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Rick-Warren-Saddleback-Church-small“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36, NIV)

The world defines freedom as a life without any restraint: “I can do anything I want to do and say anything I want to say without anybody telling me what to do.” Everybody else may get burned by you, but you get to do it your own way. The world says you can have your freedom but only by being totally selfish.

Yet, the Bible says the only way to true freedom is through Jesus: “If the Son sets you free, then you will be really free” (John 8:36, GNT).

Real freedom is freedom from fear, where you’re truly free from guilt, from worry, from bitterness and from death. You’re free to quit pretending because you’re free to be yourself.

How do you get rid of those kinds of fears? By letting God love you! The apostle John teaches that “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear...” (1 John 4:18, NIV).

When you realize how much God loves you, you’ll begin to live in true freedom. In fact, you worship God when you recognize that “God is love.” It is an act of worship to agree that he is a loving, caring, and generous God and that we can “rely on the love God has for us” (1 John 4:16b NIV).

Talk About It

Freedom is based on God’s love for you. Discuss this verse: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment” (1 John 4:18a NIV).  

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America’s largest and best-known churches. In addition, Rick is author of the New York Times Best Seller The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church, which 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 ministers.

© Copyright 2013 Rick Warren. Reprinted with permission.

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