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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

The 21 Day Experiment - Day 8: Get Real!

by Marilynn Chadwick

The truth will set you free. John 8:32 (ESV)

What does it mean to "get real?” It’s a challenge to take off the mask. Let go of pretense. Speak the truth. Be authentic.

Sadly, we live in an age where people will do almost anything to create a good image. More time, attention, and money is spent on our outer self than on our inner soul. We end up comparing our insides with everyone’s outsides. It’s not surprising that research tells us the main emotion people experience when they get on social media is envy.

Jesus is all about the truth—authenticity over image. In John Chapter 8, he shakes up the religious leaders by claiming he has been sent by God. But many Jews put their faith in him (John 8:30). To those who believed, he made this promise. It is my watchword for today:

“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).

The Greek word for “truth” is aletheia. It means "genuine, authentic, real." This Jesus-kind-of-truth is real. It sets us free. But the promise of freedom has a catch. If I abide in his Word, then I'm his disciple. There's a connection here between spending time in God’s Word and knowing the truth that sets us free.

In our busy, noisy world, we have to be intentional to abide in his Word. That’s another reason for doing the 21 Day Experiment. It helps us learn to abide. If you’re following along, that means you’re committing at least fifteen minutes a day to reading a chapter of John’s Gospel. Then a few minutes praying for specific needs that are on your heart.

I encourage you to stick with this experiment until the very end. Don’t evaluate whether it works until the end of the 21 days. Over the years, I’ve had friends doing this experiment tell me they’re glad they stuck it out—sometimes God’s message for them finally came on the 21st day. There are times when being obedient to God’s Word means we simply abide.

One purpose of abiding is for Jesus to become more real. For his Word to come alive. And for us to recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit within. John uses the word “abide” nine times—more than any other Gospel. John wanted us to truly know our Savior and abiding is the secret.

Prayer: Lord, thanks for the reminder that it’s all about my relationship with you. Everything—even answers to prayer—come out of abiding in you. That’s the real secret to freedom. I pray for that same freedom today for those I love.

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