A fresh start

Those of us who are parents will remember the circumstances of the birth of our first child. It is a moment filled with awe and wonder at having started a new life. This little bundle of wrinkles has so much in the way of a future it seems a little overpowering just to consider it. A clean slate, a fresh start, a new beginning filled with possibilities is a lot to think about. This is a unique situation, never to happen again, right? Wrong! We all are physically born into the world, but there is another possibility of rebirth and that involves the spiritual. Consider the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus for insight insight into what life is all about.

John 3:1-16 WEB (R)
(1) Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
(2) The same came to him 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."
(3) Jesus answered him, "Most certainly, I tell you, unless one is born anew, he can't see the Kingdom of God."
(4) 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?"
(5) Jesus answered, "Most certainly I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he can't enter into the Kingdom of God!
(6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
(7) Don't marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born anew.'
(8) The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but don't know where it comes from and where it is going. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
(9) Nicodemus answered him, "How can these things be?"
(10) Jesus answered him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and don't understand these things?
(11) Most certainly I tell you, we speak that which we know, and testify of that which we have seen, and you don't receive our witness.
(12) If I told you earthly things and you don't believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
(13) No one has ascended into heaven, but he who descended out of heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven.
(14) As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
(15) that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
(16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Nicodemus was thinking literally and Jesus spiritually. The spiritual interpretation of the physical brings about a new birth. Do what Jesus says and begin life again; basically, God gives you a fresh start, with the bill for it being paid by Jesus. Good deal for us, costly for him! Life with God is different from life apart from God because you are no longer alone inside your bones, God is with you; loving and guiding you as you begin a fresh start all over again; this time spiritually. However, now you don't have to deal with the baby wrinkles!

A little foolishness

This heartwarming picture is an encouragement to me. It is nice to see an older couple expressing love. Many times as people get older they just get grouchy and its hard to imagine them showing any affection at all. So, she must have deserved this little bit of foolishness, right? But, suppose she wasn't so nice, suppose she was an old grouch. Then what? Take this a little further and what if she were a really bad person who had done something awful, like murder or grand theft or slowly beating their little kitty cat to death? I wonder, would she still get that kiss? Think about these things as you read this short passage from the book of Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 1:18-25 WEB (R)
(18) For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are dying, but to us who are saved it is the power of God.
(19) For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, I will bring the discernment of the discerning to nothing."
(20) Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this world? Hasn't God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
(21) For seeing that in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom didn't know God, it was God's good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save those who believe.
(22) For Jews ask for signs, Greeks seek after wisdom,
(23) but we preach Christ crucified; a stumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks,
(24) but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.
(25) Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

No matter how bad she could be, there is forgiveness in the sacrifice of Jesus of Nazareth. Sin was crucified on that cross by the love of God and the hope of forgiveness is found by those who come to HIM. Oh, there still will be Earthly consequences for wrong doing, but there is the hope of heaven! This may sound foolish or stupid to some, but God knows what he is doing. Like verse 25 says "...the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men." I wonder, will God give kisses in heaven???