The Truth Will Set You Free

The Virtuous Life - Day 197 - John 8:31-32 - The Truth Will Set You Free - Growing As Disciples

The Virtuous Life – Day 197 – John 8:31-32 – The Truth Will Set You Free – Growing As Disciples

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 8:31-32 (NIV)

Hold To My Teaching

How will you do that? How will I do what? How will you hold to my teaching? Wait, before answering. I would like to ask you a few more questions. Go ahead, I’m listening. Why do you want to hold to my teaching? Why do you believe in me? Are you really one of my disciples? Now, you may start answering my questions. I do want to hold to your teaching. I want to hear and know and follow and obey your word. I want to put your word into practice. Why, you may ask. I might. I want to hold to your teaching because I love you with all my heart and mind and soul and strength. It is no burden for me to follow and obey your word. Loving you means that I want to live a life that is pleasing to you. I want to be and am fully devoted to you. Without hesitation, without reservation, I want to give all that I am and hope to be to you. That is very good. I can take no credit for coming to believe in you. I can take no credit for coming to know you. I can take no credit for the love I have in my heart for you. It is you who first loved me. It was you who drew me to yourself. It is you who saved me. You helped me to come to receive you as my Savior and Lord. You have forgiven me of my sins. You have cleansed me of my unrighteousness. You are now using your word to guard and guide the course of my life. Yes, I am. You have also made me to be one of your disciples. That is true.

Let’s get a little more specific about how you will hold on to my teaching. How will you take my word into your heart and mind and life? How will you allow my word to change your heart, transform your mind, and guide your life? How will you allow my word to mold and shape you? How will you allow me to use my word to set you free? I will meet with you in your word. I will listen attentively to you. I will make meeting with you in your word a daily priority in my life. I will meditate on and memorize your word. I will study your word. I will pray your word. I will sing your word. I will teach and proclaim your word. In every way possible I will take a firm hold of your word so that your word will take a firm hold of me. That will be very good. In doing so, you will be my disciple. In doing so, you will surely be set free. Thank you, Lord.

Lord, I believe in you with all my heart. As your disciple, I will hold to your teaching. I will take your word deep into my heart and mind and life. Help me to know the truth of your word. Cause me to be set free by your word as I love and follow and serve you. Amen

Key Question…  How have you been set free by God’s word as you have heard it and put it into your daily practice?

Living It Out…  Make it the priority of your life to hear and put God’s word into practice, so by it, you can be set free.

Seeing It Happen…  Have faith that you will be set free by the power of God’s word as you hear it and put it into your daily practice.

Get Ready To Share…  Share with another person or your small group how God uses His word to change your heart and transform your mind.

Prayer To Bless Others…  May you hear and know and follow and obey God’s word so you can be set free by it.

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Devotional Study Guide click here:

The Virtuous Life – Day 197 – John 8-31-32 – The Truth Will Set You Free – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                                                        Copying not permitted                                                                                    www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

Two Men Owed Money To A Certain Moneylender

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Two Men Owed Money To A Certain Moneylender - Luke 7:41-43 - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Two Men Owed Money To A Certain Moneylender – Luke 7:41-43 – Growing As Disciples

“Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. Luke 7:41-43 (NIV)

How Much Debt?

How much have you been forgiven of by me? Did you have a big debt or just a very small one for which you needed my forgiveness? Lord, you know all my thoughts, words and actions. Yes, I do. Why then do you ask me these questions? You know the extent of my sinfulness far better than even I do. Yes, I do. It is important for you to think about the extent of your sin. Why is that? If you thought you had no sin, you would not need or want me at all. I don’t think that at all. I know that I am a sinner. I need no convincing on that point. That’s good. If you thought that you have just a little bit of sin, you may think that by your good efforts you might be able to pay me back. I know that I cannot pay for my own sin no matter how hard I would try. Haven’t you tried before? What do you mean? Haven’t there been times when you felt particularly sinful and thought maybe you should engage in some extra service for me because of your sin? Yes, I suppose so. How did that work out? Not very well. Why not? Trying to pay you back is just one more sin. Why do you think so? If I try to pay you back then I’m not having faith and believing that you have completely forgiven and cleansed me of my sin. No, you are not.

