April 11/John 3

Verses 1-3 > Nicodemus was a very moral man. He was a Pharisee and the Pharisees had 613 laws that they had put together over the years that needed to be obeyed, at least in their eyes, if they were going to find favor with God. Who could remember them all and who could really keep them all. Perhaps it was out of exhaustion that Nicodemus came to Jesus at night. He really couldn’t get to him during the day because his day was too full obeying all the rules! When this life has worn us out we are good candidates to receive Jesus.

Matthew 11:28 (NLT) — 28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Nicodemus didn’t ask a question and yet Jesus knew what was on his mind. In essence what Jesus said was, “No Nicodemus the way to heaven is not about keeping the rules it is about establishing a relationship with God”. Keep this in mind as you live for Jesus because even the best of us can get trapped doing in good just to earn ‘brownie points’ with God. He isn’t interested in the points he is interested in us personally. He wants us to know him and love him. The doing good will just happen when we know and love him.

Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again. Why? Because nobody gets to heaven unless God is their Father. It is just like my father is not your father because he and my mother didn’t conceive you. It takes two parents to birth someone into their family. It takes two to bring about a spiritual rebirth which is what Jesus is talking about. Of course at first Nicodemus didn’t get it which is obvious by his answer. I bet his mother was glad he didn’t have to crawl back into the womb!

Verses 4-7 > When the word of God and the Spirit of God come together there is a spiritual birth. When these two are your spiritual parents you are truly ‘born again’! It is just like back in Genesis when the Spirit of God hovered over the earth and God spoke things were created. When we hear God’s word concerning Jesus and the Spirit is hovering over us or leading us to place our faith in Jesus we are reborn. A new spiritual birth takes place within us and we now want to live for Jesus and we can call God > Father. All because the Word of God and the Spirit of God came together within us to conceive this new birth! Pretty cool right?

Romans 8:14–16 (NLT) — 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.

Verse 8 > Yesterday my little granddaughter Vesper went with us to Ole and Lena’s in Rothsay to have lunch. It was a really windy day and as we were walking across the road the wind blew some leaves right across where we were walking and Vesper said, “Grandpa look at the wind blowing the leaves!” That incident explains this verse. We couldn’t see the wind but we could see the effects of the wind > leaves moving on their own. Jesus is saying that with the Holy Spirit you can’t see him but you can see the effects of him in a person’s life.

Remember when I told you about my buddy Al a few chapters ago? Al was exhibiting the effects of the Holy Spirit blowing the breath of God into his life. He was no longer a drunken wife abuser. He is a sober, loving, caring husband. How do you explain all of that? I don’t know. I didn’t see the Holy Spirit but I sure did see the effects of him in Al’s life!

Maybe you need to have the Holy Spirit effect you. Perhaps your love for your spouse needs a boost.  Perhaps bible reading has gone stale. Maybe church doesn’t excite you or your prayer life isn’t much more than ‘rub a dub dub and now I lay me down to sleep’. You tend to be critical and unforgiving. You’ve lost your joy and enthusiasm. You couldn’t care less about telling someone about Jesus. You are terribly depressed and wish you could check out honorably.

What ever it is in your life that needs the effect of the Holy Spirit; be like Nicodemus go to him. Talk to him. The Father sent him to be a stand in for Jesus. Jesus in his human form couldn’t be every where at once but the Holy Spirit can and he is an expert in everything! Talk to him and ask him to breathe on that area of need. Learn to fellowship with him. He is a person! Cultivate a relationship with him and pretty soon, although you won’t know how it happened, you will see the effects of his breath in your life! The wind moves leaves but the Holy Spirit will move you.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you!

Be Inspired Hilltop!

 

 

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    Today we get to one of the most recognized verses in the bible along with Genesis 1:1, and Psalm 23:1. We can all quote John 3:16 but what is important is to understand it. God gave a vital part of himself, Jesus, to the world. For about 34 years Jesus was limited go the same level of communication with God that any human has and, for 3 days after Jesus died, God had no communication with his son. This occured for us so that we had communion with God again directly. So when reciting this verse let the meningitis sink in and thank God / Jesus for the sacrifice.

  2. Tim Hamilton says:

    I find it very interesting that Jesus chose to first proclaim the basic foundation of our faith in what the world knows as “John 3:16” not to His disciples but to a Pharisee. Nicodemus certainly appeared to be a true “seeker “, coming to Him under the cover of darkness for this discussion, and Jesus made an impact on his life, supported by his willingness to back Jesus in John 7:50-51 and by the fact that he helped bury Jesus, also providing the spices to do this (John 19:39-40). Look for opportunities to share the Good News that changes lives!