Have you ever had a new beginning? Left the old life behind and start a brand new one? What triggered the transformation? What was the cause of the change? Were you born again? How has it changed your life? How are you different today? Are you living as a new creation with the old being gone and the new has come? New beginnings in the spiritual sense takes place when we ask Jesus into our hearts to be our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit fills us and we are new creation. When we grab onto this and start to live it out we are transformed from the inside out as Jesus helps us clean up our lives as we start the journey of becoming more like Him!
Are you ready for a new beginning?
In today’s reading we read about an encounter about being born again…
Jesus and Nicodemus
1There was a Jewish leader named Nicodemus, who belonged to the party of the Pharisees. 2One night he went to Jesus and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher sent by God. No one could perform the miracles you are doing unless God were with him.” 3Jesus answered, “I am telling you the truth: no one can see the Kingdom of God without being born again.”
4“How can a grown man be born again?” Nicodemus asked. “He certainly cannot enter his mother’s womb and be born a second time!”
5“I am telling you the truth,” replied Jesus, “that no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6A person is born physically of human parents, but is born spiritually of the Spirit. 7Do not be surprised because I tell you that you must all be born again. 8The wind blows wherever it wishes; you hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. It is like that with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
9“How can this be?” asked Nicodemus.
10Jesus answered, “You are a great teacher in Israel, and you don’t know this? 11I am telling you the truth: we speak of what we know and report what we have seen, yet none of you is willing to accept our message. 12You do not believe me when I tell you about the things of this world; how will you ever believe me, then, when I tell you about the things of heaven? 13And no one has ever gone up to heaven except the Son of Man, who came down from heaven.”
14As Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the desert, in the same way the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior.
18Those who believe in the Son are not judged; but those who do not believe have already been judged, because they have not believed in God’s only Son. 19This is how the judgment works: the light has come into the world, but people love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil. 20Those who do evil things hate the light and will not come to the light, because they do not want their evil deeds to be shown up. 21But those who do what is true come to the light in order that the light may show that what they did was in obedience to God.
–from John 3
Will you believe without seeing? Will you believe in Jesus and who He is? Will you grab a hold of Him allow yourself to be transformed? Will you allow yourself to become a new creation and have a new beginning?
Whose side are you on? Who is determining what you believe? Who is deciding what to do? Who is determining what is right and wrong? Are you sharing God’s grace? His grace and love are enough to cover a multitude of mistakes, issues, problems. Will you be one who out of love points people to Jesus and allows the transformation to begin? This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s not boast and be proud, but rather let’s be humble and love!
Friendship with the World
1Where do all the fights and quarrels among you come from? They come from your desires for pleasure, which are constantly fighting within you. 2You want things, but you cannot have them, so you are ready to kill; you strongly desire things, but you cannot get them, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have what you want because you do not ask God for it. 3And when you ask, you do not receive it, because your motives are bad; you ask for things to use for your own pleasures. 4Unfaithful people! Don’t you know that to be the world’s friend means to be God’s enemy? If you want to be the world’s friend, you make yourself God’s enemy. 5Don’t think that there is no truth in the scripture that says, “The spirit that God placed in us is filled with fierce desires.” 6But the grace that God gives is even stronger. As the scripture says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
7So then, submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil, and he will run away from you. 8Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners! Purify your hearts, you hypocrites! 9Be sorrowful, cry, and weep; change your laughter into crying, your joy into gloom! 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
–from James 4
So sticking with God and resisting the temptations of the devil will cause the devil to flee! As we draw closer to God He draws closer to us! We all have freewill and so we get to choose if we want to have a relationship with God! And When we choose to allow Jesus into our hearts, it breaks down the barriers and allows us to go and start a relationship with God directly, without the need for someone else to be in the middle. Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father, interceding for you and me.
Don’t go through life alone! God never planned for us to go it alone! The devil tries to lead us away since he can try to put thoughts in our heads that with others around we wouldn’t believe, but on our own his lies seem more believable. God is Love! We need to get our priorities set straight or no matter how much we have and try to fill that whole in our hearts, it will never be enough! If we don’t get our priorities in alignment with God’s plans we will end up wandering and feeling like we don’t have purpose or a plan. We need to be putting first things first! Like the time management visual where they put in the big rocks and then the smaller rocks and then the sand and then the water and it fills the jar. If we don’t put things into our lives in the right way, it won’t all fit! We need to put Jesus in our heart first or else it will always feel empty, no matter whatever else we try to put in there.
Today’s reading time concludes with…
1I have noticed that in this world a serious injustice is done. 2God will give us wealth, honor, and property, yes, everything we want, but then will not let us enjoy it. Some stranger will enjoy it instead. It is useless, and it just isn’t right. 3We may have a hundred children and live a long time, but no matter how long we live, if we do not get our share of happiness and do not receive a decent burial, then I say that a baby born dead is better off. 4It does that baby no good to be born; it disappears into darkness, where it is forgotten. 5It never sees the light of day or knows what life is like, but at least it has found rest— 6more so than the man who never enjoys life, though he may live two thousand years. After all, both of them are going to the same place.
7We do all our work just to get something to eat, but we never have enough. 8How are the wise better off than fools? What good does it do the poor to know how to face life? 9It is useless; it is like chasing the wind. It is better to be satisfied with what you have than to be always wanting something else.
10Everything that happens was already determined long ago, and we all know that you cannot argue with someone who is stronger than you. 11The longer you argue, the more useless it is, and you are no better off. 12How can anyone know what is best for us in this short, useless life of ours—a life that passes like a shadow? How can we know what will happen in the world after we die?
–from Ecclesiastes 6