“What Jesus Demands From The World” – Daily Devotional (6/02/10): Demand #1 “You Must Be Born Again”

Today’s devotional refers to Matthew Chapter 3, with specific verses being 3-9:

3In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

4“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”

5Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The 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.”

9“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

The first command we address from Jesus is that we be “born again”.  As strange as that sounds to someone the first time they hear it, it had a similar impact on Nicodemus.  Nicodemus was a very well-educated man and a member of the Sanhedrin.  Think of the Senate in America, but filled with religious scholars…..that is the amount of influence and respect these men had in their day.  Like Joseph of Arimathea (another Sanhedrin member), Nicodemus was intrigued by the teaching and miracles of Jesus and wanted to learn more about him.  It was political suicide to be seen openly conversing with this carpenter’s son from Nazareth, so Nicodemus came to Jesus under the cover of night.  Jesus then tells Nicodemus that he (and everyone else) must be born again to receive eternal life.  But Jesus also says that Nicodemus shouldn’t be surprised by this, indicating that it has been said by God before.  And it has.

Ezekiel 36: 25-27

25 “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”

God’s “course of treatment” for our sin-filled lives is not to just try to be better people.  It isn’t to cuss less or be nicer to our family members.  These are great things, but they don’t get at the heart of the matter because our heart is the heart of the matter!  We are spiritually dead and disconnected from God due to our sin.  We don’t need a fresh coat of paint or some new siding, we need a complete overhaul……and that begins from the inside and works its way out.  We need a new heart, a new life, a fresh start, and we need it more than anything else.  The best news……that is the offer Christ has given us.  We lose our old life, but get his instead.  It’s a trade….. a mind-boggling trade.  A trade that can make the toughest soul blush and the crustiest heart melt.  God sent his Son to the world so that His sinless life could be transferred to you.  But we must be “born again”.

***  Feel free to watch the video by Third Day “Born Again”, which is located in my Vodpod link on this page.  May it minister to your heart and guide you closer in your path with Jesus.

Blessings,

Pastor Josh

Published in: on June 2, 2010 at 6:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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