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Jul 8, 2018

Guided Relaxation / Guided Meditation:
Set this moment apart in your mind for preparing to receive God’s word. As you prepare you become aware of all your body. To become aware of your body allows you to become aware of any distractions in your body that prevent you from opening up to connect to God and receiving his answer. As you feel your body allow any distraction and tention to release. As you do this, you can feel the tension leaving your body and calmness replaces it. What a great blessing from God that this moment allows you the freedom to take slow and calming breaths.
Bible verse for meditation:
John 8:28-32
ESV28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him.31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
KJV28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.30 As he spake these words, many believed on him.31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
 the similarities and differences in the translations presented. 
What does this scripture mean to you?Has it had a different effect this reading as compared to times past?How does this scripture make you feel?
Continue breathing deeply as you ponder this meaning.
Meditation on scripture / bible verse meditation:
During this week we in the US celebrated Independence Day. As many other countries, we celebrate independence and freedom. As humans we have various ideologies and regional interests but one need that we all share is the need for truth. This scripture points out the greatest truth of all. Our need for God. In the previous verses of this scripture Jesus was testifying of his actions and how he was following the Father. Not only this but he prophesied his death on the Cross. When the people heard his witness, they began to believe Him. Jesus teaches them that those who believe should follow, and those that follow are disciples. These disciples who believe and follow what Jesus says are those who will know the truth, which is that his sacrifice overcame death and hell. He teaches what frees us. It is faith that leads to following Him. This is by far the greatest need we have to be freed. 
In this world many millions of people have had their freedoms taken. Many people suffer and have suffered. Many people receive severe punishments for following their conscience. As tragic as this is, Jesus teaches that the far greater tragedy is when we fail to be freed by Jesus, from sin. In Matthew 10:28 Jesus teaches that we don’t need to fear other people who do not stand as our Judge in this life, but to recognize this role pertains to God. It is His will that carries eternal judgement and reward beyond our deserving. Ours is to to the best we can with what we have. 
Perhaps then an argument could be made that the greatest Independence Day we could possibly celebrate would be Easter Sunday where Jesus provided all of us the opportunity to be eternally free. As we celebrate freedoms (or perhaps contemplate how they are restricted for us) we can draw connections to the greatest freedom we enjoy as a result of Jesus: Freedom to live with Him in heaven. 
Meditation of Prayer:
Pray as directed by the Spirit.Dedicate these moments to the patient waiting, when you feel ready ask God for understanding you desire from Him.
Meditation of God and His Glory / Hesychasm:I invite you to sit in silence feeling being patient for your own faults and trials. 
Meditate and Visualize Positive Change in Your Life:Implement the kind of change you want to see in your life.  Length, Intensity, Modality, Freshness, Conclusion:Each week.
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Final Question: What is a way that you can increase your faith in God?
Final thought -I want to present my cautions on the way I cover individual scriptures. I hope it is clear that my goal is not to perform deep analysis on the scripture and provide the only lesson from it. My goal is to provide insights which I believe are true and are represented in the scripture. Equally important lessons could be taught from this scripture about honesty, faith, humility, absolute truth, and various other doctrinal points. For example, the concept of freedom here is parallel to other concepts that we recognize in other spheres of life. In this way I hope that God can use this message to draw us ever closer to his loving Spirit. As we humbly submit to Him, he shows us that which is greatest importance and has the most power over us eternally. Ultimately, His grace is sufficient for us. Let us all celebrate in Christ together. He overcame death and hell so that we, through faith, can receive His greatest blessings.