Okay well I started this book last night.  I actually got it for Christmas from my old boss but I havent really dug into it till now.  The Book is Max Lucado's John 3:16 The Numbers of Hope.  I started with Chapter one and how he talks about Nicodemus.  How Nicodemus thought going to heaven was all about works.  Christ showed him it wasnt.  I dont know how many people I have had in the last few months judge me for who I am.  Judge me for my husband cheating on me and then walking away, judging me for meeting a guy when I have been alone praying for my marriage for over 18 months now and being led around like a puppy dog on a chain.  Judging me for wearing jeans and short shorts and not being in long skirts.  I have to remind myself with Christ its not all like that.  Its about Him wanting a relationship with us (you and me).  Max Lucado calls John 3:16--"The Hope Diamond of the bible".   "For God so loved the world, that HE GAVE His only son and whosever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.  Works or talents or even wearing skirts and having long hair isnt going to get you to heaven.  God wants us to believe Him, to trust  Him.  I love how he puts it at the end of chapter one---"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son (notice God loves us and this is where I dont see the angry, jealous God people speak of all the time because to me God loves me all the time wherever I am at) that whosoever stretched out on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."

Stretch out on Christ and rest what a novel concept.  Martin Luther did.  When the great reformer was dying, severe headaches left him bedfast and pain struck.  He was offered a medication to relieve the discomfort.  He declined and explained, "My best prescription for head and heart is that God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."   The best prescription for head and heart.  Who couldnt benefit from a dose? 

Nicodemus took a dose, and I can almost bet that when he heard word about Christ escaping the tomb I bet he smiled and thought of his chat with Christ.  I can almost bet his thought went something like this: Born again eh?  Who wouldve thought he'd start with himself?

As I read that it opened a whole new outlook for me with John 3;16 and well that whole chapter in John 3.  Unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.  (vs. 3) Its not about the clothes you wear the music you listen to its about something so much more than that its about having a relationship with Christ.  Someone you can go to about anything and He will be there for you even when you think the world is against you.  Nicodemus was given a very important life lesson when he got to go to that late night meeting with Jesus and His disciples.  Its not about works, its not about good intentions, because in Jesus's algorithm they dont matter. 

Its about believing in Him. I see so many people on the other side of that Contintental Divide of Scripture --- Nicodemus's side which is all about Give God your best and God does the rest.  but Jesus's response is that your best wont do.  Your works dont work.  Your finest efforts dont mean squat.  Unless you are born again you arent even going to see what God is up to.  Nicodemus didnt see the big picture--He instead saw the small picture which so many see these days.  The "as long as I live a good life and am good to others, its all good.." No its not. 

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Jun. 3, 2008 at 9:23 AM We have such an awesome God. He wants our love and gives His in return. When you put Him first, the rest falls in place. He prepares our way.

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Jun. 3, 2008 at 9:26 AM this brought tears to my eyes.................Ihave been saved for so long but your or maxs words" Stretch on jesus"!!! that ust did something to me!

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Jun. 3, 2008 at 10:46 AM Amen.  Because I am a self-proclaimed evangelist at heart, I choose to research different religions and keep myself aware of the different faiths that people follow.  So many religions have awesome concepts of helping others and doing good but the truth of the matter is that without Jesus, you cannot get into Heaven.  Unfortunately many will miss out on the precious gift of salvation by choosing to reject Jesus.  

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Jun. 3, 2008 at 12:39 PM

Something too that I have learned is that the term a "jealous God"...is often seen through the worlds warped interpretation or jealousy. Scripture does tells us that God is a jealous God...but it's that HE is soooooo ready, willing and able to flood us with Glory....It's jealousy IN Him...for us...to experience all He has to shower us with!!!! It's a glorious excitement He dwells in, waiting with anticipation for bestow on us, a glimpse into His Kingdom, into His reality...His Kingdom come..here on Earth, just as it is in Heaven!!!!

When you bless your children with some amazing gift...and they are clueless and not even aware that you are ready to shower your love on them....It's like what the parent feels...knowing, how amazing their love for the child is...

I'd better stop before I get too side tracked....

Thanks so much for sharing this!!!!! : ) 

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Jun. 3, 2008 at 3:16 PM thanks for sharing

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