Nicodemus a religious ruler secretively went to Jesus at night because he was curious since he knew these signs he witnessed weren't possible unless God was with Him. One might think he was a coward but God moves with whatever openness we have towards Him. The key to opening people's hearts towards God especially those who are bound in religion is we must go beyond talk. Can people say that the life we live proves that God is with us?
Knowledge about God is not enough. That is why Nicodemus was not satisfied, He witnessed something more and He wanted to know more. Jesus now breaks it down, that unless one is born again they cannot see the Kingdom of God. God is a Spirit and until we are spiritually reborn we cannot enter into the King's domain. Spiritual birth is not like natural birth as Jesus explains, it is invisible, like the wind, how you know it is there is by its effects. Those who have been born again now can understand spiritual things because they have received the Spirit of God within.
In our own natural mind whatever doctrine we create about God will always be wrong. The Pharisees were those whom people turned to know about God yet when Jesus came on the scene became the enemies of God. People can do things in the name of God and yet be His biggest enemies. You can tell who is born again because their nature reflects God. As Matthew 7:16 says by the fruit you will recognize them. Nicodemus was drawn to Jesus not just from what He said but more by what He did. The demonstration of the Kingdom with signs following prove that God is with us.
One of the main characteristics of God is that of a giver. John 3:16 says God gave His only begotten son ....... Those who are born again are givers, religion is more about taking. The use the name of God to take advantage of others while those who are born again are all about giving their lives to others for their better good. God gave out of His love for us. Giving comes from selfless love, taking comes from selfish greed. Those who are born-again release love as they minister, those who are religious condemn others by their self-righteous attitude.
The latter part of John we see his disciples behaving jealous, that people are now following Jesus more than they do John. John tells them that it is his time to decrease and Jesus' time to increase. He reminded them that Jesus is the one that he preached about who was greater than he. What we can learn from this is that jealousy and being caught up in numbers is not of God but of the world. Any ministry that focuses on competing against other churches is worldly and God is not in it. We also learn that we are to draw people to Jesus not ourselves. During this pandemic if the people we lead are panicking because they are not able to meet in buildings we have done them a disservice and will be disciplined by God for being poor shepherds.
We serve a God who comes from Heaven and now resides on earth in us. The works we do and the words we speak, testify that God is true. As God leads us and we follow His spirit moves through us as it says in verse 34 without measure. It is like drinking something so good that has no bottom too it, it is the continuous more of the Lord! Life in Christ gets sweeter and sweeter as each day goes by.
If you look at the sun, s, u, n too long you lose the ability to see, but if you look at the Son, S, O, N long enough you will truly see. We cannot know who we are and what life is about without knowing the creator of it. Mankind different than all other creation was made in the very image of God, with the sole purpose of being in fellowship with Him. Until we know God intimately we are living blind. If we are going to experience what life was intended to be we must go back to the way it was in the beginning.
This new series is entitled Intimacy, with Christ revealing "In To Me, You See!" We should expect to grow in understanding our identity and learn to live in an abiding unceasing, intimate relationship with Jesus. We will be reading through the writings of John, who was called the beloved of the Lord, for he was closest to him, and wrote his books from a deeply intimate place. Let's now dive into John chapter 1.
John 1:1-5 NLT
1In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He existed in the beginning with God. 3God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. 4The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
If you are married, do you remember the beginning, when you first fell in love with your spouse? Maybe you are like me, that at that time nothing else really mattered but spending time with her, time disappeared, and all I did was think, and breathe Loraine. Falling in love is such a beautiful experience, staying in love is the difficulty. Having kids, being busy with work, dealing with finances, all this tends to dampen the passion of when we first fell in love. We see in Revelations 2:4 the call to return to our first love, it is not just a word to the church of Ephesus, it is a word to all whose love has become lukewarm.
Do you remember the beginning of your relationship with God, when He revealed Himself to you? I remember when I was radically born again, I felt alive for the first time, everything changed. Now I had this overwhelming desire to know God, so I dug into the Word and I felt I wasn't reading it, but it was reading me. The bible literally is alive, a person, as we see in the book of John 1.
The Word always existed, and all things were created through Him. Life cannot be known apart from Him and whatever one thinks they know is nothing but deception, for one cannot see in the dark. Until we are born again, we are blind! The Word brings Light and Life!
We now learn about John and the Word becoming Flesh, in the person of Jesus. John's purpose was to prepare the way, which he did by preaching repentance and having it symbolized through the baptism of water. Yet, he promised that there is one coming greater than he, who will baptize with the Spirit and Fire. Jesus will transition the age from the law under Moses to the law of grace and truth under Him. He will make it possible to return to the garden and experience once again the fullness of God.
Once the ministry of Jesus began, He called others to follow Him. To receive Jesus goes beyond just believing in Him. It is like when you find the person you want to marry, you cannot just believe it, you got to act on it, you must approach the person and begin a relationship of discovering one another, eventually leading to the seal of commitment being marriage, where the two now become one. Life is no longer lived alone but in partnership with another. There is no difference in receiving Jesus we are to become one with Him. He is the head though, we are to follow Him, not He follows us. Yet, in following Him, all of our true desires will be met, our God-given destiny will be lived out.
I hope you are ready to go on this journey with me of deeper intimacy with Christ. Start by making sure you are born again, and secondly answering the call to follow Him.