“Born of Water and the Spirit”

5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. -John 3:8 NASB

Born Again

Nicodemus was a leader and a Pharisee. He came to Jesus at night because he probably did not want the other Jewish leaders to know about the visit. Nicodemus readily admits that he believes that Jesus has been sent from God. He wants to know more about this man that is proclaiming that the kingdom of God is near. Jesus immediately tells Nicodemus that unless you are born again, you will never see the kingdom of God. What an amazing concept! How can a human be born again? Jesus explains that He is not talking about physical rebirth, but spiritual. It is not a physical change, but a change of the desires of the heart. How does this happen? From a human standpoint, we are unable to explain what happens inside. But just as the wind comes and goes without our understanding, so the Holy Spirit works inside us to renew us and rebirth us as children of God. We may not know how, but the work that He does in our hearts leaves no doubt in our minds that we are being made into new creatures. At the very moment that we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, the new creation is born with all the rights that come with being a citizen of heaven. God will spend a lifetime completing the work that He has started in us, but finish it, He will.

1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,—Hebrews 12:1-2a (NKJV)

​The ​Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“If They Do Not Belong to God”

6 But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception. – 1 John 4:6 NLT

1 John 4:3-6 NLT

We must be very careful who we let speak into our Spiritual lives. Are the people with whom we spend the most time encouraging us in our Spiritual life or are they more concerned with worldly activities, such as our social life? Do we spend more time on Facebook or in the Book? There are at least two very easy ways to find out where we are “laying up our treasures”. One is to look at our checkbooks to see where we spend our earthly treasure and the other is our phones/computers to see with whom we converse and what we converse about. Are we tithing our money and our time? We don’t need to be spiritual fanatics beating people over the head with the Bible, but we do need to be sure that our lives reflect the fact that we are redeemed and that Jesus Christ is our Lord, We need to listen to God, first of all, and then to those who belong to God. We need heavenly wisdom, not earthly wisdom.

18 Do not fool yourselves. If you think you are wise in this world, you should become a fool so that you can become truly wise, 19 because the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. It is written in the Scriptures, “He catches those who are wise in their own clever traps.” 20 It is also written in the Scriptures, “The Lord knows what wise people think. He knows their thoughts are just a puff of wind.”—1 Cor. 3:18-20 (NCV)

Our brains are the most fantastic computers ever designed and we all know the old GIGO principle about computers. So, we need to limit the amount of garbage the world puts in us and increase the amount of wisdom that God is so anxious to give to us. We do this by meditating on the Scriptures and listening to and spending time with the right people.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“That Person Has the Spirit of God”

2 This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. – 1 John 4:2 NLT

1 John 4:1-3 NLT

As we all know not everyone that speaks to us has the Spirit of God abiding in them. There are those sent from satan who masquerade as “angels of light” but are actually false prophets.

13 These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve.–2 Cor. 11:13-15 (NLT)

We must always test the spirit and see if it acknowledges the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The devil knows that God exists and he knows the Scriptures better than we do. The Spirit that dwells in us will witness to us if a person has a kindred Spirit to ours. But if you are in doubt, you can always ask if they believe that Jesus shed His blood on Calvary for our sins. If they acknowledge that this is true and they acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus, then we have assurance that it is not a false spirit.

3 So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.—1 Cor. 12:3 (NLT)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“God the Father Knew You…”

2 God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. — 1 Peter 1:2 NLT

1 Peter 1:1-5 NLT

It has always been God’s plan to send Jesus into the world to redeem us from sin. We are His chosen people, called and cleansed by His Holy Spirit. We are saved by grace and as we walk in obedience to God, He gives more and more of His grace and peace. We have been bought with a price that we could not pay and now we have a priceless inheritance in heaven. We are joint-heirs with Jesus. Because we are saved by grace through faith, God is protecting us until we receive the final step of our salvation, which comes after His re-appearing. That is the hope that we have and we know that we are secure in that hope. God will finish the work He has started in us.

Romans 1:16-17 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“God Is Light…”

5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.  – 1 John 1:5 NLT

1 John 1:5-10 NLT

To live in the light means to be obedient to God by allowing His Spirit to lead us into all truth. Does this mean that we never sin? No, if it were possible for us to live sinless lives, then Jesus died in vain. It means that we do not choose a lifestyle that constantly repeats the same sins. All humans fall to temptation, but we should not allow the devil to use those failures to beat us up and keep us depressed. Do our failures send us to hell? No, but they do break our relationship with Jesus Christ. So what do we do? John tells us in verse 9, when we fail and we will, then we must confess our sins and allow God to cleanse us from our sins. Then our relationship is restored and we can rejoice in His goodness and mercy.

