Good morning all, I pray that all of you are healthy and well both in mind and body. Yesterday we spoke about experiencing God, and today we look to the text of the Gospel of John 3 where we experience Jesus.
Let's look to the text:
Born from Above
1 -2 There was a man of the Pharisee sect, Nicodemus, a prominent leader among the Jews. Late one night he visited Jesus and said, "Rabbi, we all know you're a teacher straight from God. No one could do all the God-pointing, God-revealing acts you do if God weren't in on it."
3Jesus said, "You're absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it's not possible to see what I'm pointing to—to God's kingdom."
4"How can anyone," said Nicodemus, "be born who has already been born and grown up? You can't re-enter your mother's womb and be born again. What are you saying with this 'born-from-above' talk?"
5 -6Jesus said, "You're not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the 'wind-hovering-over-the-water' creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it's not possible to enter God's kingdom. When you look at a baby, it's just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can't see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit.
7 -8"So don't be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be 'born from above'—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it's headed next. That's the way it is with everyone 'born from above' by the wind of God, the Spirit of God."
9Nicodemus asked, "What do you mean by this? How does this happen?"
10 -12Jesus said, "You're a respected teacher of Israel and you don't know these basics? Listen carefully. I'm speaking sober truth to you. I speak only of what I know by experience; I give witness only to what I have seen with my own eyes. There is nothing secondhand here, no hearsay. Yet instead of facing the evidence and accepting it, you procrastinate with questions. If I tell you things that are plain as the hand before your face and you don't believe me, what use is there in telling you of things you can't see, the things of God?
13 -15"No one has ever gone up into the presence of God except the One who came down from that Presence, the Son of Man. In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.
Nicodemus was a well respected teacher and leader in the community,but he still had questions that could not be answered and a void that could not be filled. So he went to have an experience with Jesus at night while it was still dark! Christ told him that he needed to be born over, to become a new person with new values and new directions.
Friends despite what you have accomplished, or what you have yet to do Jesus calls us into relationship with him through baptism yes! But also through a constant renewing or our mind. Everyday we should change growing closer to God. John Wesley would simply say that everyday we should grow closer to God through Christian Perfection.
So if you are new to the church or if you have been born and raised in the church twenty plus years ask yourself this question daily: How am I better Christian today than I was yesterday?If you are not, then be reminded of today's text and go in prayer to have an experience with Jesus. This is the way to a great life here, and eternal life with God.
Until next time, Love Pastor J