Posts Tagged ‘free’

Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?”  Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:31-36, NRSV)

If the biggest smallest word in the English language!

“If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples.” If you continue means they were listening to and following His words. That is a question for some. But do we continue to listen and follow the words Jesus is saying to us?

They questioned even the statement of being set free, because they are descendants of Abraham, and therefore are a part of God’s chosen people, but have they forgotten this little place called Eygpt? And the years the Israelite people spent there in slavery? Never been slaves to anyone? Really?

But it isn’t about being a slave to a master who is human, could be, but more than that it is about us living a life that is freed from all worries and concerns. It is about us finding joy in the darkness because we are connected to Jesus.

It is about hearing His calling and following. It is about abiding in His word and allowing Him to abide in us.

170206Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins. Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God. “Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?” Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers. Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high.  Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself? Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in. (Isaiah 58:1-12, NRSV)

Why do we do the things we do?

You see we can do all the right things, and they will not mean anything.

We can come to worship and give to the poor and fast and pray and devote our life to God, but if we are doing it so we get noticed or so that we will get something from God, then we have missed the mark. God’s grace is freely given and can not be earned.

God doesn’t want us to be noticed on a fast. He wants our fast to be:

loosen the bonds of injustice
undo the thongs of the yoke
let the oppressed go free
break every yoke

God has called us to be his hands and feet to go and spread his love and mercy. To speak out for the oppressed and to break the bonds of injustice.

We are called to go and do the work of loving God’s world, not so we get something, but because he first loved us and asked us to go.

161103Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life. But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!  As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:5-17, NRSV)

No matter what you were, once you have been brought into the body, you are one in the same with all other members of the body. And thus we should work together in harmony.

We need to have compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience with all. And bear each other in love, because in Christ we are made one.

Christ is all in all and all of us are one in Him.

160716Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator shall go before you,
the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.
If you remove the yoke from among you,
the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
if you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom be like the noonday.
The LORD will guide you continually,
and satisfy your needs in parched places,
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters never fail.
(Isaiah 58:6-11, NRSV)

The fast that God wants is not one that makes us look like we are doing anything, but one that will loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?

We need to undo injustice, set the oppressed free and break every yoke.

Give to those in need and stop pointing fingers.

Judge not and love as God loved us.

slaves

Posted: 2015/11/26 in Biblical, Devotional, Discipleship, Pentecost
Tags: , ,

Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place in you for my word. I declare what I have seen in the Father’s presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.” They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing what Abraham did, but now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are indeed doing what your father does.” They said to him, “We are not illegitimate children; we have one father, God himself.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot accept my word. You are from your father the devil, and you choose to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is from God hears the words of God. The reason you do not hear them is that you are not from God.” (John 8:31-47, NRSV)

I always find this passage to be a bit flabbergasting!

I mean the Jews say they are descendants of Abraham, which is true, but they seem to have forgotten a little period when Moses was here.

All of the Jewish nation was in captivity in Eygpt. They were slaves, that Moses got Pharoh to set free.

They were slaves. And God worked through Moses to free them once and now they have forgotten it and are trying to kill the one who can truly make them free.

All because it doesn’t fit in their box for how life and God should be.

So what are you a slave to because how God wants to handle it won’t fit in your God box?

When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” (John 11:32-44, NRSV)

Did I not tell you if you believed you would see the glory of God?

So do you not believe?

This passage pushes the limits, but only if you understand society and customs and norms of Jesus’ day.

You see Jesus knew that Lazarus was going to die, but did not go and waited to go, so that Lazarus would be in the tomb for four days. You read that right, go back and read it again.

Did you see Martha said, “he has been dead four days and he stinks!” Now I can imagine a sister saying her brother stinks, but the point is the four days.

And what does it matter if it has been four days?

Well in Jesus day the belief was a person could seem dead, and within three days they could wake up. But on the fourth day they were really dead. So Lazarus was dead and not coming back. That is why Jesus was not there until the fourth day.

And Jesus told the people to unbind him, to let him go. Jesus gave him life and it is the communities job to unbind him and set him free. Jesus gives life and the community sets free.

So do you believe?

 

Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:31-36, NRSV)

If you continue in my word…

That means that at one time we were walking in the way of Jesus. And when we continue to walk in the words of Jesus, then we show ourselves to be His disciples and we know the truth and the truth makes us free.

Free from pain and suffering? No. Free to be dutiful servant of all!

When we look out for ourselves that is when we find our lack of faith disturbing. You see Jesus came to give us grace so that we might see those around us in the light that He sees them. As children created alike to be loved by Jesus and His Father.

We are slaves when we do not realize that Jesus came to set all of us free and that God loves all of His creation. Not just those who follow, but everyone, and those of us who are walking in His truth realize that my faith is not sufficient and I don’t want a faith of my own, but I want His faith.

I want to walk in His truth and live off of His faith.