Jesus said, “…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.” “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?” Jesus 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.
“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.” (John 3:3)
It’s a prerequisite that we can’t avoid to keep. X
Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds.
And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! (Eph 1:7)
One day an old Pastor met a young boy in front of the sanctuary carrying a rusty cage in which several birds fluttered nervously. He inquired, “Son, where did you get those birds?” The boy replied, “I trapped them out in the field.” “What are you going to do with them?” “I’m going to play with them, and then I guess I’ll just feed them to an old cat we have at home.”
When the Pastor offered to buy them, the lad exclaimed, “Mister, you don’t want them, they’re just little old wild birds and can’t sing very well.” The Pastor replied, “I’ll give you $2 for the cage and the birds.” “Okay, it’s a deal, but you’re making a bad bargain.” The exchange was made and the boy went away whistling, happy with his shiny coins.
The Pastor walked around to the back of the church property, opened the door of the small wire coop, and let the struggling creatures soar into the blue. The next Sunday he took the empty cage into the pulpit and used it to illustrate his sermon about Christ’s coming to seek and to save the lost—paying for them with His own precious blood. “That boy told me the birds were not songsters,” said the Pastor, “but when I released them and they winged their way heavenward, it seemed to me they were singing, ‘Redeemed, redeemed, redeemed!’” X
This is GOD ’s Word on the subject: “… I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
“When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. “When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.
“Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” GOD ’s Decree.” (Jer 29:11
A fabulous Promise that forms a ring of Hope around us when we tie in Jesus’s own words to us:
“… stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me, like chaff from wheat… I’ve prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out. When you have come through the time of testing, turn to your companions and give them a fresh start.” (Luke 22:31). X
Keep me safe, O God, I’ve run for dear life to you. I say to GOD, “Be my Lord!” Without you, nothing makes sense.
And these God-chosen lives all around— what splendid friends they make! Don’t just go shopping for a god. Gods are not for sale. I swear I’ll never treat god-names like brand-names. My choice is you, GOD, first and only. And now I find I’m your choice! You set me up with a house and yard. And then you made me your heir!
The wise counsel GOD gives when I’m awake is confirmed by my sleeping heart. Day and night I’ll stick with GOD; I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go.
I’m happy from the inside out, and from the outside in, I’m firmly formed. You canceled my ticket to hell— that’s not my destination!
Now you’ve got my feet on the life path, all radiant from the shining of your face. Ever since you took my hand, I’m on the right way. (Psalm 16:1)
“Can a mother forget the infant at her breast, walk away from the baby she bore? But even if mothers forget, I’d never forget you—never. Look, I’ve written your names on the backs of my hands.” (Isaiah 49:15).
In my life (and sometimes through my own wilfulness), I have been in more toxic relationships, stupidly dangerous situations and harmful scenarios than a TV programme could script! And yet I can honestly say, my Papà has ever been Amazingly Faithful. He has always saved me and sometimes I get to see the scars on His loving hands and arms that I know have been caused by His having to bail me out.
“…I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” GOD ’s Decree. “I’ll turn things around for you…You can count on it. (Jere 29:10).
His Word was BURNING on my heart for you this morning … Enjoy. X
Christ redeemed us from that self-defeating, cursed life by absorbing it completely into himself. Do you remember the Scripture that says, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”? That is what happened when Jesus was nailed to the cross: He became a curse, and at the same time dissolved the curse. (Gal 3:13).
As I reminded my sister yesterday, the things that these bodies had to endure before we agreed to let the Christ of God live in us! Thank God we’re not ‘subject‘ to all the la la that hit the previous occupant eh? X