I used to wonder how all the people in the book of Jeremiah were thinking they were good with God… and comfortable speaking rebellion against the LORD … and now … we are living in such a day. My heart wavers between hope and heaviness – weeping over the state of the nation.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” ~said Jesus to Nicodemus in John 3:3
To be born again means you must first die – and then be born a different way. Jesus went on to explain to Nicodemus that one needed to be born “from above.” Or, “born of the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit enters the once-dead soul, igniting, awakening the spirit of the dead person.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. ~said Jesus in Luke 9:23
A cross is for dying. Denying self means dying to the rebellion that resides in my soul. My first life must be laid down.
On the cross, my arms are stretched wide, I’m incapacitated.
My feet, nailed down, I’m immobile.
I’m finished. My life is no longer my own. 1 Corinthians 7:23
Taking up your cross means taking your hands off of your life. Dying to your human opinions.
Being born-again means having a New Life in Christ – Jesus is LORD of it all. All my body, all my money, all my possessions, all my family, all my going out and coming in. Everything.
It’s a marriage. To Him I am wed. I take His name, His righteousness, His riches, His life. He takes my brokenness, my sin, my shame, my poverty.
Many claim to love Him, but continue to live in sin.
If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” ~said Jesus in John 14:15
It seems many people who say they love Jesus have walked along their merry way, doing what they do, and at some point in their lives, they have glanced upon that hill where the rugged cross stands against the blue sky. They know the story. They heard it in Sunday school, they heard it while shopping at the mall during Christmas. Some have attended church on Easter . . . Jesus was born in a manger. Jesus was crucified, died and buried and on the third day, then rose again.
And they think it’s really sweet that God would send His one and only Son to do that for the world that He loves, and then they continue on in their way, never turning.
Never approaching the cross. Never humbling themselves in repentance and receiving new life.
Blessed are the poor in spirit-theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Passing by the cross, never admitting soul-poverty.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness-they will be filled.
Passing by the cross, never hungering and thirsting for righteousness.
Repentance roots us back in the Vine that we were cut from when Eve disbelieved. John 15:4-6
There are people writing about Him, and tweeting . . . and speaking on platforms. They believe and promote lies. I used to wonder, “How could there be “false teachers?”
The Lord says:
“These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
is based on merely human rules they have been taught. Isaiah 29:13
We don’t love Him if we don’t submit to His authority. If we don’t fully yield our hearts to His Way.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ ~said Jesus inMatthew 7:21-23
To be a child of the Father, we need to show our love by obeying Him, by loving His word and by yielding our lives – fully.
I asked the Lord one day, “Lord, why do you leave false teachers teaching lies? Why don’t you take them out?” to which He replied, “I leave them there to test my people.”
And we need to test the sprits to see if they are from God. 1 John 4:1