Your truth about my life instead of avoiding it. Give me the strength and the courage to become a completely devoted follower of Yours.
In Christ’s name I pray,