God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.
Comment & Forward>>>
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." Nicodemus answered and said to Him, "How can these things be?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."
After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized. Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized. For John had not yet been thrown into prison. Then there arose a dispute between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purification. And they came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified--behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!" John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am not the Christ,' but, 'I have been sent before Him.' He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
John 3 (From God's Handbook For Living - The Bible)
Speaking at National Football League pre-game chapels has always been an honor. You should see me in a roomful of those pro football giants - when I stand next to one of them, it looks like "Bring Your Son to Work" day. But over the years, we've gotten to know some of those players - so it's been very special to take their gift of tickets and go watch them play. Having been with them on the morning of game day, it's clear that this is much more than a game to them - you can tell by their seriousness and their intensity. Which is in total contrast to the fans I then get to sit next to at the game. They're cooking out, drinking, then they go in the stadium and cheering - or jeering - the home team.
This one very obnoxious guy kept jumping up and criticizing almost every play our team ran. He was such an expert - and so annoyingly loud about it. Now, I know a little of what's going on for those players - this is their livelihood, their profession, their future, their body that's on the line. For Mr. Fan, hey, this is just a party with no pain. I can't tell you how badly I just wanted to stand up and shout, "Hey, buddy! Why don't you get out of the stands and get in the game!"
I can't help but wonder if Jesus isn't trying to say that to some of us. Maybe to you. "Get out of the stands ... and get in the game!" The "game" is His work on this planet - in your church, your community, in some ministry, in trying to help some people you know be in heaven with you.
The problem is that most of us like to be just fans when it comes to really getting seriously involved in the life-changing work of Jesus Christ. We like to go to the games, eat the refreshments, enjoy the camaraderie of fellow believers, cheer for Jesus, and sometimes criticize those who are on the field trying to win the game. Oh, we like being spiritual consumers - taking in all the blessings and good feelings and the fellowship of being Christians. We aren't inclined to be spiritual producers - taking on some serious "make it happen" responsibility in the work of God.
We're just like some folks God challenged in our word for today from the Word of God. God's ancient people are approaching their Promised Land. Their taking of that land is going to involve an "all hands on deck" assault on the cities and the armies of Canaan - whom God has promised to put in their hands. But the "Gadites" and the "Reubenites" have another idea. They don't want to cross the Jordan and join this battle - they ask Moses if they can just settle down with their families on this side of the Jordan River. Moses' answer is classic: "Moses said to the Gadites and Reubenites, 'Shall your countrymen go to war while you sit here?'" (Numbers 32:6)
That may be what your Lord is asking you today. With battles going on for people's lives, with way too few of His people entering the battle - "Shall you sit here while a war for lives is going on?" He's got a job for you to do. And putting checks in the offering plate so others can serve just isn't going to cut it with Jesus. He's calling you to leave your comfortable seat in the stands; to leave the convenience and the safety of limited involvement. You can't delegate spiritual responsibility to the "pro"s that the church has hired, and Jesus is summoning you to join Him in the spiritual rescue mission for which He died.
You've been in the stands long enough, and it's getting very late in the game. There's ground to gain; there's a battle to win. Get in the game! --------------------------------------------------------------------- Discuss today's "A Word With You," post your comments, in this discussion forum! http://forums.gospelcom.net/view/rhm/awwy
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