We could move this discussion along a little bit. Why do you want to? Well, I need no convincing about the extent of my sin. I have sinned against you and others in so many ways. It’s not like I’ve stopped either. All my sin is not just in the past. I’m a sinner now. I know that I will sin in the future. Yes, you will. So, I have a huge debt that I can’t repay. Not now, nor at anytime in the future. You’re right about that.

So, I’m nothing like the religious person who needs no or little forgiveness. I never want to have that attitude. If for some strange reason I think that for a moment then I will want to confess that attitude for the sin that it is. Haven’t you thought in this way before? Maybe, sometimes it is hard to even know my own sins. All I can say is that I know I’ve sinned against you in my thoughts, words, and actions. I didn’t have a small amount of sin for which you have forgiven me. You are right about that. I have forgiven you of all your sins of the past, present and future. You are completely forgiven and cleansed of your sin. You have no debt. It has been cancelled.

You say I have no debt? Yes, I do. Well, I feel something strongly toward you. What’s that? I feel a debt of gratitude, thankfulness, and love for you for all that you have done for me. This debt is not at all like an obligation; it is what wells up in my heart toward you. It is what makes me like the grateful woman who is washing your feet with her tears and drying them with her hair. I am at your feet right now. I love you. I give my life to you. I want to live my life with and for you. I have no need to ask, “who is this who even forgives sins?” You are the Son of God who died for my sin so that I could be forgiven, cleansed, and made able to live a new life in you. Yes, I am and yes, I did. Follow me. Yes Lord, I will.

Lord, I had a very big debt and load of sin I was carrying. My heart and mind and thoughts and actions were completely evil. I was far away from you, living a broken, sin filled life. Thank you, for bringing me near to you so that I could be forgiven of all my sin. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Parables – Luke 7-41-43 – Two Men Owed Money To A Certain Moneylender – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                                                        Copying not permitted                                                                                    www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

Come Follow Me

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Rhythms - Matthew 4:18-20 - Leave - Follow - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Rhythms – Matthew 4:18-20 – Leave – Follow – Growing As Disciples

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Matthew 4:18-20 (NIV)

Drop Everything 

Will you drop everything in an instant for me? That is an easy question that is hard to answer. I know I can’t successfully answer this question without your help. I could say that I would drop everything. I could want to drop everything. But, would I really drop everything? I don’t know for sure. I’m willing. I want to drop everything for you at anytime and in any place. I always want to make myself fully available to you. That’s a start. I can work with that. I will help you to learn to drop everything for me.

Will you stop to listen for my call? Will you set aside all that you are doing to hear everything I have to say to you? Listening is not my strong point. Stopping is even harder. I’m too busy. I’m always on the go. I will need you to do something dramatic to get my attention. I will need you to say something loudly for me to hear. I want to stop for you. I want to hear you. I will listen to you. I will respond to you. Do all that you need to do to get my attention. Raise your voice. Give me a shout. I don’t want to miss one word of all that you have to say to me. That’s not going to work. That’s not my style. That’s not what I do. What do you suggest? What do you want? Don’t be too busy. Don’t always be on the go. You will need to come to me. You will need to rest in my presence. You will need to quiet yourself before me. You will need to listen attentively to me. Being busy is no virtue. There is no prize for always being on the go. If you want to hear from me you will stop. If you want my instructions you will need to wait. Will you come to me? Will you listen for my call? Will you set aside what you are doing to hear from me? Yes Lord, I will. Then you will hear from me. 

Will you leave your old life behind to come and follow me? My old life is no prize. My old life is bruised and battered and broken, weary and worn out. My old life is full of sin and death. There is nothing from my old life that I want. There is nothing from my old life that I need. I want you. I love you. You are my Savior. You are my Lord. Yes, I am. I want to live the life that you have for me. I want to go where you lead me. I want to do all that you ask of me. I will leave my old life to follow you. That is very good. I will lead you. Follow me.

