You Were Born Again For This

3. Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”  John 3: 3-8

Come on, We all dream of more don’t we? Especially as kids? You know, girls playing dress up and with dolls, living that perfect dream life. Boys, pretending to be Superman or Spiderman, or being that star player winning the big game.  Since childhood we have a desire, a God given desire, to be more. To matter! To make a difference. To be a Game Changer, a Life Giver!!  For a few that dream comes true, A few.. But for most, we are left with an empty bag of dreams. Hopes beaten and bashed on the rocks of life.  Helping ourselves, our family, seems to be all that we can muster, so why is it I long for more? How can I ever be that life giver/changer in the state I am in?

There is a part of you that needs to be awakened. It lies dormant like bear in winter. The heart cold and callous, winter breathing its cold bitter air on your soul. But spring is coming. Things come alive in spring. Things burst forth in a new life, with vibrance. Let me shake you awake. Let me rock your thinking for a moment, and knock of the frost that keeps you in hibernation.. You ARE Created for Greatness!! It doesn’t matter where you are, who you are, you are a Life Giver, a World Changer. You were Created for Sooo Much More!! I know what your thinking.. ”Whatever!” “Stop the Drugs Michael.” “Get Real.”  So, here we go.. Buckle your seatbelts, put your chair in the upright position, and hang on.

Jesus said, “I have come that you might have Life and have it more Abundantly.”  “ I am the Way, The Truth, The Life! And the Disciples all tried to hold on to Him. They protect Him from the crowds, and tried to keep away the annoying children. So, when He told them He would be leaving them, they tried to talk Him out of it. But Jesus assured them, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” ( John 16:7)    

Oh there’s more.…  “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.” (John 14:16)

Wait, It GETS BETTER!!

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12) And to top it off,  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one.” (John 17:22)

I’m not a scholar but it seems to me that Jesus is telling us we should WANT the Holy Spirit more than Him staying on earth. “It’s to your ADVANTAGE that I go away.” What??? Really?? Come on Jesus.. Are you on something??? From John 14 and John 16 Jesus is really building up this Holy Spirit thing. Seems like He’s doing a sales job for him, even marketing it. What are we missing here?  The Apostle John seemed to know something more of it than we do, for he said, “Greater is He that is in me that he that is in the world.” Paul wrote, “I can do ALL Things thru Him who strengthens me.” Paul also tells the church in Galatians  “It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me.” (2:20) and then “Those that have been baptized in Christ have been Clothed in Christ.” (3:27)

Let’s recall in Luke 24:49 “I am sending forth the promise of my Father,(Holy Spirit) upon you; but  you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from On High!”

So, Let me get my, our, mind wrapped in this. 1st Christ lives in me. 2nd I have the Holy Spirit, 3rd Greater is He that is in me. 4th I am Clothed in Christ and Power!! And the Kicker is, “The works I do you shall do also, and Greater works than these shall you do.”  If this doesn’t awaken the grizzly inside us then it’s not Dormant, It’s DEAD!!

    If this is true, the Bible correct, and Jesus didn’t lie, then we have not even begun to live the life God calls us to. We really havefallen short of the Glory of God.” If Christ is in us, then we in the Church are capable of MORE than we have Ever Dreamed of. (Ephesians 3:20) We have the power of the resurrection inside us. (Romans 8:11) why aren’t we seeing it..??

How bound are we? How we undersell God’s Ability in us. How we have minimized His Power!!  Jesus has given us His Glory, The Holy Spirit, and the best we can do is attend church on Sundays??? (And sometimes that dependent on our feelings.) If you’re really feeling empowered you greet people, and a select few even teach.. BUT We were Born again for So Much More!!  Why do we balk at sharing? Why do we believe we can’t affect lives? Why do we think so little of the Holy Spirit? Christ didn’t come from Heaven to Earth, endure a beating of a lifetime, and die on the Cross, so we could just attend church and pay tithes. He didn’t give us His Holy Spirit so that we could just sit on a pew.  NO! We were reborn for So Much More!

When we get a taste of the Greatness of our God, and the Power of the Holy Ghost we will be His witnesses as commanded.  “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be (not might be) my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

Paul even warned Timothy “They will hold to an outward form of godliness but deny its power. Stay away from such people.” (2 Timothy 3:5) Are we denying the power of the Holy Spirit??

   Our lives will reflect the God we believe in. IF we don’t believe that God is great and can and will do great things, then we will live reflecting that.  Our lives will be shallow and partial. We will live with little or no risk for God, because we believe that  all we have is what we can get and hold on to.  We will not go where it’s uncomfortable, because God can’t, or won’t help us, so we only associated with those who are like us. Financially, we will be stingy and non-giving because we don’t trust that God to bless us, or take care of us, he has other issues to mind. So, Our Lives will reflect the God we believe in!!

