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11 October - 1 Chronicles 28; Ezekiel 37; John 2; 3


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Posted 11 October 2007 - 11:01 AM

First Portion

1 Chronicles 28


28:1 David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies who served the king by division, and the captains of thousands, and the captains of hundreds, and the rulers over all the substance and possessions of the king and of his sons, with the officers, and the mighty men, even all the mighty men of valor, to Jerusalem. 28:2 Then David the king stood up on his feet, and said, “Hear me, my brothers, and my people! As for me, it was in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, and for the footstool of our God; and I had prepared for the building. 28:3 But God said to me, ‘You shall not build a house for my name, because you are a man of war, and have shed blood.’ 28:4 However Yahweh, the God of Israel, chose me out of all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever. For he has chosen Judah to be prince; and in the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel. 28:5 Of all my sons (for Yahweh has given me many sons), he has chosen Solomon my son to sit on the throne of Yahweh’s kingdom over Israel. 28:6 He said to me, ‘Solomon, your son, shall build my house and my courts; for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. 28:7 I will establish his kingdom forever, if he continues to do my commandments and my ordinances, as at this day.’ 28:8 Now therefore, in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of Yahweh, and in the audience of our God, observe and seek out all the commandments of Yahweh your God; that you may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children after you forever. 28:9 You, Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind; for Yahweh searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever. 28:10 Take heed now; for Yahweh has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary. Be strong, and do it.”

28:11 Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch of the temple, and of its houses, and of its treasuries, and of the upper rooms of it, and of the inner rooms of it, and of the place of the mercy seat; 28:12 and the pattern of all that he had by the Spirit, for the courts of the house of Yahweh, and for all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the house of God, and for the treasuries of the dedicated things; 28:13 also for the divisions of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of Yahweh, and for all the vessels of service in the house of Yahweh; 28:14 of gold by weight for the gold, for all vessels of every kind of service; for all the vessels of silver by weight, for all vessels of every kind of service; 28:15 by weight also for the lampstands of gold, and for its lamps, of gold, by weight for every lampstand and for its lamps; and for the lampstands of silver, by weight for every lampstand and for its lamps, according to the use of every lampstand; 28:16 and the gold by weight for the tables of show bread, for every table; and silver for the tables of silver; 28:17 and the forks, and the basins, and the cups, of pure gold; and for the golden bowls by weight for every bowl; and for the silver bowls by weight for every bowl; 28:18 and for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot, the cherubim, that spread out, and covered the ark of the covenant of Yahweh. 28:19 “All this,” said David, “I have been made to understand in writing from the hand of Yahweh, even all the works of this pattern.”

28:20 David said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do it. Don’t be afraid, nor be dismayed; for Yahweh God, even my God, is with you. He will not fail you, nor forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of Yahweh is finished. 28:21 Behold, there are the divisions of the priests and the Levites, for all the service of the house of God. There shall be with you in all kinds of work every willing man who has skill, for any kind of service. Also the captains and all the people will be entirely at your command.”

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 11:02 AM

Second Portion

Ezekiel 37


37:1 The hand of Yahweh was on me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of Yahweh, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. 37:2 He caused me to pass by them all around: and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and behold, they were very dry. 37:3 He said to me, Son of man, can these bones live? I answered, Lord Yahweh, you know. 37:4 Again he said to me, Prophesy over these bones, and tell them, you dry bones, hear the word of Yahweh. 37:5 Thus says the Lord Yahweh to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. 37:6 I will lay sinews on you, and will bring up flesh on you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am Yahweh. 37:7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, an earthquake; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 37:8 I saw, and, behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh came up, and skin covered them above; but there was no breath in them. 37:9 Then he said to me, Prophesy to the wind, prophesy, son of man, and tell the wind, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Come from the four winds, breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live. 37:10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up on their feet, an exceedingly great army. 37:11 Then he said to me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off. 37:12 Therefore prophesy, and tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, my people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. 37:13 You shall know that I am Yahweh, when I have opened your graves, and caused you to come up out of your graves, my people. 37:14 I will put my Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land: and you shall know that I, Yahweh, have spoken it and performed it, says Yahweh. 37:15 The word of Yahweh came again to me, saying, 37:16 You, son of man, take one stick, and write on it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write on it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: 37:17 and join them for you one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand. 37:18 When the children of your people shall speak to you, saying, Will you not show us what you mean by these? 37:19 tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his companions; and I will put them with it, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in my hand. 37:20 The sticks whereon you write shall be in your hand before their eyes. 37:21 Say to them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, where they are gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: 37:22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all; and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all; 37:23 neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. 37:24 My servant David shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my ordinances, and observe my statutes, and do them. 37:25 They shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob my servant, in which your fathers lived; and they shall dwell therein, they, and their children, and their children’s children, forever: and David my servant shall be their prince for ever. 37:26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 37:27 My tent also shall be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 37:28 The nations shall know that I am Yahweh who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in their midst forevermore.