Lord, you got my attention. You made it so my ears could hear your call. I dropped everything. You helped me to leave my old life behind. You have made me able to follow you.  Lead me to where you want me to go to do all that you have given me to do. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Rhythms – Matthew 4-18-20 – Come Follow Me – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

Know Truth – Set Free

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Rhythms - John 8:31-32 - Know Truth - Set Free - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Rhythms – John 8:31-32 – Know Truth – Set Free – Growing As Disciples

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 8:31-32 (NIV)

Hold On

What is truth? Where does truth come from? Does truth come from all that you hear in the world? Does truth come from your deeply held thoughts and beliefs that you have acquired and held for a very long time? Are you the final arbitrator of what is true and what is false? Are you wise enough to recognize all that is true and all that is false?

You have asked a lot of questions of me. Truth definitely does not come from the world. My heart and mind are under constant attack from all the falsehood that is in the world. The thoughts and values and opinions of the world stand in direct opposition to your truth. Following the “so called truth” that is in the world will enslave me. Hearing and believing and holding on to your truth will set me free. My long acquired and deeply held beliefs may or may not be the truth. Each one of my thoughts needs to be taken captive and examined by the truth that is in your word. I am certainly not the final arbitrator of what is true and what is false. I definitely do not have the wisdom that I need to correctly discern what is true and what is false. I know that you are true. Your word is true. I know that you will show and teach me what is true. Yes, I will help you to know what is true. You can rely on me. I will speak the truth into your life.

Do you want to be set free? Yes, of course I want to be set free. What must I do if I want to be set free? You must come to know the truth. I am the truth. My word is the truth. You must come to know me. You must hold on to my teachings. You must listen and put into practice all that I show and teach you. Will you come to me? Will you listen to me? Will you hold on to my teachings? Yes, I will come to you. I will listen to every word that you have to say to me. I will put into practice all that you have to show and teach me. Then you will be set free. Then you will have new thoughts to think. Then you will have a new life to live. I will give you a new heart, a new mind and a new life as you hold on to me and my teachings.

Lord, my life is under constant bombardment from all the falsehood that is in the world. I want to come to know and hold on to your truth. Help me to hear, know, and put all your teachings into practice. Set me free as I come to know and hold on to your truth. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Rhythms – John 8-31-32 – Know Truth – Set Free – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

The Truth Will Set You Free

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - The Mind - John 8:31-32 - The Truth Will Set You Free - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – The Mind – John 8:31-32 – The Truth Will Set You Free – Growing As Disciples

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 8:31-32 (NIV)

Hold On 

Do you want to be my disciple? Will you hold on to my teaching? Will you make my word the priority of your life? Would you like to know the truth? Will you allow the truth of my word to set you free? You have asked me a lot of questions. I will start by saying that I want to be your disciple. I want to be one of your followers. I know that as your disciple and follower I must hold on to your teachings. I’m sure that, “by holding” to your teaching you are not referring to a light grasp. I will hold on to your word for dear life. Your word is and will be the priority of my life. I will meditate on your word day and night. I will let your word dwell in me richly. I will seek your word more than silver or gold. I will let your word guard and guide my life. That will be very good.

Let’s talk about how my word will set you free. I’d like that. My word has the power to change your heart. My word has the power to transform your mind. Would you like a new heart? Would you like a new mind? Yes, I would like a new heart and a new mind. You are right about the importance of the firmness of your grip in taking hold of my word. Occasional hearing of my word will not change your heart or transform your mind. You must feast on my word. You must take my word into your heart and mind. The world and all that is in it is working full time to conform your heart and mind according to its patterns, practices and values. You must allow my word to remain in you continually. You must hunger and thirst for my word. You must allow my word to have a far greater influence over your life than anything else that is in the world. Will you meet with me in my word? Yes, It will be my delight to meet with you in your word. How often will you meet with me in my word? There is not a day that will go by that I do not need to hear from you. There is not a day that will go by that I will not be excited to hear all that you have to say to me. I will meet with you in your word every day. I will take hold of your word every day. I will let your word take hold of me every day. Then you will know the truth. Then you will be set free by my word as you come to know me and hold on to my teachings.

