Friday Morning: 01 Feb 2019 – John 8:31-47 ~ Why can’t you understand what I am saying?

Friday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (Collect for Purity)

Almighty God: to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of my heart through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ my Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – John 8:31-47 (NLT)

Jesus and Abraham

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.”

“But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set 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. Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there’s no room in your hearts for my message. I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father.”

“Our father is Abraham!” they declared.

“No,” Jesus replied, “for if you were really the children of Abraham, you would follow his example. Instead, you are trying to kill me because I told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham never did such a thing. No, you are imitating your real father.”

They replied, “We aren’t illegitimate children! God himself is our true Father.”

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.”
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Morning Reflection:

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.
– John 8:43-44

Only the children of God can understand what Jesus is saying – those who believe in him, and remain faithful to [Jesus’] teachings…. They will know the truth, and the truth will set [them] free.

But freedom from what? The bondage to sin and death, the bondage to false religion, the bondage to false prophets, the bondage to false ideologies, the bondage to their father the devil.

What does this bondage look like? Jesus gives us some signs to watch out for –

+ Relying on religion, instead of a relationship with Jesus to make them right with God.

+ Following the evil desires of their sinful nature, instead of the desires of a new nature formed by God’s Word and Spirit.

+ Following the deceitful teachings of this world, instead of the truthful teachings of Jesus who is not of this world.

+ Attacking anyone or anything that exposes their sin, instead of repenting and seeking forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

To whom do you belong? Unless you are born again, of water and the Spirit, you are in bondage to your father the devil.

Questions for consideration:

  • Have you been born again? Do you belong to God? Please explain what that means to you. Not sure? Click here.
  • How has the “father of lies” influenced your life? How has the truth of God set you free? Please explain.
  • What steps can you take to increase your understanding and faithfulness to the teachings of Jesus?

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Morning Prayer:  Renewal of Baptismal vows (Anglican Church in North America)
[Please respond as God’s Word and Spirit leads you.]

  • Do you, here in the presence of God and the Church, renew the solemn promises and vows made at your Baptism and commit yourself to keep them?
  • Do you renounce the Devil and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God?
  • Do you renounce the empty promises and deadly deceits of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?
  • Do you renounce the sinful desires of the flesh that draw you from the love of God?
  • Do you turn to Jesus Christ and confess him as your Lord and Savior?
  • Do you joyfully receive the Christian Faith, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments?
  • Will you obediently keep God’s holy will and commandments, and walk in them all the days of your life?

Almighty God: I do and I will, with your help. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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“Born Again” – Austin French

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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