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 11:03 AM

Third Portion

John 2; 3


2:1 The third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there. 2:2 Jesus also was invited, with his disciples, to the marriage. 2:3 When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no wine.”

2:4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with you and me? My hour has not yet come.”

2:5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever he says to you, do it.” 2:6 Now there were six water pots of stone set there after the Jews’ way of purifying, containing two or three metretes apiece. 2:7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the water pots with water.” They filled them up to the brim. 2:8 He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the ruler of the feast.” So they took it. 2:9 When the ruler of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and didn’t know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the ruler of the feast called the bridegroom, 2:10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when the guests have drunk freely, then that which is worse. You have kept the good wine until now!” 2:11 This beginning of his signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

2:12 After this, he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they stayed there a few days. 2:13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2:14 He found in the temple those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, and the changers of money sitting. 2:15 He made a whip of cords, and threw all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew their tables. 2:16 To those who sold the doves, he said, “Take these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a marketplace!” 2:17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will eat me up.”*

2:18 The Jews therefore answered him, “What sign do you show us, seeing that you do these things?”

2:19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

2:20 The Jews therefore said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple! Will you raise it up in three days?” 2:21 But he spoke of the temple of his body. 2:22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he said this, and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in his name, observing his signs which he did. 2:24 But Jesus didn’t trust himself to them, because he knew everyone, 2:25 and because he didn’t need for anyone to testify concerning man; for he himself knew what was in man.

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 11:05 AM

3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 3:2 The same came to him by night, and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.”

3:3 Jesus answered him, “Most certainly, I tell you, unless one is born anew, he can’t see the Kingdom of God.”

3:4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?”

3:5 Jesus answered, “Most certainly I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he can’t enter into the Kingdom of God! 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 3:7 Don’t marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’ 3:8 The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but don’t know where it comes from and where it is going. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

3:9 Nicodemus answered him, “How can these things be?”

3:10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and don’t understand these things? 3:11 Most certainly I tell you, we speak that which we know, and testify of that which we have seen, and you don’t receive our witness. 3:12 If I told you earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 3:13 No one has ascended into heaven, but he who descended out of heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven. 3:14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 3:15 that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 3:17 For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him. 3:18 He who believes in him is not judged. He who doesn’t believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. 3:19 This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil. 3:20 For everyone who does evil hates the light, and doesn’t come to the light, lest his works would be exposed. 3:21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his works may be revealed, that they have been done in God.”

3:22 After these things, Jesus came with his disciples into the land of Judea. He stayed there with them, and baptized. 3:23 John also was baptizing in Enon near Salim, because there was much water there. They came, and were baptized. 3:24 For John was not yet thrown into prison. 3:25 There arose therefore a questioning on the part of John’s disciples with some Jews about purification. 3:26 They came to John, and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified, behold, the same baptizes, and everyone is coming to him.”

3:27 John answered, “A man can receive nothing, unless it has been given him from heaven. 3:28 You yourselves testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before him.’ 3:29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. This, my joy, therefore is made full. 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease. 3:31 He who comes from above is above all. He who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. 3:32 What he has seen and heard, of that he testifies; and no one receives his witness. 3:33 He who has received his witness has set his seal to this, that God is true. 3:34 For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for God gives the Spirit without measure. 3:35 The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand. 3:36 One who believes in the Son has eternal life, but one who disobeys the Son won’t see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 11:00 AM

11 October 2008

1 Chronicles 28
Ezekiel 37
John 2; 3

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 11:12 PM

11 October 2009

1 Chronicles 28
Ezekiel 37
John 2; 3

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 05:09 AM

11 October 2010

1 Chronicles 28
Ezekiel 37
John 2; 3

"UNLESS ONE IS BORN OF WATER AND THE SPIRIT"

These words of Jesus to Nicodemus, the Jewish teacher who came to him by night, challenge our thinking and understanding. We need to understand them within the context of the unfolding words of Jesus. Many Christians like to say they are “born again,” but what did Jesus mean?

