Daily Devotional for March 3

March 3                                                                John 8:33-47


                     Freedom


John Sanford writes in his book, The Kingdom Within, "Jesus
is opposed to the Pharisees primarily because the Pharisees
wear masks - they conceal themselves... . In terms of the
sins of the flesh the Pharisees were virtuous people. In popular
view they were the most perfect examples possible of what
God wanted people to be like. But Jesus strips away their masks
and exposes them to themselves. For this he was never
forgiven, for there is no hatred more bitter than hatred for
one who strips away from us the facade behind which we have
been hiding."¹


In today's Gospel reading, the Pharisees insist that they have
never been in bondage, that as descendants of Abraham they
are free because they scrupulously practice outward piety. Jesus
insists that such outward shows can be demonic, and he
condemns it.


How much like the Pharisees we can be today! We assume that
because we are law-abiding citizens, we must be doing God's
will. But today, as when he was on earth, Jesus calls us to a
deeper walk, a walk of interior consistency in which our
"walk" matches our "talk"!  Anything else is hypocrisy and
slavery.


                     Sovereign Jesus, unmask me
                today. Show me the inconsistencies
            in my life. Let me not be overwhelmed by
     the incongruities there, but let me turn such incon-
 sistency over to you so that you may make my soul-life
       congruent with my outer life. Thank you for that
                    daily cleansing process. Amen.


¹Excerpt from THE KINGDOM WITHIN: The Inner Meaning of Jesus' Sayings
by John A. Sanford. Copyright © 1970 by John A. Sanford. Reprinted by per-
mission of Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.

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