Archive for the ‘Born again’ Category

The dead and lost son

June 26, 2014

The beautiful story of a dead and lost son, commonly known as the prodigal son, is an allegory of a selfish, wasteful life that through the process of being stripped to nothing and hitting rock bottom, finds redemption.

After he hit rock bottom, the first ray of hope we find is “But when he came to himself,”. Here we see that he began to see his need. Without “need” there is no turning back.

Then he purposes what he is going to do.
“I will arise and go to my father,”
He then purposes what he is going to say.
“I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son…”

After he purposes, he then follows through with his purpose.
“And he arose and came to his father.” He then confessed his sin and his unworthiness.

Then the father was quick and right there ready to forgive and give him his best, the “Best robe”, and “A ring on his hand”, and “Sandals on his feet”.
Then….. the father has a feast prepared along with a big party.

Then, lest we forget, the father makes a very important statement about his son. “he was dead”. “he was lost”.
Certainly the father was not talking about the sons physical death because he never died. But, he was talking about a spiritual death. This shows how sinning against the Father brings spiritual death that makes one lost from the Father.

In the end of the story, the father says to the other son that was jealous and angry about what his brother was receiving,
“It was right that we should make merry and be glad (threw a big party)
Why? “for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.”
What a God!
(see Lk.15:11-32)

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A Major Blockade

December 22, 2013

It is so important to understand that one must be re-born of the Spirit to be able to “see”.
Like Jesus taught, one can see, yet not perceive (know, understand). They can hear, but yet not understand.

Without a conversion, which includes sins being forgiven, one will never “see”. This is the very first step.
“Except one be born again, they cannot “see” the kingdom of God.” (Jn.3:3)

“Seeing they may see and not perceive; and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted and their sins should be forgiven them.” (Mk.4:12)
Understanding cannot come to one who has yet to be forgiven of their sins. We might say that it is THE MAJOR BLOCKADE that prevents being able to “see”.

A Cannabis bus ride

November 22, 2013

Sittin in the back corner and here comes a guy with a “Cannabis” hat on and sits right next to me in the center seat. I asked him if he knew a guy that i know that gathers signatures for legalizing it. He said that he has seen him at the square.
That led into him sharing for the next 20 minutes about his Cannabis life. I listened to him talk about the upcoming legalization of it and how its going to be marketed etc.

I soon told him about my “pot smoking days” in my earlier years. We had common ground and this guy was really into it. He even pulled out of his backpack, a very detailed binder with all kinds of technical info., pics etc. He was a third generation expert in the care of, the study of, and the actual growing and selling also. Soon he even broke out his jar and showed me some of his finest.

I saw my stop coming up the road and was telling the Holy Spirit how i really needed his help in causing this guy to stop for a second so we could leave him with something.
He did.
I thanked him for sharing and gave my testimony of how i used to be all into that, but after about six years, i was born again and soon that desire was taken away and replaced with the power of the Holy Spirit. I told him that i can honestly say that experiencing God as you are living in the Spirit is no where even on the same planet as being temporarily high.

He had this look on his face as i smiled and shook his hand and handed him a “Born of the Spirit” card and said, “God bless you!”. And off the bus we went.

Of first importance. A reminder….

November 6, 2013

We who are alive in God through Christ Jesus tend to easily forget that those who have yet to be “born again” are dead spiritually. I think that this happens for several reasons. One is that we of course are in this physical existence and we tend to see only that. We tend to think in human terms. We see the person in front of us as alive, yet all the time we are talking to a spiritually dead person. Now of course, if all we are talking about is things of the natural, it is no big deal. But, if we are sharing anything spiritual, we must first be reminded of what kind of condition the person in front of us may be in.

Many of us spent countless hours trying to convince them why they need God. From an intellectual standpoint of view, this may sound like the approach that we must always take. If we have been “born of the Spirit” and the Spirit is leading us in conversation to talk in generality, that’s one thing. But, after a few minutes we must be reminded of what we are dealing with. The main importance must continually be in view. And what might that be? It is that the dead person cannot understand until they come alive. Not until the “light of the glorious gospel should shine upon them”.

Wait a minute!

Was the gospel ever shared with this person? Did we at all remember the key to them being able to “see?” Did we just continue talking to them as if they understood?