Nicodemus admitted. “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him” [John 3:2] His words lead Jesus to respond, “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” [John 3:3]. The ESV footnote says, ‘the Greek is purposely ambiguous and can mean both again and from above” This means, we believe, the action of God in responding to what he sees in the heart of the one seeking to be re-born.

We recall God’s words through Isaiah, “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him (or her) who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” [Isaiah 57:15]

Thus there is a ‘rebirth’ in the heart of one who is fully “born again” because of the action of he who is above.

The visible action of this is then created by the person themselves in being ‘born of water’ as happened on the day of Pentecost [Acts 2:37,38]. Later in the chapter we note that John Baptist’s disciples comment on how “all are going to him” (Jesus) and “look he is baptising” [John 3:26,22; 4:1,2 – the disciples of Jesus doing the baptising]

However, many were “not receiving his testimony!” Then the comment is made, who ever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true” [John 3:33] This reaction to Jesus’ teaching is evidence that one is also born of the spirit. The opposite to this is, “He who is of the earth, belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way” [John 3:31]. We must ask ourselves – in what way do we speak? This is evidence we been born of water and of the spirit?
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Posted 11 October 2011 - 01:07 AM

11 October 2011

1 Chronicles 28
Ezekiel 37
John 2; 3

"UNLESS ONE IS BORN AGAIN"

These statements of Jesus to Nicodemus, the Jewish teacher who came to him by night, challenge our thinking and understanding. We need to understand them within the context of the unfolding words of Jesus we read in John 2; 3. Many Christians like to say they are “born again,” but let’s make sure we know what Jesus meant!

Nicodemus admitted. “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him” [John 3:2] His words lead Jesus to respond, “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” [John 3:3]. He then says, “unless one is born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” [John 3:5]

This means, we believe, the action of God in responding to what he sees in the heart of the one seeking to be re-born. Being baptised in water, although vital, is only part of the process. We recall God’s words through Isaiah, “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him (or her) who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” [Isaiah 57:15]

Thus there is a ‘rebirth’ in the heart of one who is fully “born again” because of an interaction with Him who is above. The visible action is when the person themselves are ‘born of water’ as happened on the day of Pentecost [Acts 2:37,38). Later in the chapter we note that John Baptist’s disciples comment on how “all are going to him” (Jesus) and “look he is baptising” [John 3:26,22; John 4:1,2], although it was the disciples of Jesus doing the baptising. The later antagonism to Jesus shows that not all had reborn of the spirit.

However, many were “not receiving his testimony”! Then the comment is made, who ever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true” [John 3:33] The opposite to this is, “He who is of the earth, belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way” [John 3:31]. We must ask ourselves – in what way do we speak – developing a conviction that, with God’s help, we will speak in that way for the rest of our lives, This proves we have been truly born again?
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Posted 11 October 2012 - 03:08 AM

11 October 2012

1 Chronicles 28
Ezekiel 37
John 2; 3

"BORN AGAIN"

These words of Jesus to Nicodemus, the Jewish teacher who came to him by night, challenge our thinking and understanding. We need to understand them within the context of the unfolding words of Jesus. Many Christians like to say they are “born again,” but what did Jesus mean?

Nicodemus admitted. “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him” [John 3:2] His words lead Jesus to respond, “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” [John 3:3]. The ESV footnote says, ‘the Greek is purposely ambiguous and can mean both again and from above” This means, we believe, the action of God in responding to what he sees in the heart of the one seeking to be re-born.

We recall God’s words through Isaiah, “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him (or her) who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” [Isaiah 57:15]

Thus there is a ‘rebirth’ in the heart of one who is fully “born again” because of the action of he who is above.

The visible action of this is then created by the person themselves in being ‘born of water’ as happened on the day of Pentecost [Acts 2:37,38]. Later in the chapter we note that John Baptist’s disciples comment on how “all are going to him” (Jesus) and “look he is baptising” [John 3:26,22; 4:1,2 – the disciples of Jesus doing the baptising]

However, many were “not receiving his testimony!” Then the comment is made, who ever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true” [John 3:33] This reaction to Jesus’ teaching is evidence that one is also born of the spirit. The opposite to this is, “He who is of the earth, belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way” [John 3:31]. We must ask ourselves – in what way do we speak? This is evidence we been born of water and of the spirit?
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Posted 11 October 2013 - 10:41 AM

11 October 2013

1 Chronicles 28
Ezekiel 37
John 2; 3

"UNLESS ONE IS BORN OF WATER AND THE SPIRIT"

These words of Jesus to Nicodemus, the Jewish teacher who came to him by night, challenge our thinking and understanding. We need to understand them within the context of the unfolding words of Jesus. Many Christians like to say they are “born again,” but what did Jesus mean?