But, if we believe “Greater is He that is in me,” and “I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me,” then our lives will reflect that of an All Mighty God! If God is Almighty and Cares for us as His dear children then let’s give!! Knowing “My God shall supply all my needs according to His Riches.” Let’s “Go into all the world,” knowing, “For low I am with you Always even until the end of the age.”  Lets Love unconditionally, not expecting anything in return, “for God so loved the world He gave his Only Son,” and “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Let’s live Risking it ALL on a Great God, knowingAll power in heaven and on earth has been given to me, (Jesus).” And “ To him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”  See, we were Born Again for this.. to do “even greater things than these!”  To display the Power of the Cross, and a Love that is reckless and unashamedly foolish. We were reborn for this..

Let the coldness of our winter hearts melt. Let the streams of the Spirit swell with the melting snow. As a bird singing in spring, so let our lives echo the song of David
I exalt You, my God the King,
and praise Your name forever and ever.
I will praise You every day;
I will honor Your name forever and ever.
Yahweh is great and is highly praised; His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation will declare Your works to the next
and will proclaim Your mighty acts.
I will speak of Your splendor and glorious majesty and Your wonderful works.
They will proclaim the power of Your awe-inspiring acts,
and I will declare Your greatness.
They will give a testimony of Your great goodness
and will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
                                                                     (Psalms 145)

May our lives be lived that it displays that Greatness, Awe-inspiring Acts, and Great Goodness of a Mighty God. WE were Born Again for this!

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Can you Bear Them?

“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.”
     Some questions are coming to my mind.. How many things have we heard and could not bear? How many times has God spoken to us and we have turned a Deaf ear? Or even better yet, How many times has God Wanted to speak to us but couldn’t?  Could it be that our Heavenly Father is so wanting to talk with us? That He longs to share His Heart with us?
Isn’t this the whole concept of Christianity? Of Jesus providing a way to the Father? That we might be one with Him?  “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone will open up I will come in and dine with him and he with me.” “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him..”  And yet, as with the Disciples who have been with him for 3 years, do we really know Him?  Are we hearing what is on His heart? Jesus says, “I have many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now.”
      Jesus, wanting to share all with them; wanting to impart everything He has to them. Wishing just maybe, they could understand all that is about to take place. The weight of it all must have made His steps heavy. His body Weary.. Not just the weight of the coming suffering, but the feeling of not being understood, bearing down on his Soul. His Heart, broken.. But dying to mend all others. Burdened now, not with the weight of Sin, but with misunderstanding. Lonely, yet surrounded by followers. Hungry, but not for food, for true fellowship.  Maybe this is why He stopped by Bethany, the town of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha on His way to Jerusalem. It wasn’t just for a great meal. But maybe, for a place to lay His head. Or, Maybe for some affection. Some Understanding. Someone just to listen to Him.  (Women often seem to know how to listen to what the soul needs.) Lazarus has had experience with death, burial and resurrection.
Crowds come. People gather. Pharisees inquire. Jesus instructs. It is here that Mary, with her tears, washes the Christ’s feet. She uses her hair to dry them. (For it is the Hair of the woman that is her glory.) So, with the most precious thing she has, she uses it on the dirtiest part of her Lord. Then, taking costly perfume, she anoints His head and feet. Not from some Script, or because someone suggested it. Not on Jesus’ cue, but out of the overflow of her heart. She is hearing something no one else is. She is understanding what others aren’t.  Her Spirit is set ablaze. Mary Responds. Others watch. She cries, Disciples become indignant. She dries his feet with her glory. The Religious are puzzled. A Jar is broken. Jesus is anointed. Judas condemns. Disciples Question. Pharisees lash out. Mary is given recognition. Honor. Jesus is burdened.
How do you relate to this story? Are you able to hear what is near to God’s heart? Are you Serving? Are you judging what others are doing that seems absurd? Or, are you on your knees in front of the Christ? Weeping? Crying? Washing? Anointing? Listening?
It is only by The Holy Spirit that we will be able to Hear what Christ is saying. It is only by the Holy Spirit that we will understand what is near and dear to our Lord’s heart. “Flesh and Blood did not reveal this to you.” This is why before Jesus left them He said, And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in youJohn 14: 16 & 17 

And in John 16: 12-15  12 I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”
We cannot understand, nor do, anything apart from the Spirit of God.  For “No one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” “For apart from Me you can do nothing.”  This is why Paul prays, “I keep praying that God may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation..18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope..the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and the immeasurable greatness of power for us who believe.”
See, we cannot see. In hearing, We cannot hear.  “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him 10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.  The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. –  1 Corinthians 2:9-12

How we need a Revelation of this Spirit.. When we do, our actions will be different. Our ways absurd. People will question. The religious, indignant. The Cost ignored. Our Dignity cast aside. We become fools for Christ’s sake. Hearing what others can’t. Responding when others don’t.  Loving. Sharing. Caring. Emptying ourselves.

For God has “Much More to say to you.”