John 8:31-47 (ESV)
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.” 39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father–even God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
This is another passage were Jesus is not so gentle. It is one of those places in scripture where the argument of a meek and mild Savior might have a hard time finding proof. It seems like Jesus is just pushing them farther away from him and antagonizing them. “You cannot bear to hear my word.”
How often I feel like one who believed but struggle to hear His word. I forget that if the Son sets you free you are free indeed. I believe that I must do something to be free. His word is where He desires us to abide. We are His disciples when we abide and we will know the truth and that will set us free.
We try to attach ourselves to some reasonable linage of holiness first. We are Abraham’s. I have the pedigree. I know that I am good enough on my own. Then we take it to a higher authority. I am God’s but Jesus points out that if we don’t follow Him we are not of God because we are trying to maintain our lives in our own righteousness. This makes us full of it. Liars.
The amazing thing is we have assurance that we don’t reside in this place. If we are God’s then we hear God. What a great hope. If I am being drawn to the things of God, than I must be His. The proof is that we are hearing and having Christ formed in us.
Father, let me hear your voice. Hold me so I will abide in your word. Thank you for making me a truthseeker and not a liar. Keep me from wanting my own righteousness. Keep me from desiring credit for my salvation. Let me rest only on your history. Let me rest only in your future. Let me rest in your hope. Amen
Write out the things that you think keep you from being loved by God. Then write the things you feel you need to do to change it. Now ask God to take this desire to prove yourself away and give you the Truth of your love and acceptance by Him. Take the piece of paper and throw it away.