By LuAnn Edwards
As we look back on our Independence Day celebrations, we are thankful for the freedoms we enjoy. In our church service Sunday morning, my emotions took over as the choir sang “Salute to the Armed Forces.” Maybe it’s because my dad and brother both served our country; possibly it is because I am thankful that men and women love our country enough to serve and fight for our nation’s continued freedom. Although some of our freedoms as a nation seem to be slipping away, there is one freedom that will never end. Truth.
“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’” (John 8:31b-32).
The truth of God’s Word sets us free. By spending time in His Word and doing what it says, we find freedom. This truth, however, needs to dwell in our hearts—not just in our heads.
“The truth will not set you free if you only acknowledge it and discuss it on an intellectual level. For the truth to transform your life, you must believe it personally and allow it to sink deep into your heart.” Neil T. Anderson, author1
My daughter, Libby, is a recent example of this. She accepted Christ when she was eight years old and was baptized. She will tell you, however, she was not experiencing the freedom available to believers. Her knowledge of Christ only dwelled in her head; it had not yet penetrated her heart.
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ [and] believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved” (Romans 10:9-10). [Emphasis mine.]
Libby declared with her mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” but notice the word “and.” “…[and] believe in your heart…for it is with your heart that you believe….” Until four weeks ago, Libby’s heart didn’t believe. In the Nairobi, Kenya, airport on our way home from our mission trip to Malawi, Africa, she became a true believer in Christ. She accepted Christ into her heart; she surrendered her life to Him. She will tell you that her new life began that day; not when she was eight. She is now experiencing freedom in Christ, because she knows Him personally.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
Have you accepted Christ into your heart and life? It doesn’t happen automatically just because you know about Him. You can know Him personally in your heart; knowing Him in this way brings freedom. It’s your choice.