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Monday, June 23, 2014

John Chapter 3...Stop sneaking around!

Stop right now and read John Chapter 3!

Nick at Night...Sees the Light!

John Chapter 3 brings a smile to my face. The chapter features Nicodemus, a Pharisee, who comes to visit Jesus in the night.   This reminds me of a great group of kids I worked with in VBS years ago. We put on a play about John Chapter 3.

That summer many years ago,  my VBS kids performed a play I wrote called, "Nick at Night....Sees the Light!"  We had a such a great time performing this play! Two of my toughest boys played Jesus and Nicodemus -- I pray pray pray those boys and girls remember the message of being "born again,” the central message to John 3.

The first time I read John 3, I was shocked to read Jesus’ words:

 "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." 
John 3:3 

WOWEE ! I always thought the "born again" phrase was made up by televangelists! WRONG, Laurie!
Jesus spoke these words long ago !

In John 3 Jesus explains that the process of being "born again" requires a total transformation, a rebirth through the Living Water and the Holy Spirit.

--More on that later!

This is such an important chapter. It is such a picture of who we are today and what Jesus can do for us!

In John 3 we meet old Nicodemus who is part of an elite group in the Jewish hierarchy. He is a pharisee, basically one leaders of the Jewish faith.  Nicodemus is curious about Jesus, but he’s afraid of what his associates may think if he is seen with this bold new “rabbi”.

Nicodemus is skulking around at night cause he's ashamed to be seen with Jesus. Are we ashamed ? Truth be told, maybe we hide our faith in the dark of indifference when we are out in the world. Hmmmmm

Jesus tells Nicodemus  what he needs to do to be born again, but Nick does not get it.

Duh...I didn't get it either 20 years ago. It seemed too simple for my Type A,  list-making mind!

In John 3:16, Jesus says,

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, 
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." 
John 3:16 

We all repeat this verse like a chant.  A lot of us memorized it in Sunday School,  but do we realize JESUS said it?  This verse is  key to being “born again.”

To be "born again" is to pray to ask forgiveness for your sins (that stuff you know you do wrong) and also to ask Jesus to come into every part of your life, public and private, good, bad and downright ugly.

This prayer requires total belief and commitment to the One who loves you most, Jesus Christ.  It is the key to eternal life with Jesus, the LIGHT of the world.

In verses John 3:19 - 21, Jesus refers to himself as the LIGHT.  Jesus explains to us why people are so afraid of Him.  His light reveals their sins....

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, 
but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 
Everyone who does evil hates the light, 
and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.  
But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, 
so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done 
has been done in the sight of God.” 

Jesus is the light, but some people hate the Light.  I’ve noticed, when I share my faith,  people don't seem to mind when I talk about God, but when I mention Jesus, they  get agitated. They shift from foot to foot.  Their heads drop.  The Light is just too personal.  Jesus is just too close for comfort.

John 3:22 switches back over to John the Baptist. I love his words:

 "He must become greater; I must become less." John 3:30 

Yep ! I’ve gotta get out of the way with my ego so God can use me. Enuff said.

The final Word in John Chapter 3 is riveting:

"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." John 3:36 

I am so grateful we can choose to be born again by getting very personal with the LIGHT: Jesus !  He is the Son who offers eternal life to everyone.

We have a choice to make.   Should we continue to sneak  around in the darkness like Nicodemus?  OR Should we embrace the Light and give our lives to Jesus Christ?

I’m ready to walk in the LIGHT!

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