We all must be continually reminded that a dead person does not see while dead. It is impossible. Along with that is the fact that one also does not “hear” unless they are alive. I am not trying to be “funny” here, but have you ever went to a graveyard and sat down next to a tombstone and tried to convince them to come alive by talking about everything that has nothing to do with the gospel? The same would be true with a person who is alive physically, but yet dead spiritually.

Here are some important scriptures to help remind us of this very important fact.

First, I believe that Jesus’ account of the story of Nicodemus is of extreme importance. And why might that be? Because of the little three letter word “see” found in John 3:3. Its Greek meaning has to do with “to know, be aware of, knowledge, perceive, understand”.

The natural man cannot receive anything of the Spirit. See 1Cor.2:14.

Keeping in mind that the spiritually dead cannot understand, we must also be reminded that they are blind. Spiritually dead and spiritually blind are one of the same. Those who are “perishing” are dead. There is a “veil” upon their eyes so that they cannot “see”. This can only be removed by the “gospel of Christ”. This is also a good reminder that we should not “preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord”. See 2Cor.4:3-5.

Spiritually dead and “blindness of heart” are also one of the same. Understanding comes from the heart. The unconverted heart, the unregenerate heart, is blind. By this, the mind and its understanding is blind also. See Eph.4:17-18.

The unsaved, the unregenerate, “walk about in darkness”. The darker the heart, the more they walk in darkness, and the darker it gets. But yet, always being reminded that any heart that has not been made new is dark.

This whole teaching about “hearing, seeing, understanding and perceiving” goes way back to the time of the old prophets. Jesus and the apostle Paul also taught from their teachings.

The spiritually dead can hear, but its only physical hearing. They cannot “understand”. They also can see physically, but not spiritually. They cannot “perceive”. See Isaiah 6:9-10. Jeremiah 5:21. Ezek.12:2. Jesus in Matt.13:14-15, Mk.4:12, Lk.8:10, Jn.12:40-41. The Apostle Paul in Romans 11:8.

In closing, my hearts desire is that we would all be reminded of the great need to share the true gospel of Christ Jesus so that the person, or persons that we are brought to, might be made alive and thus be able to “see, understand and hear”. Oh yeah, less I forget, they also cannot “enter” unless they are “born of the Spirit” (see Jn.3:5)Image

God bless you as you go out!

LOVE and ETERNITY

October 22, 2013

As we “plant” and “water” for the kingdom of God, let us always be reminded that they (the unsaved) “cannot enter” in unless they have been “born again”.
Our planting/watering consists of many different things we love to do. Some of which might be, praying for them, feeding them, spending time with them, doing things for them etc. All as the Spirit leads us, and always bearing in mind, that they “must be born again”. If not, they will not only miss out on a relationship with God while here in this life, but also, they cannot go and spend eternity in heaven with God without it.
So, it is of utmost importance if we really love them AND their eternal souls.

Remember, they can’t receive nor understand.

October 13, 2013

This one is very easy to forget. Why? Because if we have any God-given desire to see the lost saved, we will be out there sharing, trying to get them to receive what we are sharing in hopes that they might be saved.

However, we must all be reminded (I believe continually) that the unregenerate person cannot receive nor understand the things of God which are spiritual. How many hours have we spent trying to convince the natural man, with his natural mind, to understand or believe spiritual things? It happens more than we care to admit for sure. We so easily fall into trying to “convince” them of the truth’s of God. If we are not careful, we would even find ourselves getting into a doctrine debate with one who has yet to be born again. That’s futile.

We have to review the scriptures on a regular basis and be reminded of the fact that they must be born of the Spirit first. This is the starting place. Thus, the great need of sharing the gospel. Always being led to steer the conversation back to their need of being saved first. If not, its guaranteed that we will fall into trying to convince a spiritually dead person to receive and understand spiritual things. It just doesn’t work that way. It was never designed to. The need for Christ is always first.

There are several scriptures we could look at to back this all up with, but we are going to use only a couple here.

First off, I always like to start with the book of John, chapter 3. The very popular story of Nicodemus. Without taking a lot of time on this story, only a few very important points to be reminded about here. Basically, Nicodemus was a teacher of the Jewish religion. No doubt, a very well-educated man. But, our main focus here should be the fact that he was unregenerate like anyone else. His status in life makes no difference here unless you are speaking with someone who thinks that by their religion they can be saved.

