John 3:3 A Complete Restart Required

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” John 3:3

It is common in many businesses that when things go completely bad, that they shut down for a time, reorganize and then reopen. Their attempt is to rebrand themselves as better than before to build the business up again.

This type of rebranded or restarting can be seen in businesses and the lives of people. It is all about trying out something completely different, going a different direction than before.

Nicodemus, a Pharisee, recognized that Jesus must be from God and tells Jesus that. Jesus tells him that if anyone wants to see the kingdom of heaven, he must be born again.

Claiming to believe in Jesus or God is very easy for a person to do. All that is said are a few words. Many people have made this claim and believe that they are going to heaven someday. But very few have actually made a change in their life.

All over the world, there are many in the church who claim to believe in Jesus, but continue to purposely live a sinful lifestyle. They have neither changed, nor attempted to change. The desire is to live in both worlds, sin and heaven.

One who truly believes in and follows Jesus will be changed. God will do a complete restart of his life. It will be as though he had died and was reborn as a brand new baby, innocent and pure. As he grows the second time, it will be as a completely different person. The past is gone and a new life has begun.

If a person has not undergone this transformation and rebirth, he will be unable to get into heaven, regardless of his words. Jesus does not save a person to keep him in sin, but to remove him out of sin into a new life.

As a believer, examine yourself. How much of your old self still remains? Allow God and His Holy Spirit to come in and give you a brand new start. Be the changed person Jesus made you to be.

Be born again into the new creation that is the image of Jesus, not the sinful, fallen world. Turn away from old sinful ways and live the life God is giving you. Be the new creation in Christ Jesus. Allow God to restart your life for eternity.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will give you a new beginning; that you will live as God desires you to live; and that God will make you into a new creation.

Luke 14:18 Making Excuses

But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ Luke 14:18

Every day people have many things to do. They have to make many choices as to what they will or will not do. The method of deciding what to do or not do is commonly left up to what is most important to the individual.

In order to decide, most people will choose what is most pleasurable or beneficial in the moment to do. Only occasionally do people look at the long-term effects of their choices.

Jesus gave a parable about a king inviting people to a banquet. Many gave excuses as to why they could not come.

It is very easy for a person to come up with a reason to not do something. Often it is difficult, inconvenient, costs too much, scary, or some other reason. Those who are successful in things, find ways to make it happen. Their eyes are on the long-term future, not just the present.

People can come up with a million reasons why they cannot make it to church, take time to pray, take time to study God’s word, or take time to be a witness. They are often busy with self in the moment and reject what God wants to do.

True believers will seek to find ways to do what God is calling them to do. They will desire to follow God with all of their heart, regardless of the cost. All excuses will be cast out, knowing that God does not care to hear excuses.

Jesus paid the ultimate price of His life so that a person can have life. This leaves zero room for any excuses to not follow and fully obey Jesus.

God is calling you to do a work for Him as a believer. It may be a small job or a large one, but either way it is an important one. At a minimum God calls you to obey Jesus, worship Him, know and study His word and be His witness.

Do not be like the world and allow yourself to make up excuses to not do what God is calling you to do. Do not be kicked out and rejected for making an excuse.

Do what God is telling you to do today.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will do what God calls you to do; that God will strengthen you to not make excuses; and that you will see God’s hand of blessing and provision as you obey and follow Him.

Mark 2:14 Leave The Past And Follow

As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him. Mark 2:14

People often do not like major change in their lives. They like things to always remain the same. Many, however, will jump onto something new and popular, often because everyone else is doing it.

A new fashion fad comes out being promoted by some famous person, and suddenly everyone is doing it. They are quick to drop the old ways for the new fashion.

As Jesus was walking along one day, He goes up to Levi and tells him to follow Him. Levi immediately gets up, leaves his work and follows Jesus.

While many people are quick to change ways and follow a new fad in this world, it is not as popular with following Jesus. He is still going around telling people to follow Him.

Many do not want to follow Jesus, because it means major change. In order to follow Jesus it means one has to leave his past behind, get up and follow Him. One is not to hold onto the past and say they are following, staying in sin and sinful ways, but to leave it all behind.

Just as Levi got up and left behind a lucrative business, people are to leave behind the things of this world to follow Jesus. This may or may not mean a change of a job, but it does mean leaving sin behind. It will mean a change in activities and friends. It is going wherever Jesus is leading, with no questions being asked.

God will always lead a person on a new path, when he begins to follow Jesus. This path is a new path of a full, abundant life that goes into eternity.

Jesus is also calling you to follow Him on the path He has for you. It is more than just words, but will require some change and sacrifice upon your part to follow Him.

