Monday, July 4, 2011
John 8:31-32 " To the Jews who had believed him, 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."
I don't believe there is anyone more patriotic than I am. I tear up at the National Anthem and the sight of the flag. I can barely get through the Pledge of Allegiance. I appreciate the freedom that we have as Americans.
That said, I am concerned about our country and the direction it is headed. We are beginning to lose many of the freedoms we have come to enjoy. There are many who say we need to reform our government and our laws, and you will get no argument from me. However, it is difficult to get people to buy into a value system where they have no vested interest. Yes, we need reform, but before that can happen people have to want it and believe in it. They have to have a change of heart.
Jesus came to the Jews and told them that his teaching was the truth and the truth is what would set them free. These were people who had been slaves in Egypt, captured by the Assyrians and Babylonians, and were currently under Roman rule. They knew what it was to want freedom and Jesus brought it to them. Not freedom from the tyranny of government but from spiritual sin and death.
I have a note in my Bible margin and I have no idea who to credit it to but it says this, "We all desire freedom but often we misuse that which we desire most and as a result we lose it. We destroy the thing we seek by the manner in which we seek it." We want freedom - so we live life with no rules, no values, no morals and we end up with a diseased, depraved, destructive society.
Jesus came to give us freedom - freedom from ourselves. Left to our own devices we will destroy ourselves, but in v.36 Jesus tells us that when he sets us free, we are free indeed! Even in a morally corrupt society we can be free! And once we are free, we have an obligation to take this freedom to the rest of the world.
When people's hearts are changed, laws will change and we will see true reform. Until then, reform is a bandaid on a very deep wound. What we need more than reform is revival. Can you start one today?