After Nicodemus had said to Jesus,  “for no man can do these miracles that you do, except God be with him”, Jesus’ reply is very key here for our reminder. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”. That little three-letter word is of extreme importance here.

SEE: “to see, to know, (have) knowledge, perceive, understand”.

Without being born again first, one cannot SEE the kingdom (realm) of God.

Another scriptural reminder is found in 1 Corinthians the second chapter. Again, some very popular verses that we probably have heard countless times. However, we must be reminded if we are going have an effect on the lost for the kingdom, we must get this.

The whole chapter (2) is good and is highly recommended here, but we will only focus on a few verses.

Verse 9 is a good starting point. The apostle Paul referring to the prophet Isaiah says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man, (what?) the things which God has prepared for those that love him.”

The word “seen” in its spiritual application here is “to see, discern, perceive“. The word “heard” also has to do with “discern, perceive, understand“.

“the things which God has prepared”….. The spiritual things of God.

In the next verse, verse 10, he says, “But God has revealed them to us (who?) (how?) by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yep (added), the deep things of God. By His Spirit they can and are revealed. But only, by His Spirit. We can even know the “deep things of God” if He chooses to reveal them to us. (I will add this though, He knows our heart, the motivations of our heart as to why we want to know the deep things of God. And if there is any wrong, prideful motives, he will not reveal. He does not bypass unholy motives.

In verse 11, he divides the natural man with the Spirit of God. He says that no man can know the things of God except through the Spirit. Its point-blank.

Verse 12 is to all those who have received the Spirit of God that they might know the spiritual things of God which are freely given to us. And I might add here, that in verse 13, it is very important to take notice that “the Holy Spirit (Ghost) teaches“. Man can and has taught, but it can only come through the one who has been born of the Spirit. One who is living in the Spirit and not of the “spirit of the world”. It only comes through a spiritual vessel.

Ok, I am just about finished here. I never have liked “long posts” so I must end here. And this is the way to sum up our study here with a final verse (14) that does truly make its point very clear.

But the natural man (one who has not been regenerated) receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them (why?), because they are spiritually discerned.”

So there it is. Man must be born again of the Spirit of God before he can understand, perceive, know, anything about God and his kingdom (realm). Thus the great need to get the gospel out to all those who He leads you to. Spend little time in debating with an unbeliever. Listen a lot. Remain in the Spirit. Speak only what is given by the Spirit of God to them.

…….and remember………they can’t understand till their born again 🙂

God bless you!

Born of the Spirit

August 10, 2012

God who is Spirit, resides in the spiritual realm (kingdom). He is also Holy. What does “Holy” mean? It means “sacred, whole, pure, or clean”. How can we unholy humans have a relationship with a God who is Holy? Do we need to go through some kind of holy religion with its traditions and rituals to become holy and accepted?

In Jesus’ day, there was a religious man who was a teacher of his religion. After he acknowledged that Jesus was a teacher sent from God, Jesus turned to him and said,“unless one is born again, he cannot see (know, perceive, understand) the kingdom (realm) of God”. Then the man said, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter back into his mothers womb and be born?”. The man tried to figure out what Jesus was talking about in his natural mind.

Man has always tried to understand God, and the ways of God, through his natural mind. He forgets that God is Spirit and his ways are spiritual. The natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit. In fact, they are usually ridiculous to him. He cannot know the things of the Spirit because they must be spiritually discerned.
After Jesus talked about how to understand the things of the Spirit, he addressed how to enter the realm (kingdom) of God. He said, “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God”.

What does it mean to be “born of water and the Spirit?”. First off, to be “born of water” has to do with an internal washing of the heart which is the center or core of our being. In the heart resides all our offences towards God and others (our sins). A holy God which is Spirit, will not come into a heart that has not been washed clean of all its offences. How then can this “washing” take place?

God in his love has provided a way for us to be washed (made clean) and thus accepted with him. By believing (putting your trust in) Jesus and what he did on the cross by the sacrifice of himself for our offences, we are made clean. This is an act of faith. Faith is something that you cannot see but yet you believe it. After the heart is washed clean, then the Holy Spirit which is God, comes in, and one is “born of the Spirit”.