Nicodemus admitted. “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him” [John 3:2] His words lead Jesus to respond, “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” [John 3:3]. Our rebirth is essential if we are to experience God’s coming kingdom.

God responds to what he sees in the heart of the one seeking to be re-born. We recall God’s words through Isaiah, “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him (or her) who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” [Isaiah 57:15]

Thus there is a ‘rebirth’ in the heart of one who is genuinely “born again” because of the action of he who is above. The visible evidence of this is then created by the person themselves in being ‘born of water’ as happened on the day of Pentecost [Acts 2:37-38].

Later in today’s chapter John Baptist’s disciples comment on how “all are going to him” (Jesus) and “look he is baptising” [John 3:26,22; 4:1-2 – the disciples of Jesus were doing the baptising]

However, it was ‘whoever receives his testimony” [John 3:32] that was the vital factor; the man (or woman) who did so “sets his seal to this, that God is true” [John 3:33] When you ‘set a seal’ to a document you were locking yourself into a decision you have made! Being “born of water” is one stage, being born of “the spirit” – having a new way of thinking - is a vital part to being “born again” in the way Jesus meant it. The opposite to this is in John 3:31, “He who is of the earth, belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way.”

We must ask ourselves – in what way do we speak? Today we could add, and write! This is evidence before God as to whether we have been born of water and of the spirit? The last verse of chapter 3 spells it out, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; who ever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” [John 3:36]
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Posted 12 October 2014 - 12:53 AM

11 October 2014
 
1 Chronicles 28
Ezekiel 37
John 2; 3  
 
"UNLESS ONE IS BORN OF …"                                                                           
            
Nicodemus was the Jewish teacher, not an ordinary teacher and he came to Jesus by night for a private audience. The conversation that took place, we read in today’s chapter 3 in John’s gospel, challenges our thinking and understanding.  Jesus said, “…unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”  We need to understand this within the context of the unfolding words of Jesus.  Many Christians like to say they are “born again,”  but what did Jesus mean? 
            
Nicodemus admitted. “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him” [John 3:2]  His words lead Jesus to respond, “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” [John 3:3].  This rebirth, we believe, involves the action of God in responding to what he sees in the heart of the one seeking to be re-born.   We recall God’s words through Isaiah, “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him (or her) who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” [Isaiah 57:15]  See also Isaiah 66:2
            
Thus there is a ‘rebirth’ in the heart of one who is genuinely “born again” because of divine action from above. A relationship is established, that is ongoing from the time the person themselves in ‘born of water.’  Jesus makes the comment, “Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true” [John 3:33.] This reaction to Jesus’ teaching is the evidence that one is also born of the spirit and has a real personal relationship with God..  The opposite to this is, “He who is of the earth, belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way” [John 3:31].  There is no middle path!  
 
We must ask ourselves – in what way do we speak? Is God’s word daily ‘feeding’ our minds?  This is the ‘food’ that alone can create evidence that we have been truly born of both water and of the spirit.  Those who have not taken and digested this ‘food’ - “cannot see the kingdom of God?” [John 3:3]  Surely the kingdom is now near – what a final heart-wrenching experience it will be for those who fail to “see” it.  May that not happen to you or me.
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- DC


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Posted 11 October 2015 - 12:33 PM

11 October 2015
 
1 Chronicles 28
Ezekiel 37
John 2; 3  
 
"FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD"                                                                                         
       
Following on from yesterday’s thoughts, today [Sunday] in John 3:34 we read “for he whom God has sent utters the words of God” Jesus does not speak of himself, he represents God, but many churches make the mistake of saying that he is God!   We read  that Jesus is the “word (that) became flesh” [John 1:14] – that is God’s messages came to us through “flesh” – his son – and not through an angel or a voice from the top of mount Sinai.   So we have in today’s reading those words so often quoted, but again often not correctly understood, “for God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” [John 3:16]   
            
Notice what we have put in italics.  If you don’t believe in Jesus, and your actions show this, you have no future apart from what this life offers, and all who do this, when they die they perish.  But, wonderfully, if we believe in Jesus, we joyfully do what Jesus asks and show that we believe in him.  Let us not feel it is in some way ‘unfair’ of God not to provide a middle way 
             
This is what Jesus told Nicodemus, the ruler of the Jews who came to him in the night, “Truly, truly, I say unto you, unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God” [John 3:5]  We are born of water through baptism, and then – we are transformed in our attitudes as we develop an increasingly wonderful spiritual relationship with God – and sense the utter commitment of mind Jesus developed in offering himself as the ultimate sacrifice for us, so that we become adopted sons and daughters of the Creator of all that exists. 
            
