I Don’t Like You

Ah!! The honesty of a three year-old. I remember it well. I was struck at how often we followers of Christ do the same thing. Oh, we love God when he gives us cookies, or in our adult cases, money, cars, our own way, but we don’t like it much when he says no.

Fortunately, this child will grow up and become a man in his 20’s and realize that his mom knows best and that because of her love, she always had his best interest at heart. Unfortunately, many followers will never come to that realization.

John 3:1. Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council.
2. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”3. In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. “

In this passage Jesus says no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. That word see means to know, to perceive, to behold.

4. “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
5. Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.
6. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

Then Jesus continues and says to enter the kingdom of God we have to be born of water AND the Spirit. That word enter means to arise, to come into.

So we see that there are two distinct transitions in a believer’s life. One, where he sees the kingdom of God, as in the three year old who sees his mom as either likable or not, depending on what she is requiring of him. The other where the believer enters the kingdom of God, as in the three year old, a few years down the road, who understands that because his mother loves him, she says no sometimes.

So we see two distinct types of believers.

John 1:12. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

These are believers who are called children by mere fact of birth. They are the ones who see the kingdom of God. They are the three year-old who proclaim, I love you but I don’t like you all the time. Or in Christian language, “God why is this always happening to me?”

Romans 8:14. because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

These are believers who are called sons because of character or behavior. They’ve matured, they live being guided by the Holy Spirit. In Christian language, “I know You have a purpose and even though I don’t understand it, I know you’ll make a way.”

Galatians 4:1. What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate.

This believer is an heir, meaning he should be growing and maturing, but if he is still being told what to do and how to do it then he is still not walking in the freedom of Holy Spirit.

So do a gut check today. Are you still letting God know you love him, but don’t really trust him, or like him a whole lot, or have you figured out that it all works together for good, and it will be alright in the end?

It’s Easter!

Luke 24:1. At the crack of dawn on Sunday, the women came to the tomb carrying the burial spices they had prepared. 2. They found the entrance stone rolled back from the tomb, 3. so they walked in. But once inside, they couldn’t find the body of the Master Jesus. 4. They were puzzled, wondering what to make of this. Then, out of nowhere it seemed, two men, light cascading over them, stood there. 5. The women were awestruck and bowed down in worship. The men said, “Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery? 6. He is not here, but raised up. Remember how he told you when you were still back in Galilee 7. that he had to be handed over to sinners, be killed on a cross, and in three days rise up?” 8. Then they remembered Jesus’ words. 9. They left the tomb and broke the news of all this to the Eleven and the rest. 10. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them kept telling these things to the apostles, 11. but the apostles didn’t believe a word of it, thought they were making it all up. 12. But Peter jumped to his feet and ran to the tomb. He stooped to look in and saw a few grave clothes, that’s all. He walked away puzzled, shaking his head. -“The Message”

Aren’t you glad we are not puzzled anymore? Praise you lord for the freedom you restored us to. May we never take your sacrifice for granted.

Hannah’s Prayer

What an awesome 3 year-old. She prayed solidly for seven minutes. Beautiful!! She ministered to me today. I pray that she touches your heart as well. She certainly was given the proper name wasn’t she? Hannah, who poured her heart out before the Lord as Eli walked by thinking she was drunk only to find out that she was praying in her heart’s desire. Oh, Hallelujah Jesus! We praise you for parents who teach their children to pray! May you bless them Lord! And Lord while I’m here with you in this moment, you know my grandchildren that have yet to be born to time, may they be mighty prayer warriors and worship you with all their hearts, souls and minds! In the mighty name of the one and only Jesus! Amen.