Lord, it was you who drew me to yourself. You rescued me from the dark and dreary life I was living. You made it possible for me to follow you as my Savior and Lord. You have helped me to hold on to your teachings. You set me free to follow and serve you. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

The Mind – John 8-31-32 – The Truth Will Set You Free – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

Said To Themselves

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Promises - Day 156 - Matthew 9:1-8 - Said To Themselves - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Promises – Day 156 – Matthew 9:1-8 – Said To Themselves – Growing As Disciples

Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town.  Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”  At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”  Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?  Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?  But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.”  And the man got up and went home.  When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men. Matthew 9:1-8 (NIV)

Entertain Thoughts

What will you allow your mind to think? What thoughts will you entertain within you? Will you entertain thoughts that are good and right and true? Will you entertain thoughts that are helpful and healthy? Will you entertain thoughts that are pleasing to me? What is the alternative? Some don’t even realize that they have a decision to make about what they allow their mind to think. Some allow all the thoughts and opinions and values of the world to be entertained in their mind. Some allow their minds to be filled with dark and evil thoughts of the sinful nature. Some allow the thoughts of their mind to be far from me. Not only do they think evil thoughts, but they speak evil words and take evil actions. They live a life filled with very kind of evil. That is the natural and automatic result of entertaining evil thoughts in the mind. That is not the life that I will live. I want my mind to think thoughts that are good and right and true. I want my mind to think thoughts that are helpful and healthy. I want my mind to think thoughts that are pleasing to you. I want all my thoughts and words and actions to be pleasing to you. That is very good.

How can I think thoughts that are pleasing to you? That is a very good question. Entertain thoughts that are pleasing to me. Take my word deep into your heart and mind and life. Allow my word to do its work in you. Allow my word to change your heart, transform your mind and guide your life. Allow my word to powerfully work in and through you. Then you will think thoughts, speak words and take actions that are pleasing to me. Then you will bring honor and glory to me. That is what I will do, I will entertain thoughts in my mind that come from you. That will be very good.

Lord, thank you for forgiving and cleansing me of all my sins. Use your word to change my heart and transform my mind so all my thoughts, words and actions are pleasing to you. Use your word to powerfully work in and through me for your honor and glory. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Promises – Day 141 – Matthew 9-1-8 – Said To Themselves – 4 Page Discipleship Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

The Truth Will Set You Free

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Promises - Day 21 - John 8:31-32 - The Truth Will Set You Free - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Promises – Day 21 – John 8:31-32 – The Truth Will Set You Free – Growing As Disciples

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 8:31-32 (NIV)

Set Free

That is exactly what I want to be. What do you want to be? I want to be set free. Do you know what being set free will require of you? Yes, I think I do know. Tell me what you know. If I want to be set free, I must do three things. Go ahead, I’m listening. First, I must come to believe in you. I must accept you as my Savior and Lord. In doing so, I must turn my life over to you. My life must come under new management. No longer will I live according to my thoughts and opinions and desires. I must leave behind my old self-centered life of sin. I must stop living according to the values and practices of this world. I must leave my old life behind. I must reject all the evil and falsehood in this world. I would call that step one. Very good. Next I must make myself available to hear your teaching. I must allow myself to hear your instruction so I can follow your guidance. I must take your word deeply into my heart and mind and life. I must allow you to use your word to change my heart and transform mind. In doing so, your word will mold and shape me. Your word will guard and guide me. Your word will fill me with desire to live my life with and for you. I would call that step two. That is very good as well. Finally, I must hold on to your teaching. I must put your word into practice. All my thoughts and words and actions need to be guided by your word. I must allow your word to be the foundation of my entire life. Your word will make me able to live the life you have called me to live. Finally, I would call that step three. That is also very good. So, as I believe in you, listen attentively to your word, and put your word into practice, I will know the truth and the truth will set me free. That’s true. That’s right. That’s sure. Keep on believing in me. Keep on listening to me. Keep on putting my word into practice. Then you will know the truth. Then you will be set free by the truth. That is my plan and desire for you. Thank you, Lord.

