“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31b-32 NKJV)
Nothing can change the lives of people like the Bible. I’ve seen alcoholics and addicts get their lives sober and clean because they started reading the Bible. I’ve seen God’s Word change self-centered, narcissistic men who abuse and misuse women into godly husbands, wonderful dads, and upstanding citizens in the community.
Laws can’t change human hearts. If I believed they could, I’d be a politician. I have zero faith in politics to actually change the greatest problems on the planet. You can make laws to outlaw racism and bigotry, but no law will turn a bigot into a lover of people of other races. Only God can do that.
Jesus said it like this in John 8:31-32,“If you abide in my Word, then you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (NKJV).
Secular universities all around the world have the second half of that verse printed in stone on university buildings: “The truth shall make you free.” But those same universities ignore the first part of the verse. Your own opinions and the opinions of others won’t set you free. Only the Bible will. Even when obeying the Bible is hard and uncomfortable, it will set you free.
Do you believe everything you read online? Of course not! Do you believe everything you watch on tv? No. Do you believe everything you read in the newspaper and in People magazine? No. Why do we spend more time reading and watching what we know is a lie than reading what we know is the truth?
The fundamental question you’ll face in life is this: What will be your authority? Will it be God’s Word or the world? Will it be what God says is true or public opinion? You need to decide, and you need to do it soon.
If the Bible isn’t infallible, inerrant, and flawless, you’re in a heap of trouble. The Bible tells you how you can be saved. It tells you that your life isn’t an accident. The Bible tells you how to be forgiven. It tells you how God can use you for good in the world.
If the Bible isn’t true — absolutely true — then life is pointless.
Talk About It
- What is your authority, God’s Word or the world?
- If someone bases his or her life on public opinion, what would that life look like?
- If someone bases his or her life on what God says is true, what would that life look like?
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Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.