John 3:1-13 (NRSV)
Jesus and Nicodemus
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God." Jesus answered him, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above." Nicodemus said to him, "How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, 'You must be born from above.' The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." Nicodemus said to him, "How can these things be?" Jesus answered him, "Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?
"Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.
In the dark of night
I come running, stumbling
Scared and alone
I cannot breathe
For I am scared…
I don’t know how to get into heaven
I don’t know what I must do
I don’t know where I should turn
I hear God’s voice whispering to me in the shadows
But, I do not understand
The loud sounds of my doubt and despair
Are crashing in my ears
Battering my heart
Making me deaf
But then you come to me
You say, “Do not be afraid”
And I am not.
And you say, “Child I love you.”
And tears run down my face
Because I want to believe that you can love me
How could you love somebody like me?
You don’t know me
You don’t know what I’ve done
You don’t know how I’ve hurt others
You don’t know how I’ve hurt myself
And you say to me, “You are known…”
And you say to me, “You are loved…”
And you say to me, “Let me hold you—for eternity.”
But, I’m not sure
There must be a catch.
There’s always a catch!
There must be a trick.
There’s always a trick!
My mind is spinning out of control
My heart is beating way to fast
My breath stumbles in my chest
I CAN’T DO IT!
I can’t be good enough
And you say, “ENOUGH!”
I’ve already done enough.
I died on the cross for you—it was enough
I shed my blood for you—it was enough
I asked God to forgive you—it was enough
It was enough, child!
It is enough…
Out of arguments I run into your arms
I cry upon your chest
You hold me as I spill a lifetime of pain upon your shoulder
As I confess those things I have buried deep within me
Never subject to the light.
I say, “I’m sorry.”
You say, “You are forgiven.
Let us begin again.
Today we can start over.
Today is your Re-Birth-Day.
Today you are born again.”
“Yes, let’s start again.
This time trust me to do the work.
This time let me do all the heavy lifting
This time let me fill you with my Spirit.
This time put all your hope in me.”
And I said, “O.K.”
Do you have a saving faith in Jesus Christ today? Are you SURE that if you died today, you would wake up in heaven? (If not, please pray with me)
Dear God, I know you love me and I love you too. I believe that Jesus died on the cross and that you raised him from the dead! Please forgive all of my sins and fill me with your Holy Spirit. I want my whole life to declare your praise and glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you just prayed that prayer for the first time, today, you are saved! I would be so honored if you would let me know about your decision by clicking “Yes” in the poll located at the top/right of today’s devotional! I am so happy for you! Happy Spiritual Re-Birth-Day!
Next steps: You may be asking, “Now what?” Let me suggest that you consider telling another Christian about what you did today so that they can celebrate with you! Ask them to help you find a Bible that is easy to read so that you can learn more about your new-found faith! Ask them to help you find a good Bible believing church where you can make new friends who will walk with you on your new journey! Congratulations!
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COMING SOON: The Good News Living Book Club will be reading Hinds Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard during March. Please mark your calendars for our very first book club meeting to be held on Saturday, March 28, 2009, at 9:00am.
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From Pastor Yolanda’s blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com/