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January 3, 2019

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Check out this brief video giving us a great picture of what happens in the Gospel of John: https://thebibleproject.com/explore/john/

 

Read John 3

 

To read this text go to: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john+3&version=NLT

 

ScriptureJohn 3:3- Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

 

Observations- Nicodemus, a leading Pharisee, came in the cover of night to meet with Jesus. He spoke a kind word to Jesus, but the Lord responded with a word of confrontational invitation to new life. Jesus sensed this unique person needed this kind of bluntness to break through his religiosity. Nicodemus, like everyone else, needed to have a fresh experience of being born from above and anew. 

 

Application- Guess what? The message Jesus gave to Nicodemus applies to each of us as well. Our circumstances in life may be far different than what Nicodemus experienced, but we also must be "born again." How did Jesus confront you with your need to be born from above and anew? Was it through negative circumstances, a friend, or just a slow realization that you needed a fresh start with the God who loved you beyond measure? Give thanks for that experience daily, but if you are still just as puzzled as Nicodemus was then, please get that settled with Jesus Christ today.

 

Prayer- Dear Lord, thank You for saving me! Thank You for this message of confrontational invitation from our Savior that we must be born again. Help me keep saying "Yes!" each new day. I pray for New Hope to be a church that is always abundantly clear about our need to be born again and to present this as clearly as we can, in Jesus' name and for His sake. Amen.

 

"God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it." (Ephesians 2:8-9),

 

Pastor Jamie

 

  1. S. - For more on what it means to be "born again" and experience conversion go to: http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/we-are-saved

 

​​​​​​​To contact me: reply to this email...it only comes to me.

 

To connect with the New Hope website: www.findnewhope.com

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January 2, 2019

main image

Check out this brief video giving us a great picture of what happens in the Gospel of John: https://thebibleproject.com/explore/john/

 

Read John 2

 

To read this text go to: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+2&version=NLT

 

ScriptureJohn 2:15-16- Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”

 

Observations- Jesus was deeply displeased with the behavior He observed in the Temple courtyard. This was an area where all people- Jews and Gentiles together- could gather to seek God. Here's what developed over time: someone had a great idea- they would sell animals to be sacrificed as a service to those traveling from distant places to Jerusalem, but this eventually turned into a way to take advantage of people by charging ridiculous

prices. This not only angered Jesus, but it led Him to take thoughtful, deliberate action as He calmly fashioned a whip to toss the money changers out of the Temple. It was to be a place of prayer, not a place from gouging people in need. 

 

Application- Jesus didn't simply "lose His cool" here; rather the Savior made an intentional and symbolic act to honor His Father in heaven. We get a glimpse here of an angry Lord, who didn't, however, harm anyone. Jesus was declaring that this very Temple, which was so important to the Jewish people, represented His very own body and it would be vital to all people. As "the Word made flesh," Jesus was the tangible and real home of the living God in a way the Temple merely pointed to in a partial way. What fills you with "holy rage" to take action like Jesus did? It's not about being impulsive, but it's about following God's guidance and speaking the truth in love.  

 

Prayer- Dear God, encourage in us a sense of holy rage like we see from Jesus; that is, not an anger that is thoughtless or harms people, but one that helps us passionately do Your will in Your ways for Your reasons. Help us honor Jesus' church as a house of worship and prayer that avoids being a barrier to people- people already in relationship with You, wondering about You, or far from You- from joining You in this life. Amen.

 

"Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life." (Ephesians 4:26-27- The Message),

 

Pastor Jamie

 

​​​​​​​To contact me: reply to this email...it only comes to me.

 

To connect with the New Hope website: www.findnewhope.com

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