Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Blessing Of Believing

Jesus came from heaven so we could go there too.

John 3:10-16  Jesus replied, "You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don't understand these things?

11  I assure you, We tell you what We know and have seen, and yet you won't believe Our testimony.  12  But if you don't believe Me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things?

13  No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man [who lives in heaven] has come down from heaven.  14  And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,  15  so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.

16  For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that

There is a new Rabbi in town and he is stirring things up, his teaching is different from every other Rabbi in Jerusalem, yet he speaks with so much authority. (Matthew 7:28-29) And he already has some disciples but since they are just fisherman, they have never sat under the teaching of a real Rabbi, what could they really know?

As a Pharisee, Nicodemus was deep into the teaching that the law was the way to make God happy with you and therefore gain access to Heaven. Nicodemus came to Jesus seeking answers to his questions but this Rabbi was saying some things that were difficult to understand.

Jesus doesn't mind skeptics, he doesn't mind our questions but there comes a time when we have to have faith to believe God for the things that we cannot comprehend. We cannot understand everything there is to know about the world around us so we certainly cannot understand heavenly things and so we need to believe the testimony of the only person who has ever been there and came to earth to tell us about it.

Nicodemus is a teacher of heavenly things but he doesn't really believe it, surely he must have taught the people about the bronze snake that Moses lifted up in the wilderness but he didn't understand the symbolism.
Admit Your Sin
Numbers 21:7-8  Then the people came to Moses and cried out, "We have sinned by speaking against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take away the snakes." So Moses prayed for the people. Then the LORD told him, "Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!"
The people confessed their sin to Moses and God made a way for salvation. They had a choice, they could die from the snake bite or they could crawl to the pole and look up at the snake. By coming to the pole they were acknowledging that there was sin that needed to be confessed and they had to have faith in God that he would forgive them.

Jesus predicted his death in this conversation with Nicodemus. I wonder if Nicodemus looked back at this prediction three years later when the rest of the religious leaders were plotting Jesus death. Did the light bulb suddenly turn on? Did he have an "aha" moment?
Awakening to the reality of our true spiritual condition, we see ourselves and our need for a Savior with renewed honesty. This realization leads to action, obeying God’s commands and following the example set by Christ.

-Kyle Idleman "AHA: The God Moment That Changes Everything."
I have to wonder if Nicodemus heard the conversations about having Jesus crucified and all of a sudden he had an awakening. He remembered Jesus words and he realized that they were true, Jesus was going to die and there wasn't any way to change that fact. Maybe Jesus prediction about being crucified was the "aha" moment that made him realize that Jesus is the Son of God and that he was dying to save him from his hopeless condition.
Ephesians 1:7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins.
The Bible is full of blessings that are for God's children. Are you his child? A summary of John 3:16 makes it so simple: God loves, God gave, I believe, I receive. Jesus told us that we can avoid death by believing in him. We need to believe that God is our loving Father and that Jesus is who he said he is, we need to believe in him alone for our righteousness.

Thank you Lord for so many undeserved blessings that come with believing in you and your purpose for coming to earth.

Find Peace With God (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)
What Is A Disciple? Are You A Disciple? (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)
A Disciple Has Purpose In Living (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)