Lord, thank you for teaching me. It is my delight and joy to listen attentively to you. I will take your words deep into my heart and mind and life. I will put all your teaching into practice. I will live the life you are calling me to live. Set me free by your word. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Promises – Day 21 – John 8-31-32 – The Truth Will Set You Free – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

Follow Me

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Becoming Like Christ - Day 133 - Matthew 4:18-22 - Follow Me - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Becoming Like Christ – Day 133 – Matthew 4:18-22 – Follow Me – Growing As Disciples

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. Matthew 4:18-22 (NIV)  

Kingdom Harvest 

Would you be willing to drop anything or everything you were doing to go and do what I asked of you? Would you allow my call to alter, and in fact define, the entire course of your life? Would you welcome my purposes and plans into your life, as your very own? Would you keep your eyes and ears open to my call on your life? Would take a second look at interruptions to your schedule to consider if I am giving you a unique opportunity to serve me? Would you make following and serving me the absolute priority of your life? Wow, you have asked me a lot of questions. Do you have an answer to my questions? Yes, I do. I hope that my life has already demonstrated that I will say yes to whatever you ask me to go and do for you. Do I think that I have always given an immediate unqualified yes to you? No, I do not. Sometimes, I have not said yes to you. Sometimes, I have been dull and distracted and unwilling or unable to hear from you. Sometimes, I have gone and done the opposite of what you have asked of me. Sometimes, I have reluctantly and begrudgingly gone and done what you asked of me. Sometimes, I have had a less than perfect attitude even when I have said yes to you. For all these failings, I ask for your forgiveness. You are forgiven. Thank you for all the forgiveness I have in you. I am so thankful for the many and ongoing opportunities you continue to give me to go and do what you ask of me. You have never given up on me. No, I have not. Nor will I ever give up on you. It is my pleasure and joy to be used by you. It is my hope and prayer and desire to bear fruit for your kingdom and bring glory to your name. I want to be a fisher of men. I wanted to be actively working in your kingdom harvest. Make me who you want me to be. Give me what you want me to do. That is the prayer of my heart. I will hear and answer that prayer. Thank you, Lord. 

Lord, I am willing to drop anything and everything to go and do what you ask of me. I am at your service. I am fully available to you. Make me to be a fisher of men. Help me to lead others to you. Use me in your kingdom harvest. Give me work to do for you. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Becoming Like Christ – Day 133 – Matthew 4-18-22 – Follow Me – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

Hold To My Teaching

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Becoming Like Christ - Day 40 - John 8:31-32 - Hold To My Teaching - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Becoming Like Christ – Day 40 – John 8:31-32 – Hold To My Teaching – Growing As Disciples

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 8:31-32 (NIV)

Set Free

That is what I want. What do you want? I want to be set free. From what do you want to be set free? I want to be set free from the sinful patterns and practices of the world. I want to be free to live my life fully for you. I don’t want to go where I should not go. I don’t want to do what I should not do. I want to live a life that is completely pleasing to you. That is a very good desire. 

How will I set you free? You are asking me that question? Yes, I am asking you that question. Do you know why I am asking you that question? I guess so, at least I’m pretty sure, maybe even nearly positive. Let me hear you answer. You have made it quite clear how you will set me free. Not only that, you have made obvious what tool you will use to set me free. That’s true. You will use your word to set me free. You will use your word to change my heart, transform my mind and guide my life. Your word will change everything about me. All my thoughts, words and deeds will be changed by the mighty power of your word. You go that right.

Do you have a role in my setting you free? Yes, without a doubt. What role do you have in my using my word to set you free? I need to come to you and meet with you in your word. I need to feed on your word. Daily, I need to take in a steady diet of your word. Not only do I need to feed on your word, I need to focus my heart and mind and life on your word. How will you focus your heart and mind and life on my word? I will think about your word second by second, and moment by moment, every day of my life. Your word will always be before me. In addition to my feeding and focusing on your word, I will need to be freed by your word. How will you be freed by my word? I will be freed by your word as I hold on to your word. I will be freed by your word, as I follow and obey your word. I will be freed by your word, as I continue to put your word into practice. Yes, you will. Feed on my word. Focus on my word. Be freed by my word. Yes Lord, I will. Then you will be set free.

Lord, I will make it my daily practice to feed on your word. I will continually focus my heart and mind and life on your word. Change my heart, transform my mind and guide my life as I meet with you in your word. Set me free by the mighty power of your word. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Becoming Like Christ – Day 41 – John 8-31-32 – Hold To My Teaching – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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