Sunday, November 18, 2007

1Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."

3In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

4"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"

5Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' 8The 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 3:1-8

These words are on my heart tonight. There are some issues that have arisen elsewhere that have tugged at my heart. Everywhere I hear we are not to judge, that there are many ways to God or "gods," that we must accept everyone's beliefs as equal, that me must not make comments about anyone's spiritual destiny. I have listened to and read such words over and over and have tried to respond to such things lovingly and politely. I believe that God does not wish us to lash out when speaking to others. Yet, I also know that Jesus was not "meek and mild" but did, indeed, lash out when He confronted the money changers in the temple. I believe that Jesus got straight to the point. I talk and think like an African. In Nairobi, a man told us that they speak like a coiled snake. They start at the tail and go round and round to get to the point (the head of the snake).

I have been thinking about this for several days and have to say that I cannot, as a believer in Jesus Christ as my Savior, hide what my Savior says. He said to Nicodemus that one must be born again to enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus said in John 14:6, "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." And in Acts 4:12, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." There are places where we are asked to keep words like this quiet. This IS what I believe! It is not MY words. My words are futile. I could speak or write all day. But, ultimately, God is in control of where someone spends eternity. And He says Jesus is the only way to eternal life.

I want to be kind in what I say. I want to be patient. I want to be loving. I want to be gentle. But in doing so, I want to be honest. In a world and society that is increasingly preaching "tolerance" there is little tolerance for those who believe and proclaim what God's Word says. Come quickly Lord Jesus. But not until after I finish flower girl dresses and my niece gets married!

3 comments:

BethH said...

Thanks, Lori, for you words. You are wise and I appreciate your new entry.

Cathi said...

Lori,

As always, you are so well spoken. It's so hard to know what the right path is, and to know how God expects us to respond to things. We've been told, more than once, how being Christian is the lazy way to be. But you know, as well as I, it's anything but.

Anonymous said...

Hey Lori!!!
Jesus spoke the truth in love - but He always spoke TRUTH - He offended lots of people - or He would never have been crucified!!

- April