WHAT JESUS DID!http://www.heartlight.org
Monday, February 11, 2002

Born of Water and Spirit

"What do you mean?" exclaimed Nicodemus. "How can an old man go
back into his mother's womb and be born again?"Jesus replied, "The
truth is, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of
water and the Spirit."
-- John 3:4-5 (NLT)

Jesus has tried to move Nicodemus from philosophical discussion to
a personal one. "Unless you are born again, you can never see the
Kingdom of God." Jesus told him. Nicodemus tries to pull it back to a
philosophical discussion by couching it in human terms, "Surely I
cannot go back to my mother's womb?" Jesus reminds him that "no one,"
not even a spiritual Ruling Council member and teacher, can enter the
Kingdom without the water/Spirit birth. As a spiritual man, this
would have been a hard statement to hear. "I must be baptized like a
Gentile or like those miscreants that John the Baptist is baptizing?
I must have something radically done by the Spirit of God?" We can
hear him think in shock. Yes! That is Jesus' point. Clinging to his
old righteousness, surpassing others in religious practice,
reputation, and effort wasn't going to cut it with God. Only a new
birth would do -- a birth from above, a birth facilitated by God. He
had to cut his earthbound thinking. He had to open himself to God's
new work through the Spirit or he would miss the glory of God's
Kingdom. The very best that Israel had to offer couldn't enter the
Kingdom without faith in Jesus and a new birth by the power of the
Holy Spirit.

O righteous Father, forgive me for trying to hang on to my
earthbound righteousness and religious practice. I know that I could
not be a part of your Kingdom without being spiritually reborn.
Thank you for providing the sacrifice that atones for my sin. Thank
you for providing me the means confess my faith in him and to share
with him in his death, burial and resurrection. Thank you for
remaking me by the power of your Holy Spirit. Please help me share
this grace with others. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

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February 11, 2002

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not
boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it
is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
-- 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Love does not focus on myself, but on others. Each of these
qualities of love is based upon an affectionate, compassionate, and
forgiving attitude that regards others as being valuable and not
just placing value on myself and my desires. No wonder the old
saying goes "The middle of sIn is a big I!" When "I" become more
important than others and what "I" want and that "I" win is more
significant than what someone else truly needs, then "I" have lost
my way and do not display the love of Christ.

Holy God and Sacrificial Father, teach me to notice others and
value them just as you do. I know you loved me when I was not
lovable, and redeemed me when I was not worthy. Help me to take my
eyes off myself and see others as you see them. In the name of
Jesus I pray. Amen.