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So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 ESV)

On Day 8 of our devotion, we looked at abiding in Christ. From Day 8, we discussed that abide is the Greek word menō and it means to tarry, not to depart, to remain, to continue to be present. Today I want you to understand something. The more time you spend with Jesus, the more like Him you will become. So, how do we intentionally spend time with Jesus? Great question, keep reading.

In our focal Scripture for today, Jesus encourages the “Jews who had believed in him” to abide in His word. First, Jesus says that this will be an indication that they are truly His disciples. Then, they will know the truth and the truth will set them free. In my mind, I can almost imagine a process:

1. Abide in the Word of Jesus
2. Know the Truth
3. Be set free

If abiding in the Word of Jesus indicates not only that I am truly a disciple of Jesus but is also how I know the truth and experience freedom, why in the world would I not abide? This is the part of the devotion where I ask: how much time are you intentionally spending in the Word of God? I don’t mean how many sermons you are watching on TV, how many podcasts you are listening to, or how many devotions you are subscribed to. How much time are you getting into the Bible yourself?

So many of us have so many reasons why we can’t make time to “abide” in the Word of God. “I don’t have time.” “I don’t read that well.” “I get distracted when I read. “I’m just not a book reader.” Insert your favorite excuse here. Imagine someone coming to me and saying, “pastor, I’m desperate. My marriage is about to end in divorce. My wife has already filed the papers, please help me.” Pretend that I replied something like this, “I can’t help you, but I know who can. I have a book I want you to read every day for the next 30 days and your life and marriage will be transformed.” Now imagine that person snarling up their nose as they said, “I’m not really good at reading. I won’t do that… is there anything else we can try?”

It may seem silly, but many of us do the same thing. It’s time to put the excuses away and start being honest about why we don’t abide in the Word of God. We cry out that God would set us free, and I believe in Christ He has. Often, it isn’t until we abide in the Word that we begin experiencing freedom.

Today I want to give an example from my own life. For most of my life I struggled with an addiction to pornography. You should know that your pastor is not a superhero. I have real struggles and need the grace and strength of Christ just as much as you do. Even as a follower of Jesus, I struggled with this addiction and struggled to break free. I begged God to take the sinful desires from me. I pleaded that God would set me free. Days lead to months, months lead to years, years lead to a decade struggling with this cancer in my life. I was desperate and defeated.

It is going to sound silly, almost blasphemous, but I convinced myself that God wouldn’t set me free from the addiction to porn because He was trying to keep me humble. This was just “my cross to bear”. One day while I was trying to minister to someone who had the same exact struggle as me, I was introduced to a phenomenal, Biblical book called “Every Young Man’s Battle”. I suggest that anyone who is struggling with this, or has someone in their life who is, to read this book.

It wasn’t the book itself that set me free, it was Ephesians 5:3: But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. I’m sharing the Scripture in the NIV because that is how I first read it. I had read Ephesians before, but I had never been so broken by a verse. If there must not be “even a hint of sexual immorality” in my life as a follower of Jesus, my addiction was not a burden from God. It was something He wanted to set me free from.

I want to stop and praise God for the freedom He has given me over this addiction that once threatened to destroy me. Question, are you experiencing something similar in your life? Someone led you to believe that whatever sin you struggle with is “just your cross to bear?” Go back and read our focal Scripture… it seems like Jesus wants you to be truly free. It’s time to intentionally abide in the Word of God and learn (and do) the Word of God in your own life.

Father, thank You for the Scripture. Lord, help me remember that Scripture has been given to correct me and train me in righteousness. Jesus, help me get serious about abiding in Your Word. Help me stop making excuses for why I don’t read the Bible and instead begin praying that You would give me a hunger for more of You. Holy Spirit, I pray as I read the Scripture that You would open my eyes to the Biblical truth. Help me apply it to my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Categories: Devotion