I ask you friend, to gladly listen to this message, expecting something that might touch your heart today.
Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”
John 8:42-47 NLT
It can be a hard pill to swallow when the Word of God shines light on your heart’s true desires of you are not yet freed from the slavery of sin – if you are not yet repenting of your sin – if you are not yet resisting relation and evil. But a Christ makes it clear that this is not a one foot in and one foot out circumstance. We have one Father, one master, one Lord over our lives and we are the ones who demonstrate that choice in the testimony our lives.
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”
John 8:31-32, 34-36, 42-47 NLT
There are many who do not gladly listen to the Word of God. There are those who deny it. There are those who claim it by name but do not value it enough to listen to it and apply it to their lives. There are those that know some of what it says and run from it because they believe it is going to take things away from them that they want to cling to. There are those that pick and choose what they can use to back up their own opinions. There are those that study and try to obey in fear and obligation and confess in guiltandshame, hoping they can keep themselves out of hell for the sins that hold them captive. But how few listen to the Word of God, gladly understanding that He is for them and not against them – that His Word is meant to be a light unto our feet to keep us upon the narrow path of a life lived today, with God, as a free Son of God, not as a slave to sin.
So we must examine our deceitful hearts, and cling to this Word of God, that is sharper than a two edged sword cutting down to the root of our sickness – and allow it to cut away those things of sin and death – and cast it away from our life today – praying that it be bound and cast into the eternal flames to never return to this place that is now the temple of the Holy Spirit – praising God as we encounter the trial that will prove our faith in His power to overcome – and praising God when He proves Himself faithful and true in overcoming sin in our lives and delivering us as a free Son of God, no longer a slave.
And when the Word of God continuously proves itself true in the evidence of our lives – will we then not cling to it like a valuable treasure that we have found? Will we not sell everything we have to possess it? Will we not gladly give up our old lives as we experience the new?
For why of a man truly knows the value of a treasure, would he trade it for a curse and a debt that is not his to pay? If a man truly knew the great value of royalty, would He trade it for slavery?
But how many do not know in their hearts the truth? How many have heard the words, have seen the rituals and the practices, have felt the condemnation, guilt, and shame, have smelled the stench of religion – but have never laid their hearts upon the sweet aroma of the truth of the Word of God?
Yes, many ears are closed, many eyes are veiled to the truth. It is our job, church, to restore sight to the blind, to speak the message of truth so that they might recognize His voice and return to Him.
Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”
John 10:25-30 NLT
And what is the proof we bring that we are His and that His message is true? Let our lives be a testimony to His saving power. Let them look at our lives and know that we have been changed by His touch. “The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name.” Let this be your guiding light today, children of God, that the proof is in the work you do in His name – loving and serving your fellow man, walking in the Spirit, not in the flesh – gladly listening to the Word of God.
And if you are not there yet, friend – if you have not yet received the baptism of the Holy Spirit of Christ who lives in you – count the cost of following Christ faithfully in this dark world, and know the cost of denying Him separated by your unbelief for eternity – confess your brokenness to the Lord Jesus Christ – repent of your sinful ways – and all Him to come into your life to guide you and teach you and unveil your eyes to the truth of His mercy, grace, and glory. And hold on tight for the ride of your life, as you lay hold of the only treasure worth having, the only inheritance that lasts, the only family that brings royalty and freedom.
Arise, child of God, and hear the Word of God, listen intently, for in it wisdom is found more valuable than gold.