My dear Lord Jesus, I come to you now to be completely emptied of me and my control. Restore me in You, renew me in You. Please, Holy Spirit, fill my heart and my mind as I read the Scripture for tomorrow. I surrender everything of today to You and receive Your love and Your life. May Your Kingdom be revealed to me as I read and then write this blog. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen John 3: 1-8
3 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
I had a hard time deciding between the NIV version or the Message version. In the Message, instead of saying “born again” they say “born from above” - the Greek version of “again” also means “above”. Either way you have to die to yourself in order to be born of the Spirit and receive that “baptism into a new life” (Msg). Being “born again” brings up many memories. I remember when everyone talked about being “born again” in the 80’s. I so wanted to have that experience but thought it meant having that one moment in life that others described as life changing. It wasn’t until the late 90’s that I discovered what grace was and then after that really read the Bible. I gained knowledge and some understanding, but it wasn’t until we started going to POG 10 years ago, that God revealed and is still revealing what it means to be born again. For me it means waking up every morning and deciding to be born from above, and staying in that constant connection through prayer and worship. It’s not a one time event, it’s a daily decision.
Then there’s the talk about the Kingdom. Do you believe we can see the Kingdom while on earth? I do, only if I make that decision to be born again - and it sure beats looking, hearing, believing in things of this world. Notice Jesus speaks of the Kingdom two times - seeing and then entering. The Message version on entering - “unless a person submits to this original creation (being born from above)- 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. I love that explanation and when I read it, I think who would not want this fabulous gift? What makes it hard to not accept the gift of the Holy Spirit and all that He does? Well, after reading my old study Bible (thanks Erin for giving me the idea) I think it boils down to that C word that always gets in the way. I bet you guessed - CONTROL, uhhhhhhh! We cannot control the works of the Spirit, “the wind blows wherever it pleases”. (verse 8) The Spirit works in ways we cannot control or even understand.
I for one adore the Holy Spirit. I don’t always follow His advice, but am so very encouraged and humbled by His presence in my life.
Thank You, Lord for the gift You gave us all so long ago. I love how I get to call upon Your Holy Spirit to help me draw closer to You. I will choose to be born from above everyday of my life. Amen
May God Bless Your Day,