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“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. John 8:32-36

broken chainsOne of the cruelest tricks in human nature is to believe you are free when, in fact, you are in bondage. Likewise, one of the hardest things to admit is that you are enslaved by something over which you have no control. That’s why addicts have a hard time admitting they are an addict. That’s why those in abusive situations have a hard time leaving. The abnormal has become normal to them.

One day, Jesus was talking with his followers and told them that truth would free them. They were shocked! Why would they need to be freed? They were in bondage to no one. The irony here is that while Jesus was talking about the bondage of sin, his followers were in bondage to the Roman Empire. But the bondage to Rome was so ‘normal’ they didn’t even realize they were slaves!

Freedom from bondage requires two things. One is that we are fully aware of our condition. It’s easy to say ‘I’m a sinner’ without carefully identifying each thing in our lives that enslave us. I’m a terrible cleaner. It’s not intentional. I just miss the corners, and overlook the little things. The same goes our spiritual lives. Rather than relying on our own ability to ‘see our bondage’ we need to go to the one who knows us best. That’s why the Psalmist says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

The second thing we need to do to ensure we are not in bondage is to realize who we are in God’s eyes. When sin is in control of our lives we are slaves to it and we are blinded to the truth. When we have been freed from sin through Jesus Christ we are as sons, in intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Fatherhood has a bad rap these days. Most earthly fathers have a reputation of working too hard to make money, being more concerned about their own needs, wants and egos and ready at any moment to pounce on anyone who makes a mistake.

Your Heavenly Father is the kind of dad who shows up at every ballgame or concert. When you make a mistake he doesn’t remind you of how much of a loser you are, he encourages you and teaches you how you can be all you were meant to be.

A relationship with Christ means we have all the freedoms of sons. As we grow closer to our father through reading his word, prayer and corporate worship we gain new understanding into all that God has for us. When Jesus left us he sent his promised helper, the Holy Spirit to guide us into all things, and to understand all that God has for us.

PRAYER: Father God. Search my heart. Show me the things that offend you. Give me the courage to confess my weaknesses. May your Spirit work a change in me for your glory so that I can be completely, totally and eternally free. In Jesus name, Amen.

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