John 1:1-5 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“In the Morning, I Earnestly Seek You…”

9  In the night I search for you;  in the morning, I earnestly seek you.  My soul wants to be with you at night,  and my spirit wants to be with you at the dawn of every day. — Isaiah 26:9a NLT

Isaiah 26:7-12 NLT

Do you remember the first person you were infatuated with or really in love with? Do you remember how often and how much you thought about them?  From morning to night to morning, they were the last person on your mind before you went to sleep and the first person on your mind when you woke up. You couldn’t wait to get to school just to see that person.  Do you remember walking down the hall carefully watching to see that person and to see if they were looking for you?  If they smiled at you, do you remember that feeling you got?   As that relation grew and liking turned into loving, do you remember never wanting to let a day go by without telling that person that you loved them. That is what God wants from each of us.  He wants us to go to sleep talking to Him or thinking about Him and wake up in the morning with our hearts and our spirits longing to spend time with Him. Do you imagine God watching you sleep and smiling?  We should because He really is a “good, good Father, that’s who He is”.  We should make sure that we speak to Him early and often. We need to tell Him out loud that we love Him and thank Him for all of His goodness throughout the day. If we practice doing this, we will have that “peace that passes all understanding” and the joy way down deep inside that no one can take away.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“I Will Pour Out My Spirit On Everyone”

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17 ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on everyone.
Your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
        and your old men will dream dreams. ​- Acts 2:17 ISV

Acts 2:12-17 ISV

The pouring out of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost was a beginning of the fulfillment of this prophesy from Joel in the Old Testament.  God continues to pour out His Spirit on His people even today.  This will continue until Jesus returns to take all of His children home.  Then the Holy Spirit will be removed from the earth and satan will reign. When will this be?  Only God the Father knows.  If we are saved, it doesn’t really matter when it happens, we will be ready.   What does matter is how we spend our time until then.  When we accepted Jesus, we were saved and we are still saved.  Works will not make us more saved, they are an outward sign of who we serve as Master and Lord. The works we do here are also how we earn our rewards in heaven.  We are not to live as we used to live, but through the direction of the Holy Spirit and studying of God’s Word, we are to determine those things that please God and do those things only.  When we see sinful things going on, we are to expose them, not participate in them. We must learn to live wisely and not as fools. We are to spend our time, not in grumbling, whining and complaining, but in joyfully serving the Lord doing everything He asks us to do wherever He has planted us.

Ephesians 5:15-21 ISV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Worship In Spirit and In Truth”

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23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” – John 4:23-24 NLT

Our worship of our Lord and Savior should not be limited to a Sunday morning experience.  If that is all the time we spend at the feet of Jesus, then we need to examine our hearts and ask if that is truly worship.  Worship is defined as showing reverence and adoration for a deity.  If we take a look at our calendars and our checkbooks, we might be surprised to see who we really worship.  If we truly adore someone, it is only natural that we would want to spend more time in their presence.  We would be waiting to hear their voice and we would hang onto every word that they had to say.  When we had to leave their presence, we would be watching and waiting for opportunities to tell others what this great person had said.  We would make time to be with them and to let them know how much we adored them.  Our hearts would beat faster at the very thought of being in their presence.  If it were possible to live without ever being away from their presence, we would spend all of our time there.  This person would have to be the center of our world and deserve to have our highest loyalty.  This person would be someone that we would never hurt or betray for anyone or anything. This person’s name would be in our hearts, on our minds and on the tip of our tongues all day long, every day. This person would be someone that we worshiped in Spirit and in truth once a week, all week long.  Let each of us examine our thoughts, our words, our actions and our lifestyles and honestly determine who we worship.  If the answer isn’t  Jesus, and Jesus alone, then we need to take some time to ask His forgiveness and change our habits so that we mirror His glory.

18 Praise the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does such wonderful things. 19 Praise his glorious name forever!  Let the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Amen and amen!  ​ — Psalm 72:18-19 NLT​


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“There Is Freedom”

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17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. – 2 Cor. 3:17 

2 Cor.3:14-18 NLT

Even though the veil was rent when Jesus died on the cross, there are those who will hear the news and not accept it as truth.  Whether they claim to believe the law or not, their refusal of the offer of salvation leaves them under the law. Therefore, when the Old Testament is read, a veil covers their heart. They hear but they refuse to understand.  The veil is not removed from our eyes and hearts until we accept Jesus as our Savior. The law and the veil keep us in bondage and lead to death.  When we accept Jesus as our Savior, the veil is removed and the Holy Spirit comes to abide in us giving us freedom and life. At that moment, we are saved from the wrath of God and eternal punishment.  But, God wants us to have more than just salvation, He wants us to understand that now we are being sanctified or set apart for His service and for His glory. He wants us to get to know Him, to have a relationship with Him and participate in the abundant life. For that to happen, we must spend time contemplating and meditating on His Word. As we spend time with God, the Holy Spirit is transforming us into the image of God.

2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. — 1 John 3:2-3 NIV

 “The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Reaffirm Your Love for Him”

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8 So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him. – 2 Cor. 2:8

2 Cor. 2:5-11 NLT

It appears that someone in the church at Corinth had done something that was deserving of discipline by the church body. Whatever the action was, it had caused a great deal of grief in the church.  Paul is writing to tell them that the discipline has been sufficient and now it is time for the church to move on and let the healing begin.  The church now needs to restore that one to their fellowship and reaffirm their love for him or he could be completely overwhelmed. In every family, whether it be our church or our physical family, there are disagreements, some severe enough to be deserving of corrective action.  But once that action has been taken, it is time to restore and reaffirm our love for each other.

1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. — Galatians 6:1 NIV

The restoration is not a favor to the perpetrator, but a necessary step in the forgiving process that brings glory to God.  True forgiveness releases all anger and resentment against that person and allows us to enjoy the freedom we have in God’s forgiveness of our sins.  It also defeats satan’s schemes since it will keep us from allowing a root of bitterness to grow in us, which will steal our joy.

14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many– Hebrews 12:14-15 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous