May 03, 2016
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him,
“Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:1-3)
Jesus has never been out to win a popularity contest. His goal is always the gospel. Here is a fascinating study into his startling, almost abrupt approach to all conversation.
A SEARCHING SOUL
Nicodemus, a respected ruler of the people, comes to visit Jesus. He comes at night, so as not to be seen. Jesus knows men and he knows that there is a question on the ruler's heart.
The inquiring Pharisee begins with a compliment. Jesus could have weighed that statement and spent the next hour talking about why He had greater understanding and reveling in what He had that other men did not have. (That might be my normal response!) And Nicodemus would have walked away completely untouched.
THE LASER RESPONSE
But Jesus made a bee-line for the gospel. No opening comments. Not talk of the weather or sports. The next words out of His mouth were the gospel in a nutshell. Nicodemus' response indicates that this was really the question on his heart. ""What is this? Why are you so different? What is the heart of your teaching that is capturing and intriguing and disturbing me?"" he seems to ask. That's why he came at night and Jesus knew that this is the question at the core of every man.
Christ expands the answer and gives us for all time one of the greatest explanations of the gospel we have in human history.
He didn't waste time. He didn't take compliments unto Himself. That's not why He was here. He was here to ""seek and save the lost.""
Life is short and urgent. Men’s lives are in the balance. The great preacher, Spurgeon said of his preaching that he would take a text (whatever it was) and make a “bee-line to the cross.""
And so should we.
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January 22, 2020
The omnipresence of God is a reality (that God is everywhere all the time). “Where can I go from Thy Spirit?” David said (Psalm 139). And, since the coming of Christ and Pentecost, which was the sending of His indwelling Spirit to all who believe, the true follower of Christ is assured that Christ will never leave them nor forsake them personally. Once the Spirit comes to reside in the believing heart, He is there permanently.
But, it is possible to have our head turned by the world, the flesh, and the devil. We can quench and grieve the Spirit who lives within us. We can ignore Him or resist His leadership. If we do so, we will lose the conscious awareness of His presence. We will begin to operate on our own, not walking by the Spirit, and the results are always disastrous. We get what our humanity brings. Like an unseen guest standing in the shadows, He is still present, but not prominent.
January 21, 2020
January 20, 2020