God Knows…When I’m Faced with a Choice – Part 2
When the Passover time came, Jesus went to Jerusalem. Arriving at the Temple, He found His Father’s house noisier than a cattle auction! Sheep, goats, and cattle were being sold for outrageous prices. There were loud arguments at the tables of the cheating moneychangers.
Jesus spoke with the majesty of a king: “Take these things out of here; don’t make My Father’s house a marketplace.” The merchants and moneychangers and priests chose to obey, and fled. But instead of repenting, they made a bad choice. They vowed to get even with Him. They started planning to kill Jesus.
A Night Person
One of the Jewish rulers named Nicodemus made a different choice. He had heard Jesus and wanted to learn more, so he met with Jesus at night for a private talk. Nicodemus started off by saying that everyone was impressed with the miracles Jesus was doing (He healed many sick, blind, and crippled people). So Jesus told him about the best miracle of all: “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Jesus was referring to what happens when we love God and allow Him into our lives; the change is so great that it’s like being born all over again.
Nicodemus was surprised. “How can a man be born when he is old?” he asked. Jesus told him, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Water is the symbol of cleansing. When we love Jesus with all our heart, the sins of the past are forgiven and forgotten. The Spirit is the symbol of power, the power of God that enables us to do what we could never do by ourselves. Can you see the wind? Jesus said to Nicodemus, “You can hear the wind rustling the leaves and flowers. Yet the wind is invisible. It’s the same with the Spirit of God.” You may not know how God’s Spirit works, but you can see the results in your life.
Jesus also told Nicodemus what God is like. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” God is the Father who is doing everything possible to bring His runaway children back home to happiness. God loves not just the good people, but the whole world, including the people who think they are unlovable. His love is for YOU. Believe it. This is the way to be born again. Then your thoughts and desires will change. You will want to do God’s will. You will let Him help you with your choices.
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God loves you so much He won’t force you to believe Him or to love Him. That choice is yours.
Where to find the story: John 1-3