faith

The Truth Will Set You Free

What is your truth?

What’s your history, your story?

“Live your truth” sounds good. It has a pretty ring to it, doesn’t it? I like it. But the articles I’ve read about living my truth place all the burden on me. Yes, I have a role to play in my life; we all do. But.

But I’ve tried living my truth, following my heart and dreams, and you know what I’ve found? I discovered that my dreams didn’t materialize as the latest best-seller self-help book said it would. I worked my behind off, but I didn’t experience what they promised. Think of all the books you’ve read where the author told you to pray with greater faith and you’ll start a mega church, or sell a trillion books, or be healed from cancer. It happened for them, so they believe it can happen for you.

Following someone else’s plan to make our life great or get all our prayers answered, doesn’t always work in our specific circumstances. We all want to buy the book that will change our life. Maybe you’ve read one that has helped tremendously, but there is one book that holds the power and wisdom to give us much more than earthly success. This book makes us whole. It releases us from trying to fix our life or become the best at XYZ.

The Only Truth that Makes Us Whole

When I think of my truth, even though it is filled with good things, I tend to focus on the holes. I remember the pain of my past, the broken places, the disappointments and the failures. And if I stare at those things too long, they depress me. All of this is my truth–the good, the bad, and the ugly. And we all have that don’t we? Some of our truths have more good than bad and visa-versa, but all of us have a mixture of it all.

It’s good to know our truth–our past, our present, and our hopes for the future. Yet, my truth does not have the power to change me. My truth is simply that, my truth. Only God’s truth has the redemptive power to take my truth and make it a force to be reckoned with, a story that can help others find healing, freedom, peace, joy, and purpose laced with eternity.

God’s Truth Made Me a Better Mom and Wife

So . . . marriage is hard. Parenting is soooo hard. Even good marriages have their challenges and good children will test the Jesus in you. Plus children come with so much responsibility! You’re shaping the life of a little human.

Mike and I started our life together with a wedding, a month later a pregnancy, and five months later a deployment to Desert Storm- a literal WAR!

I was a Christian when we got married. I read my Bible, but life was hard. My life sent me to my knees and to Bible study. Studying the Bible, digging deep into it, and letting it soak into my heart didn’t change my circumstances, my truth, but it began to change me. As it changed me, He gave me more love for my husband and children, and that helped me do my truth with His truth in a much more joyful, peaceful, graceful way. Not perfectly, but so much better than trying to do my truth my way.

bible, glasses, highlighter

How to Study the Bible

You may be thinking that you’ve tried reading the Bible, but it didn’t do anything for you. It seemed so distant and old, so foreign. If that’s the case, I have some steps that will help you discover the life-changing Life in the God’s book of Truth.

  • Don’t try to read the old KJV. It’s hard! Find a newer translation. There are so many out there. NKJV, NIV, ESV, NET (online only), NLT are just a few really good ones. If you have trouble understanding one translation, the You Version Bible App, free for your phone, has hundreds of translations to compare. Biblehub.com and Biblegateaway.com are also great resources for different translations.
  • Purchase a study Bible. Study Bibles usually have introductions of each book. The introductions help you know more about the author, his purpose, and the historical context. Study Bibles also have commentary explaining difficult verses. My favorite study Bibles are The Key Word Bible and Life Application Bible.
  • Before you read, ask Holy Spirit to help you.
  • Take a bite at a time. (Just a few verses each day.) This brings us to the Bite of Bread Reading Plans. It helps to have a plan to follow, and it’s helpful too to have prompts or questions that help you apply what you’ve read. (I also love the plans on the You Version Bible phone App. That’s a great way to grab a quick bite to eat for your spiritual daily meal. But if you prefer to hold a real Bible and print off a reading plan with the prompts in front of you, the Bite of Bread Reading Plan is for you.

Bite of Bread Reading Plan

This week is all about the power of the Truth of God to set us free and make us whole. I love the Message paraphrase of 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24:

May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together – spirit, soul, and body – and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it! 

~The Message

Sneak Peek of Printable with Prompts

Galatians 5:13-14:
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b]

  • Prompt: The word “call” can also mean “invite.” Did you know that Jesus wants you to be free? He invites us to be free from guilt, shame, anger, bitterness, temptation, etc. The greatest law He places on us is the law of love. Where do you feel captive? Write a prayer asking for Holy Spirit to soften your heart and help you to love and free you from whatever has chained your heart.

Deuteronomy 7:9:
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God,keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.

  • Prompt: “Love” has been translated from the Hebrew word chesed. This word means more than the emotional love we know, it means merciful acts of loving kindness, and chesed binds two parties together. It’s relational. Write down what this verse means to you in light of God’s faithful chesed.

Grab the Printable for your Quiet Time

Psalm 118:5:
When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place.

  • Prompt: God’s Word is filled with testimony of His faithfulness. Write down what good thing He has done for you? Have you experienced His spacious places?

Acts 13:38-39:
“Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.

  • It’s done. Finished. You are free. The word “believe” also means to “trust.” Write a prayer asking the Lord to help you trust Him more and more each day.

Romans 8:1-2:
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death.

  • I’m sorry. I’ve talked a lot about the meaning of the words this week, but this verse holds a special word too. The Greek word under “condemnation” also means “judgment.” So, there is no judgment for those in Christ. Ask for more revelation of Holy Spirit in you today. Pray for a greater awareness of Him and surrender to His will. That’s when we are set free.

Click here to see what the Printable for the Bible Reading Plan on Freedom and Wholeness looks like. It’s really cute. 🙂

Join me Thursday night. . . a virtual Bible Study

You don’t have to go anywhere. You can come home from work, put on your stretchy pants, pour a cuppa decaf, grab your Bible and Bite of Bread reading plan and go to my Facebook. I’ll be live at 7:30 PM ET this week. I’ll announce a new thing God is doing. I hope you can join me!

I’m Praying for you!

Let me know how I can pray specifically. Leave a comment!

Digging Deep in the Freeing Truth,

Andy

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