Posts Tagged ‘John 3’

Funny how literary works and old sayings get stuck in the back of the mind and we accept wrong ideas without thinking!

James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938)

Benjamin Franklin said, “God helps those who help themselves”, and over the years most think that is in the Bible. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism says, “Cleanliness is next to godliness”, and we think that’s somewhere in the Bible, too.

James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) wrote a poem in 1922 called, “The Creation”,

AND God stepped out on space,
And He looked around and said,
“I’m lonely—
I’ll make me a world.”

And it filters down that God was somehow lonely — creating us to keep him company.

While it is a great poem (I presented it in high school drama) it is not very accurate. God was NOT lonely, did not create us from a sense of need, and has never depended on us for anything.

Why is that important? Because there is a difference between Love and Loneliness.

Loneliness focuses on self whereas Love is selfless. Ever known someone who “loved” you because they were lonely? How about someone who really loved you (regardless of what it did for them)? Notice a difference, did you?

God created through selfless love even though he knew it would cost him what was most dear (Rev. 3:8). He gave his eternal Son because he Loved (John 3:16) though most would reject (John 1:11). And throughout eternity he shall demonstrate that selfless love by pouring grace and blessing on those who enter the “secret place”1 (Ephesians 2:7)

No, God is complete within himself needing nothing but decided to share that love with the universe so they could enjoy it, too.

— fritz

1 See “A Secret Place” — April 22, 2012

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Jesus and Nicodemus

“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night …” – John 3:1-2

Many focus on the Bible’s most famous passage, John 3:16, where Jesus tells a man he must be born again, but few ask why that man was there in the first place.

What would make a highly educated, deeply religious, upper class man risk his reputation to visit a supposed uneducated street preacher?

An itch.

Something in Nicodemus needed relief. Itches are like that, they have nothing to do with social class, race, creed, or gender. They can be ignored a while but must be satisfied to achieve any rest.

God’s call is like that, too. It has nothing to do with social class, race, creed, or gender. It can be ignored a while but it, too, must be satisfied for any lasting peace.

Jesus had a public ministry to all — but saved his best for those who had a holy itch.

Sound Bite: God heals itchy people.
Prayer:“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee..” — St. Augustine (November 13, 354 – August 28, 430)

— fritz

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As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field. — Psalm 103:15-18

Ingrained in us is the desire to build/accomplish something permanent — isn’t going to happen! Life is not designed that way.

Only God and his purposes endure.

John the baptizer, in the Bible, uses an additional metaphor:

He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly …

He must increase, but I must decrease.” — John 3:29-30

The Best Man at a wedding knows the wedding is not about him and he’s happy with that.

As youth fades don’t be sad at the decrease, recognize your purpose and put the focus on the one whom life is, really, all about — our time comes later (Rev 19:9). Next time something you do, even with the best intentions, fails to produce results you want, offer those efforts, desires, and results as a sacrifice to Christ.

— fritz

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