Life Notes—October 28, 2010
“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. …Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.’” John 8:31,32,34
Years ago I remember hearing the phrase, “If you’re going to be a liar, you’d better have a good memory.” As I got older (particularly as I began dating) it became painfully clear that perversions of the truth, or little ‘white lies’ came back to haunt me by people with better memories than my own. Today, as my memory comes and goes, it is doubly important to be as truthful as possible. There is simply no other way to be consistent in what is said and the stories told. Untruths can be uncomfortably binding.
Jesus’ statement above, about the truth making you free, is not a commentary on lying. Rather, he was referring to freedom from the false chains that bind us when we believe untruths about ourselves and our world. For example, we may believe that because we have done bad things in our lives, we are bad people. Or, because we have committed unloving acts, we are unworthy of the love of others. While we may understand, intellectually, these are not true, they still bind many of us deep down, in areas not always obvious to our conscious minds. Sometimes, we simply feel unworthy of the good and beautiful people and things around us, and we do not understand why. Perhaps it is the lingering voice of an overly strict or fearful parent. Perhaps it was a time something beautiful was taken from us; and now we believe this, too, will be taken from us. We allow the sins of the past to continue to bind us today; not because they can, but because at some level we wrongly believe they do or should. We become slaves to sin.
The truth of which Jesus speaks is a truth that cannot be proved or disproved on earth. It is the truth that we are loved and cherished as special and unique children of the One God, and we are worthy of every bountiful blessing that comes with such royal status. Jesus lived and died to free us from our sin, not to have us continue to be bound by it. When we know and trust our status with God, through Jesus, we truly become free to dance with and rejoice in the beauty surrounding us, safe in the knowledge we are treasured and valued with a love that will not let us go, no matter what we’ve done. No matter what we’ve said. No matter what…
Tom’s sermon at the downtown services this week is, “Reformed by Truth,” based on John 8:31-36. Life worship begins at 9:40 in Brady Hall. Traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00 in the sanctuary. Mitch is preaching at the west campus, where contemporary worship is at 9:00 and 11:00. His sermon is the third in his Noah series titled, “Hope Floats: Rainbow,” based on Genesis 9:8-17.
Come home to worship this Sunday. Strugglers welcome; and that’s the beautiful truth!
Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator