Categories
Jesus

You Must Be Born Again

John 3:3 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus, a Pharisee and leader of the Jews, came to see Jesus at night after the crowds left.

He began by acknowledging who Jesus was, a Rabbi (teacher), sent by God who did miracles because God was with him.

Jesus, instead of thanking Nicodemus for the compliments, gave a warning. Jesus began by saying “truly, truly” or literally “amen, amen”. He wanted to make sure Nicodemus paid careful attention to what came next.

Jesus knew that his fellow Jews were looking for the Kingdom of God to come and end the reign of Roman oppression. Jesus also knew that curiosity about Jesus’ role in the Kingdom of God was what bought Nicodemus out to see him that night.

This theme of wondering if Jesus is the one to bring the Kingdom of God is seen throughout the Gospels. Jews, even John the Baptist, wanted to know who Jesus was in relation to the expected Kingdom of God.

Jesus gives a warning to Nicodemus- “unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”. The Greek word for “born again” can also mean “born from above” and both meanings are likely in view here. Jesus pointed Nicodemus to the new life he needed to receive in order to be part of the Kingdom of God. Just as the breath of life from God above, “ruach” gave life to the first man Adam, so a man must receive this breath and be born again to live in God’s eternal Kingdom.

James uses the same Greek word used here for “born again” when he writes “Every good and perfect gift is from above…” in James 1:17.

The most perfect gift available for you today is the gift of eternal life in the Kingdom of God. God is asking you to be born again.

Are you willing to become a new creation in Christ? Will you give your life to Christ and make him the lord of your life?

This Easter, in the spring season of newness, let God know your desire to be born again. He wants to give you newness of life in him. All your sins will be washed away and you can get a fresh start.

DM me if you would like me to pray with or for you.

Categories
Jesus

Confronted By the Resurrected Jesus: Repent and Refresh

Confronted by the Resurrected Jesus- What Should You Do?

The events in the life of Jesus surrounding Easter demand a response. Jesus suffered, died and was buried. On the third day he rose again to the fulfillment of the Scriptures. What will you do?

The events in the life of Jesus surrounding Easter demand a response. What happened to Jesus? In the historic words of the Nicene Creed, “…he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered died and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures.” The remainder of the New Testament commands that all who confront this truth make a decision. Will you choose to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins? The verses in this series will show you what it means to accept the truth of a Resurrected Savior, Jesus Christ.

Acts 3:19 clearly states the requirement for forgiveness of sin- repent and be converted. What is the meaning of repent? metanoeo, the Greek word for “repent” in the New Testament, means a change of mind leading to change in behavior. It means to go in a new, different direction. This happens when you move away from your old life. Following Jesus means you no longer follow your own ways. The ways that seem right to a man lead to destruction, Proverbs tells us. (Proverbs 14:12)

What do you need to change your mind about? Two things- who you are and who Jesus is.

1)You must see yourself as a sinner in need of grace and forgiveness.

2) You need to recognize Jesus as the Son of God who died on the cross for the forgiveness of your sin.

It’s not enough to walk away. You must know what and who you are walking to.

To be “converted” means to go one from one state to another. You will pass from an unrepentant sinner, comfortable with your sin, to a child of God who knows the gravity of sin in the face of God’s holiness. You are converted into a believer in Jesus. Your life turns towards God as you seek to walk with him. Jesus is now your Lord. You are yoked to him and he carries your burdens. You learn of Jesus and desire to dwell with him forever. Walking in confidence with Jesus is only one of the amazing joys that come with repentance and conversion. What happens to your sin is an important fruit of repentance and conversion.

What do repentance and conversion do to your sin? They officially wipe it away. “Blotted out” is a reference to the way a scribe would clean up a mistake from a scroll he was writing. The ink needed to be completely removed from the scroll. Your sin is completely removed from God’s sight. Instead, your name is now written in God’s book of life and it will NEVER be blotted out! Hallelujah, God no longer keeps record of our sins!

Times of refreshing or relief will be yours. Along with the removal of sin from your record, you will feel relieved. Objectively, the sin is gone. Subjectively, God graciously allows you to feel this. You no longer need to fear the presence of the holy, sinless, righteous God like one who lives in sin must. Your sin no longer separates you from God. In his presence you will find fullness of joy. (Psalm 16:11)

If you have not already, repent, convert and be relieved. Put your faith and trust in the resurrected Jesus today.

Categories
Bible Study Bible Verse gratitude Jesus Quote Images Thanksgiving

Jesus and Thanksgiving Part 3-The Last Supper

“After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”” (Luke 22:17–19, NIV)

The scene is a somber one but filled with love. Jesus knows he must leave his beloved apostles soon. He yet has much to share with them.

Jesus with the twelve apostles prepared to celebrate the Passover meal, sacred because it commemorated God’s great power in freeing his people from Egyptian slavery.

But God was soon to perform an even greater miracle. Through the sacrifice of the body and blood of Jesus, the whole world might be saved.

It is in the midst of this sacred scene that Jesus gives thanks to his father. Before passing around the cup of wine to be shared, Jesus gave thanks. Similarly, before passing around the bread to be shared, Jesus gave thanks.

In this foreshadowing of his death, offering up his body and blood, gratitude flowed from the heart and mouth of Jesus.

Facing the most difficult time of his earthly life, Jesus took the time to give thanks.

Do you thank God in the midst of trials? I have found that doing so allows me to shift my focus off my trial and to all that God has provided me.

Jesus gave thanks in the presence Judas, the one who would betray him and send him to a painful, humiliating death.

Even in the presence of your enemies, thank God for who he is and all he has done.

Thank like Jesus did.