God does not call you to follow without some change. You cannot stay where you are, physically, emotionally or spiritually, and still follow Jesus. You have to get up, leave the past behind and follow Him. Become the new creation God is making you to be.

Are you willing to follow Jesus today? Or will you stay where you are in this fallen world?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will hear God’s call to follow Him; that God will give you strength and direction to leave your past behind to follow Him; and that you will know all God has for you.

Packed Up And Moving Forward

Shelves of boxes

Christmas is over, the new year is here. Most people have probably already packed up the Christmas ornaments and decorations, taken down their tree and are ready to move forward with the new year.

All those Christmas decorations and ornaments are packed up for another year. They will not be taken out until November or December of this year. They are hidden away in a attic, closet, shed or garage to not be seen until Christmas season arrives again.

During the Christmas season, everyone is quick to talk about the birth of Jesus, about giving and loving others. The focus for many, at least for believers, is why Jesus came to this earth. Churches are often packed out for the Christmas service. People go to Christmas concerts and performances. Radios play songs about the birth of Jesus.

Manger scene

Yet, as soon as Christmas is over and the new year has begun people move on. Very quickly the heart of Christmas is missing. Generosity is forgotten. Joy is gone. Jesus is often put back in a box, packed away until the right season comes along.

When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. Luke 2:17-18

Looking back at the time of when Jesus was born, the shepherds were the first ones to learn about His birth. Immediately upon meeting Jesus, they went out and told everyone about what they had seen and learned. They did not pack up Jesus for the next season, but did it immediately.

While the bible does not say anything more about those shepherds, I often wonder if any of those shepherds later followed Jesus. How long did they keep talking about what they had seen?

Shepherd with sheep

I believe that they did not stop any time soon. This was a major event in their life. Think about it, how often do you suddenly see the sky filled with angels to bring you a message from God and you are able to verify the message is true? I have never had that experience.

There are experiences that I have had in my life that occurred 30+ years ago that I still talk about to this day. They had a major impact in my life. I want to continue to remember those experiences and share them with other people.

Drop in water

Trusting that you are a believer, Jesus has impacted your life. There was a point in your life where you chose to believe in Him and it changed your life. Do not stop at that point, keep allowing Jesus to impact your life and share that impact with others.

While Christmas is the season in which we focus on His birth, it does not need to stop there. Many believers are quick to talk about Jesus during the Christmas season, but quickly forget talking about Him after the season. Carry Jesus with you every where you go. Pack up the Christmas ornaments and decorations, but do not pack Jesus up until the next Christmas season or even until the next Sunday morning.

Child walking forward

Move forward in what God has for you, sharing what Jesus has done in you, for you and with you. Be willing to tell the world the good news. The good news of His birth gets better after His death and resurrection. You have great news to share, so go out and share it.

As this new year has begun, find out how you can draw closer to God. Find out how you share Jesus with more people. Do not hide Jesus away so that they world cannot know Him, but allow Him to shine in this dark world through you.

As you move forward in this new year, move forward in His joy, His love, His peace, His comfort, His strength, His life, His ways, His mercy, His grace, His patience, and His salvation given to you.

Psalm 24:5-6 To Receive Blessings And Vindication

Seeking for God

They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek  him, who seek your face, God of Jacob. Psalm 24:5-6 

The world does not even attempt to look for God. Instead, the world is constantly trying to disprove God. They do not want anything to do with God and want to do everything on their own.

Most people feel as if they have earned what they have and are proud of it. All the blessings that they have in their life is because of their own personal hard work. As they take this view, they push God out of the picture. Along with pushing God out of the picture, all morality is gone with Him. All that is left is judgement of guilt in the end.

David talks about who can ascend God’s holy hill and what they will get there. Those who live for God will get a blessing and be vindicated–cleared of all guilt.

This was written at a time when the Israelites were under the Law. It was do or die. There was no grace being shown. David was looking forward to the Messiah that would come–Jesus.

In order to receive these blessings and being cleared of guilt, people have to seek God. The world is trying to get the blessings without seeking God. Believers seek for God and what He wants. It is not about self, but about God.

Seeking God is taking time to find out what God wants. How does God want a person to live? What does God want a person to do?

God wants all people to follow Jesus. Jesus provided the truth and way to get to the Father. He provided forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit to give power to live for Him. These are the blessings of seeking after God.

As with all people, you have made mistakes in sinning against God. Seeking Jesus will lead you to repent and follow Him. Jesus will clear you of all sin and give you the blessing of getting to the Father.

Seeking the things of this world will fail you. They are temporary and fade away.

Put seeking after God at the top of your priority list as to what to do each day. As you seek Him, all other things that you must do will fall into place correctly.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will seek after God with all of your heart; that you will find God each day; that you will know the blessings of serving God; and that you will know the forgiveness Jesus gives.