After Jesus told the religious teacher that he must be born of the Spirit, he reminded the man about Moses and how in his day he “lifted up” a pole with a bronze snake on it and everyone who was bitten when they looked on the snake, lived. And Jesus said that just as that was so, even so I must be lifted up. And whoever “believes” in Me will not die (spiritually), but receive eternal life. When Jesus spoke of being lifted up, he was looking ahead to the cross where he knew he was going to be sacrificed for the sins of all humanity. All those who believe personally by faith that Jesus died on the cross for their sins receive forgiveness, which results in having their heart washed and cleaned from sin and filled with God who is the Spirit.

Also, by faith believing that Jesus not only died for our sins, but was buried and rose again to conquer death for us, one receives life.
In closing, Jesus said “You must be born again”. He didn’t say, I think it is a good idea or a good philosophy. He said “You must” if you want to “see” and “enter” the spiritual realm where God is. So what’s keeping you? What’s holding you back? Unbelief? Fear? Pride? Self? Give it all to Him. You will never be sorry. Then you will know what you were created for, and what you are to do. Revelation can only come by the Spirit of God within you. “Ask and you shall receive”. Keep your heart open.

Internal washing

June 29, 2012

Jesus came to make right and restore that which is wrong through the cleaning of the heart of man. The cleaning makes for a new heart which is accepted by God. An internal washing takes place by the blood of Jesus. Then new spiritual life is born by the Spirit of God.

What ever happened to being “born again?”

May 18, 2012

 

Jesus taught the need to be “born again”. In the making now, is the resurgence of truly being born again. The devil stole the term sometime shortly after the early 70’s. But, he never stole the  God-given process of being “born of water and Spirit”. The church must bring it out of the closet, dust it off, open it again and learn what it means. Teach it in its simplicity and equip the body to share it again. If they don’t, they will be “left behind” for the current move of God that is taking off.

All of us believers are to take the blame for the upcoming generations that don’t even have the slightest clue of what it means to be “born again”. In the last three weeks, I have asked many guys in their teens and twenties, if they know what it means to be “born again” or have they heard about being born again. About 50 to 60% didn’t have the slightest clue. We can pass the blame all across the board, but it won’t take away the fact that it’s our own personal responsibility to share of what God has done for us by saving us through this second birth. If there is no sharing, then there is no caring.

“That man changed my life!”

May 11, 2012

Someday we will all be very surprised as to who God used to reach people that he was calling.

Today I heard an awesome testimony from a young guy who I hadn’t seen in almost a year. I remember that we had some good God conversations along the way. He showed up with a friend on a corner where I was hanging out. After talking a while he said, “hey do you remember that guy that sat on that corner over there (as he pointed) last summer that had those scriptures on a cardboard sign?”. I paused for a moment as my mind searched for that time. Boom, I remembered.

Last summer there was a homeless man who sat on a very busy corner downtown. He had the usual homelessness gear such as a pack, sleeping bag, dirty clothes and worn out shoes. But, this guy was different from most. This guy was a minister of the Gospel. He sat there with his bible from which he would occasionally read out loud. And yes, he did have a hat sitting there for money.

My mind went back to the couple of times I visited with him that summer. I remembered that he knew the scriptures very well and would engage with a lot of people while sitting on the sidewalk. What I remembered about him the most was this big old cardboard sign that he had taken a marker and wrote some scriptures on it. He had it propped up for all to see passing by. He was a soft-spoken guy, but big and burley. I remembered, I liked him. I did give him some money, but can’t remember how much. A truly different kind of minister for sure. One that most people would pass by and think, “give me a break, get a job” or “sorry, but how are you doing any good?” or “your no better off than all the other homeless bums out here that beg for money”. So goes the story……..

Then we fast forward to our brother who shared what had happened when he had met the man. He said that one day he walked by and stared at the guy, then took a glance at his cardboard sign and walked away. Then, he heard the man yell out, “hey come back here for a minute!”. So, around he turns and heads back to the man. Soon, he takes up a seat on the sidewalk right next to him as people go rushing by.

My friend didn’t go into all the details that happened thereafter, but he did tell me something that I will never forget. He said, “I WAS “BORN AGAIN” THAT DAY“. That man changed my life!” Wow! I thought. I was humbled. Bless God! We will never know completely, all those He uses and how He uses them. Beware less we think, “Oh how can God use that person? Look at what he is doing”.

The bottom line is: God has used and will use anyone he wants to use. And not only that, but how he wants to use them. We dare not judge.