Have you heard it said “the truth will set you free”?
A lot of people seem to be quoting that Scripture these days, right before revealing some incredibly ugly, hurtful secret, a nasty criticism or sweeping judgment And in the aftermath that wreaks havoc in the lives of those around them, you have to wonder: How could that Scripture be true?
Let’s look at it in context. In John 8:31-32, 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.”
If you hold to My teaching…
If you study the Scriptures, if you meditate on God’s Word, if you take them to heart, you will begin to know and understand GOD’S TRUTH. And that will set you free. Not just any old truth. God’s truth.
See it may be true that your parents never wanted you. That truth won’t set you free. But God’s truth says He wanted you. He chose you. He loves you. (Psalm 139, Ephesians 1:3-5) Now that truth WILL set you free.
It may be true that many of the people you love and trust will disappoint you or hurt you, abandon you or betray you. True, but not helpful. A truth that IS helpful: God says He will never abandon you. He will never forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5) Even if you are unfaithful to Him, He will be faithful to you. (2 Timothy 2:13)
It may be TRUE that you are a terrible sinner, a rotten, miserable person. That truth by itself won’t set you free. But this one will: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Hold fast to Jesus’ teachings. Let God’s truth – the whole truth and nothing but the truth – set you free today!
Bible Study Questions:
This week in our Virtual VBS, we’ve been reading John Chapters 8-9.
1) Look up John 8:44. How does Jesus describe the enemy of our souls? Now turn to John 14:6. How does Jesus describe Himself?
2) Back in John 6:63, Jesus said, “The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.” What do Psalm 119:11 and Psalm 119:105 tell us? How can we keep from falling into the traps the enemy sets for us?
3) Practice this week’s memory verse, John 8:31-32.
This is a great way to hold fast to the Truth — to hide His Word in your heart! I often share it when I speak at women’s retreats ….
All you really need is a dollar store photo album (also available at Target and Walmart) and some 4×6 file cards. Copy the Scriptures you’re trying to memorize or other Bible verses that encourage or comfort or convict you — and slide them into the photo pockets. If you want to, you can print them out on colored paper or paste them onto pretty backgrounds and add stickers and other little embellishments. You could also make a new album cover, using scrapbooking paper leftovers — like I did (above)– or a photo or file card.
In addition to Scriptures, you can add inspirational quotes and affirmations. You can also add prayer pages — or make it exclusively a DIY Prayer Book: Fill the album with pictures of friends and family, missionary prayer cards, clippings from ministry newsletters. List prayer requests on 4×6 file cards and put them in the pockets opposite the photos of the person or people you’re praying for. Look at the pictures while you pray, to help you stay focused!
You can take your Faith Book with you anywhere and everywhere — especially places where you might have some wait time, like the doctors office or the carpool line. Grab these moments and make them count! Or keep the album on your bedside table to review first thing in the morning or before you go to bed at night.
After one of my retreat sessions, a woman shared with me that she was going to take this idea and use it with her kids… she wanted to make each one his or her own Faith Book as a Christmas gift, including Scriptures specially chosen for them. I LOVED this thought! You could even do it with the kids — together — as a special project.
How about adding a card with the meaning of their name or a list of “Ten Things I Love About You” or a recap of a favorite family memory? Pictures of friends and relatives we’re praying for… especially those who live far away.
This got me thinking: What about making a Faith Book for a friend battling cancer or going through kidney dialysis — or in some other difficult situation– where it might bless them to have a collection of words of comfort and inspiration (maybe even a joke or two) in a lightweight, easy to carry album…. You could leave a few pockets empty so that they could add to it other verses or notes of their own.
What do you think? Any other ideas or suggestions? I’d love to hear from you.