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Then & Now - Week of September 14

  • 2009 Sep 14

"I Just Want to Be Free"
John 8:31-36

Freedom. Its probably the #1 topic on your mind, if you're a young person.

I want to be free to do my own thing. 

I want to be free of the crazy rules my parents have for me.

I want to be free from the teachers and coaches and everyone who put a burden on me.

Freedom. Songs are written about it. Movies plots are thick with it. People have died for it.

But do we really know what freedom is? Most people wrongly assume that real freedom means doing whatever you want, no rules, no restrictions.

Jesus said that isn't freedom at all. That's actually slavery. Let me explain.

Jesus came to this earth to offer two things. Truth and freedom. And the two are always linked.

He said that anyone who sins is a slave. But you say, "ah, nobody talks about sin anymore. Its not a big deal." But sin is a cruel slave master, demanding all of you, giving you nothing in return.

Ask the alcoholic who finds his home on a park bench.

Ask the drug addict who sees his entire future stripped away.

Ask the gambler who loses his family.

Ask the inmate whose "freedom" hurt others and got him a life sentence.

That doesn't sound like freedom. It looks like slavery. But what Jesus offers is something beautiful. Real, true, spiritual freedom.

How? First he says you must realize you're a sinner and realize your sins should send you to eternal punishment. That's the bad news. The good news is that as big as your sins are, there is a Savior whose grace is bigger. His grace sent him to the cross to pay for your sins.

Then, once you are a believer, God offers the opportunity for freedom. This is where most Christians stay at ground zero. They don't seize the opportunity.

How do we do this? Jesus says to abide in His Word. That means we live, eat, drink and sleep Jesus. We aren't casual Christians, but serious disciples.

Jesus says this is the life that opens your eyes up to the truth. What is the truth? The truth is Jesus Himself, the way the truth and the life.

What does the truth do? It sets you free.

Now the world says that living for Jesus, being His disciple, is so restrictive. That it is too narrow and confining.

But a life lived for God is only freedom.

Do you really want to be free?

Daniel Darling is an author and pastor with a passion for young people. He is the author of Teen People of the Bible, a 100-day devotional for teens. Visit him on Facebook by clicking here, or at

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