All those who have been reborn have responded to how “God so loved the world” by developing a new attitude of mind, praying and feeding on God’s word every day - being ever more conscious of the words of Jesus that his followers should “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come”  [Luke 12:35-36]  
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- DC


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Posted 11 October 2016 - 11:04 AM

11 October 2016
 
1 Chronicles 28
Ezekiel 37
John 2; 3  
 
"UNLESS ONE IS BORN OF WATER AND THE SPIRIT…"
 
These words of Jesus to Nicodemus, the Jewish teacher and “a ruler of the Jews” who came to him by night, challenge our thinking and understanding. We read them today at the start of John 3. We need to understand them within the context of the unfolding words of Jesus. Many who see themselves as Christians like to say they are “born again,” but what did Jesus mean when he said “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God ?”
 
Nicodemus admitted. “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him” [John 3:2] His words lead Jesus to respond, “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” [John 3:3]. The ESV footnote says, ‘the Greek is purposely ambiguous and can mean both again and from above” This means, we believe, the action of God in responding to what he sees in the heart of the one seeking to be re-born. 
 
We recall God’s words through Isaiah, “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him (or her) who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” [Isaiah 57:15]
 
It is clear there needs to be a ‘rebirth’ in the heart of one who is genuinely “born again” because of the action of the Creator, who is above. The visible action of this is then created by the person themselves in being ‘born of water’ as happened on the day of Pentecost [Acts 2:37-38]. 
 
Later in today’s chapter we note that John Baptist’s disciples comment on how “all are going to him” (Jesus) and “look he is baptising” [John 3:22,26; 4:1-2 – the disciples of Jesus doing the baptising]
 
However, many were “not receiving his testimony”! Then Jesus bluntly states, “Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true” [John 3:33] This reaction to Jesus’ teaching is evidence that this person is also born of … the spirit. The opposite of this is, “He who is of the earth, belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way” [John 3:31]. We must ask ourselves – in what way do we speak? Is there clear evidence that we have been born of water and of the spirit? We must each “examine (y)ourselves” See and meditate on 2 Corinthians 13:5.
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Posted 11 October 2017 - 12:26 PM

11 October 2017
 
1 Chronicles 28
Ezekiel 37
John 2; 3  
 
"FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD" 
 
What an intensely thought challenging set of chapters we have today. The highlight of course are John 2; 3, but first we have that marvellous chapter 1 Chronicles 28 in which David, in his old age, charges Solomon his son to build a house (Temple). David declares that the LORD "has chosen Solomon my son to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel." [1 Chronicles 28:5] Then, in 1 Chronicles 28:7 the LORD adds to this promise, but uses that significant little word, "if." 
 
"I will establish his kingdom forever if he continues strong in keeping my commandments and my rules, as he is today.' This is also a powerful exhortation for us! It is even more powerful in 1 Chronicles 28:9! "Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts … If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever." [1 Chronicles 28:9] Ponder this! "The LORD searches all hearts!" 
 
Next we have the heart-inspiring chapter Ezekiel 37, of the kingdom age when God tells the prophet of the kingdom age when, "My servant David shall be king" and "shall be their prince forever" [Ezekiel 37:24-25]. And then God "will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them …" [Ezekiel 37:26] And then a wonderful climax is described in the last verse! "Then the nations will know that I am the LORD who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore." Surely this will then be "a house of prayer for all nations." [Isaiah 56:7; Mark 11:17].
 
At that time, it will be truly said by all then alive, "For God so loved the world …" This brings is to the climax of our thoughts in the final verse of John 3. But first we took note of  John 3:16. Jesus says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
 
This is the most wonderful promise that has ever been made. Do we appreciate God's love? Do we live so that we show this? Let us all meditate at some time(s) every day on the most powerful message with which the chapter concludes. "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him." 
 
In what sense do fully committed believers have eternal life now? It is when their names "are written in the Lamb's book of life." [Revelation 21:27]. Remember what we read 2 days, Paul's words to the Philippians about those "who have laboured side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life." [Philippians 4:3] Let us fully, without reservation, believe that "God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." 
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- DC





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