Today’s Scrip-Bit   2 September 2022 John 8:32.

John 8:32.       And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Oh friends, today as the rising of the sun begins, as that magnificent orb makes its daily journey around the world, many different voices in many different languages will loudly and harmoniously chorus: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Thank God for the weekend and all the freedom it brings!’ 

Ah Lord eh, do we ever like and fantasize about that thing called freedom. And down through the ages, so many of us have died shouting out its name, but we don’t really know the heavy price that supposed elixir of the human spirit demands. For to be truly free, one needs to be responsible, not lawless like so many of us believe. Freedom carries with it an inherent need for responsibility, loyalty, self-control, self-discipline and level headedness. It calls for mercy, LOVE, grace, forgiveness, goodness and godliness. 

It doesn’t give us the right, as so many of us believe to do exactly what we want, when we want, regardless of the consequences to those around us. It doesn’t mean chaos, selfishness and disregard for our fellow man. In fact, it demands just the opposite; a healthy and responsible care and compassion for our fellow human beings. 

And I guess that’s why all the revolutions and wars and other negative circumstances that have occurred in the name of freedom have never succeeded, because in the end, those at the forefront of those uprisings, end up doing exactly what their oppressors and suppressors were doing; oppressing and suppressing somebody in the supposed name of freedom! But yet, we still constantly hear the battle cry for freedom: freedom from this, freedom from that, freedom from responsibility, freedom from paying taxes, freedom from God and His law. 

Hn! Yet we still desire all those things that a responsible freedom bring. But in reality, freedom is only, and will always be a figment of our imagination, for as the song so truly says: we all must bow to somebody; to either God or Satan. And once you’re bowing to someone, you’re never free. Bowing to Satan will never make you free, because he is only interested in keeping his selfish claws in you, restraining you from rising to the level for which you were created, and thus making hellfire and damnation your eternal home. 

The closest we can ever get to that thing called freedom is by reverently bowing to our Maker, Our Creator and Provider, our Way-maker and Forgiver, the enabler of Eternal Life. And that can only happen when we sincerely embrace His majestic Son, Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Yes, friends, only through the intervention of the Son, can one get to all the magnificent benefits and freedoms that the Father provides. Listen up as Christ enlightens us on the subject. 

First off, He sets us straight by imparting this startling, but ever so true information: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) Oh my people, unless we believe that, and act seriously upon it, we will never see the bright lights of heaven and enjoy the promise of eternal life! That’s the truth, and nothing but the God-awesome truth! Only sincere belief in Christ Jesus will enable us to enter through those pearly gates we all talk and dream about so much! 

And likewise, the only source of true freedom is Christ Jesus. And why do we know this? Listen as He taught in the synagogue of His hometown of Nazareth. On that momentous Sabbath day in the temple, Jesus read thus from the Book of Isaiah. ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised (oppressed). To preach the acceptable year of the Lord….This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears (hearing)’ (Luke 4:18-19, 21) 

Oh my people, Jesus was letting His hometown know that He was the chosen One, the Messiah, the One sent to set the captives free, to heal their broken hearts, souls and spirits. But, as it so often happens, when someone close to us, just like us, rises up to another level, we tend to offer derogatory comments rather than gladly accept their new status. And that’s exactly what happened to Jesus in His hometown of Nazareth. 

They didn’t believe that the lowly carpenter’s son of Joseph and Mary, who grew up amongst them could ever be the Messiah. His words so annoyed them that they eventually forced him out of the city and tried to throw Him down a hill. Thankfully though, as the Good Book says: ‘But he passing through the midst of them went his way.’ (Luke 4:30) And the scholars offer this explanation on the verse. ‘It is not clear whether this is a miraculous deliverance, or whether Jesus, by dint of His imposing presence, was able to stare His opponents down and then walk away untouched.’ I like to think it was the latter, just to show the unbelieving fools that He was not scared of them. (smile)  

Now, this final word from Jesus re freedom. He said to a crowd of Jews that supposedly believed in Him. ‘If ye continue (abide) in my word, then ye are my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ (John 8:31-32) And when they claimed they were never in bondage, so how could they be made free, Jesus explained to them that they were in bondage to sin. However, ‘If the Son therefore shall make you free; ye shall be free indeed.’ (John 8:36) 

And is that ever the glorious truth my brethren! Only through the work of Jesus on the cross of Calvary, His shed blood, His death and resurrection, can we be truly made free. Free from sin, free from our most noted enemy, Satan and the sinful life that he espouses and tries to get us to also espouse, so that we can eventually end up like him, in the lake of fire. But thankfully, we’re wiser than that! We’re following Jesus! Glory Hallelujah! So, let’s go to Him in prayer, through our Friday Chant, asking for His divine help in our troubled world. 

As one confident voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 and monkey-pox viruses, as well as our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the viruses and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’  

Now friends, if we truly expect positive divine help, then it’s up to us keep the promises we’ve just made, and show right motives in our hearts. Much LOVE!

…ONLY  through belief in Christ Jesus…can we gain whatever freedom is possible in this earthly life… 

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