3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” – John 3:3 NLT
Ahaz was king of Judah. Judah was being attacked by a coalition of nations and Ahaz and Judah were in deep trouble. God sent Isaiah with a message of reassurance, but Ahaz refused to honor God’s request. His refusal to ask for a sign was not faith, it was arrogance. God gave him a sign anyway. A virgin would bear a child and call His name Immanuel (God is with us). This prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew.
And God is still with us, He will never leave us nor forsake us. That’s the Good News that we are to spread to the world. That is the hope that we have as Christians. It is that hope that sustains us and gives us our joy. A joy that no one can take from us because “nothing can separate us from the love of God”. Nothing, absolutely nothing, no time, no where!!!! Rejoice, for a child is born!
We are born with the spirit of the world in us which causes us to sin. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we receive God the Holy Spirit. He comes to abide in us and to lead us into all truth. To understand the truth takes wisdom from heaven. This can only be taught by the Holy Spirit who teaches us spiritual realities with Spiritual words. If we have not received the Holy Spirit, we will not accept the truths that He wants to teach us. The person who has not received the Spirit of God cannot discern or understand Spiritual things. That person considers Spiritual things to be foolishness because of his or her lack of understanding. Those who have truly accepted Jesus as their Savior are Spirit-bred, Spirit-fed and Spirit-led!
6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’—John 3:6 NIV
Just as Ishmael mocked Isaac, the crowds had mocked and persecuted Jesus. Both Isaac and Jesus were born to fulfill a promise. Isaac was the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. Even though both Abraham and Sara were well past child-bearing age, Isaac was born to them. Even though, Mary had never known a man she conceived and brought forth a Son. Jesus was a fulfillment of the promise that God would provide a Redeemer for His people. He would also be a Redeemer and Savior for all who would call upon His Name and accept Him as Lord of their life. Because of that, we who have accepted Jesus are children of the promise. Accepting Jesus and turning from the world, (the slave woman) we are no longer slaves in bondage to our fleshly desires. Even though we sometimes fail, it should be our heart’s desire not to stay fallen and return to our old habits. Jesus died that we might be free from those entanglements.
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.–Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace,
and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NRSV)
As we travel on our journey with Jesus, we all have seasons that we go through, some are short, others longer. Some are joyous, others are sad. Some are lonely, others seem so crowded that we lose touch with our Master. Some are stormy, others calm and peaceful. God allows these seasons in our lives for His own reasons and purposes. But, always remember, we are just passing through on our journey to spend an eternity with Him. And we are never alone, He is always with us. Take a few moments to consider what you are going through right now. Are you allowing your emotions and feelings to rule your life? If so, it probably seems like you are on a roller coaster that never stops. All year long, but particularly now, let the peace of God rule in your life and enjoy His presence. Do you want to get off that roller coaster of emotions and feelings? Accept Jesus into your life as your Savior and Lord and He has promised:
5 Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’” (Luke 3:5,6 NRSV)