Scriptures: John 3:1-7, John 1:10-13
Nicodemus came to see Jesus; he was searching and believed the Jesus could provide the answers. Jesus surprised him with an unexpected comment: "Nicodemus you must be born again." Nicodemus did not ask why, but instead he asked how. "How can a man born when he is old?"
Nicodemus was a man who was very proud of his first birth, he was a pharisee who claimed to be the "sons of Abraham." Pharisees means the "separated ones, the interpreters." They were a people faithful to their traditions, they were admired and were a strong politicial force.
But Jesus told Nicodemus 3 times you must be born again! "That which is born of flesh is flesh." Flesh, or humanity, can only offer the things of man: intelligence, provision, security and laughter. "But that which is born of the spirit is spirit:" The Holy Spirit provides mercy, grace, forgiveness, redemption, "unending friendship, loyalty and compassion," wisdom, unexplainable provision, healing, peace, joy, love and so much more.
Jesus let Nicodemus know that he was surviving on human understanding, human principles and humanities ideas about love and friendship. Nicodemus had a greater destiny! "Nicodemus you cannot see the kingdom of heaven, you cannot enter into the kingdom of God, Nicodemus you must be born again!"
Are you searching like Nicodemus? We all have accomplished somethings in the flesh, but God wants to take us to a new level through His Holy Spirit. "Marvel not that Jesus said, ye must be born again." Don't ask why, but how!
We are born of the water and of the spirit. We must first repent, then be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and then pray to receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised to give us abundant life and with that promise comes: forgiveness of sins, eyes open to His kingdom, power to become a child of God, entrance into His kingdom, and a God ordained destiny! You can born again!
Scriptures: 2 Kings 18:1-8
Hezekiah was a real man who did what was righteous in the sight of the Lord. He tore dow and destroyed the things in His kingdom the caused his people to be led to sinful actions. Hezekiah trusted in the Lord and followed hard after His word.
Real men and women of God can look to Hezekiah's example for qualities to obtain in their lives:
1) Hezekiah tore down high places: We cannot afford in our lives to have hideouts or holdouts, saying to the Lord: "you can have everything in my life except....this or that." Other kings before Hezekiah had started reform in Israel but they left the high places and images of those places and it was not long before their people were back to their old sins and actions. A real man or woman of God needs to tear down the high places in their life and give God complete control.
2) Hezekiah trusted the Lord: The Word tells us that Hezekiah trusted God like no other king ever had, he was his own example! When we trust God's Word the Word becomes our example. Trust God for your salvation, because Christ's sacrifice is sufficient. Trust God to make decisions for you, because everything is perfect in His timing.
3) Hezekiah showed tenacity- tenacity is defined as: "holding fasting, perseverance, persistence and grasping firmly." Hezekiah remained firm even when he faced difficulty. He demonstrated unwavering commitment. In life we go through times of testing and many times we give up before the rewards come, we must be tenacious about the things of God, the Bible says it this way of Hezekiah: "And the Lord was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth."
We all need to tear down some high places in our lives. Its time to identify them. We can trust that God's Word will provide the guidance we need and we can be an example for ourselves of righteousness. Its time to make up our minds to hold on to the Lord and let Him prosper us, with Him we will experience success like none before us or after us!
Scriptures: Psalm 149:1-9
Do you need a breakthrough in your life? A breakthrough in your circumstances? Your experiences? Or in your expression of worship? You can secure your breakthrough: its time to break the silence, because there is power in praise! Praise has to do with articulation and demonstration. Through praise the breakthrough comes!
1) Praise secures God's presence- "God dwells in the praises of His people." God's presence is linked with His people's praise.
2) Praise secures an unburdening- Isaiah 61:3 says that "the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness." There are people who are living with the spirit of heaviness: carrying a burden and a disposition of heaviness. Its time to exchange that heaviness for praise: securing an unburdening by changing your garment.
3) Praise secures your victory- The Bible says "resist the devil and He will flee from you." The devil attacks with discouragment, negativity, hopelessness and despair. So how do we resist the devil? Start praising the Lord: Get your mind on His greatness, sing of His love, shout of His faithfulness and praise His name in the dance. This will make the enemy flee!
Many of us need a breakthrough and to secure it we must praise through whatever it is! Many times we hit roadblocks on our own we are stalled and waiting for someone or something to remove our obstacles. If you are tired of waiting then its time to breakthrough! Yours praise invites God's power, will lift heaviness and brings the victory!