“Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.””
John 8:31-32 NLT
I can't thank the Lord enough for my great summer. The challenges were secondary to the great joy and blessings I received through my time away from the "Rat Race". That is real freedom.
My problem with this verse is the first sentence. I can't say I am always FAITHFUL to the teachings of Jesus. It's not that I don't try. It's not that I intentionally disregard those teachings. I am just not as strong in my faith as I should be. I am not perfect and my failings bother me. It's worse when those failings get in the way of my ministry or building relationships with people. But, THAT is where the second verse is so important. I know of my weakness. I see my shortcomings every day. But my imperfections don't rule my life.
I know of something called GRACE.
I know the TRUTH. The TRUTH is GOD does not expect perfection in us. He accepts us just as we are. The WORLD doesn't accept our failings. The world criticizes my weaknesses, my flaws and my shortcomings. They take joy in bringing me down and seeing me fail. It doesn't bother the world when they steal my joy. GOD doesn't see me as imperfect. He only sees me through the GRACE and LOVE that fill his eyes. He restores my JOY. My sins and my failures are blinded by his love. PRAISE GOD! That TRUTH helps me to enjoy REAL FREEDOM! I am set free through the LORD!
The truth has set me free. The truth of God's perfect love, even through the trials of my life, the criticisms of this world, has set me free to just be me. I can not praise him enough. I'm still working toward being a better person. I want to be the best disciple I can be, but I experience FREEDOM TODAY because of the LOVE OF JESUS!