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
He (Jesus) told his next story to some who were complacently pleased with themselves over their moral performance and looked down their noses at the common people:
“Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax man. The Pharisee posed and prayed like this: ‘Oh, God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, crooks, adulterers, or, heaven forbid, like this tax man. I fast twice a week and tithe on all my income.’
“Meanwhile the tax man, slumped in the shadows, his face in his hands, not daring to look up, said, ‘God, give mercy. Forgive me, a sinner.’” Jesus commented, “This tax man, not the other, went home made right with God.”
“If you walk around with your nose in the air, you’re going to end up flat on your face, but if you’re content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself.” (Luke 18:9)
So many of us have become ‘sin blind’ and forgotten just how hopeless our lives were before Jesus came into our lives and set us free!
Lord I remember that nothing I did – no self-help books or programmes ever helped me get out of the hole I’d fallen into. Jesus help me not to forget how ugly and toxic life was without You. Keep my heart fresh for You and Your Purposes and aware of other people’s needs. X
I yell out to my God, I yell with all my might, I yell at the top of my lungs. He listens. I found myself in trouble and went looking for my Lord; my life was an open wound that wouldn’t heal.
When friends said, “Everything will turn out all right,” I didn’t believe a word they said. I remember God—and shake my head. I bow my head—then wring my hands. I’m awake all night—not a wink of sleep; I can’t even say what’s bothering me.
I go over the days one by one, I ponder the years gone by. I strum my lute all through the night, wondering how to get my life together.
Will the Lord walk off and leave us for good? Will he never smile again? Is his love worn threadbare? Has his salvation promise burned out? Has God forgotten his manners? Has he angrily stalked off and left us? “Just my luck,” I said. “The High God goes out of business just the moment I need him.”
Once again I’ll go over what GOD has done, lay out on the table the ancient wonders; I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished, and give a long, loving look at your acts.
O God! Your way is holy! No god is great like God! You’re the God who makes things happen; you showed everyone what you can do— You pulled your people out of the worst kind of trouble, rescued … [ME]! (Psalm 77:1)
Awake my Soul and remember! Go back and remember the goodness of God to you. Raise your hands and roar your thanksgivings to your God who hears – and answers! Hallelujah! X
“As for me,” GOD says, “this is my covenant with them: My Spirit that I’ve placed upon you and the words that I’ve given you to speak, they’re not going to leave your mouths nor the mouths of your children nor the mouths of your grandchildren. You will keep repeating these words and won’t ever stop.” GOD’s orders.” (Isaiah 59:21)
So … what Words of life has the Spirit of Jesus spoken to you? What Promises have you hung onto? What Truths has He burned into your soul…? Remind yourself of them. Repeat them, believe them. X
“Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches.” (Rev 2:29)
Remember what you said to me, your servant— I hang on to these words for dear life! These words hold me up in bad times; yes, your promises rejuvenate me. (Psalm 119:49)
I’m writing this while looking at 3 very small plant pots on the window sill which have been seeded by our grandchildren. It dawns on me that seeds don’t need much encouragement to thrive into what they were created to be as the Word that God spoke into their DNA millennia ago still holds true …!
Lord help us all to turn away from the seemingly barren soil of our own plant pot lives, and recognise the truth of the Words of Life that You have spoken into our hearts!
Speak Lord, your servant is listening … I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me (Psalm 119:28) X
The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you. (2 Cor 13:14)
Remember how easy it was to receive when you weren’t forced to keep all those plates spinning and trying to juggle all those balls too …?
So read it again and then lay it all down at Jesus’ feet for him to carry. After all, he Loves you and wants to! Oh happy day. X