December 13

Today's Bible Reading
     II Chronicles 14-15
     Revelation 4
     Haggai 2
     John 3
 
MEMORIZE TODAY
''Jesus answered and said to him, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God." (John 3:3)                                    ·
 
THE NEW BIRTH
            As you celebrate the Christmas season, please remember the most important thing. If you are not born to this Child, this Child is not born to you. Unless this Son is given to you, you are not a son or daughter yourself. That is why Jesus placed so much emphasis upon the second birth. I am so excited that we have come to this magnificent passage because it is the third chapter of John that the Holy Spirit used to bring me to know Jesus as personal Savior. Jesus is, of course, the Reason for the Season, and there is no meaning to the Christmas season without the new birth. The most common way to enter a family is by birth. Did it ever occur to you why Jesus used birth as His most popular analogy of entering into the Family of God? Consider some reasons!
·     A DEFINITE POINT IN TIME
There are many who see salvation as a process. It is not true that you develop into being a Christian. You have a birth certificate that indicates a date, hour, and minute when you were born. There are also is an hour and minute when you were born a second time into the Family of God. There is a process that leads up to a birth, and a process that follows birth, but the birth itself is a one-time event. So, also, is the second birth - the spiritual birth! A true child of God can look back to a time when they turned away from sin and, by faith, committed their life to Jesus Christ.
·     WITH A BIRTH, THERE IS NO REPEAT
You cannot be physically born again and again. Neither can you be spiritually born again and again. You are spiritually born only one time. It is impossible to repeatedly lose your salvationand to have it restored. Once you become a Child of God, you are always a Child of God.
WITH BIRTH, THERE ISNOPAST
How many of us have observed a new baby and said, ''That baby is as pure as the driven snow." We mean by that there is a freshness and a purity about a new baby that cannot be true of anyone who has lived very long on this earth. That baby gives the image of innocence, purity, and perfection.  So it is with one who has been born into the Family of God.
·     BIRTH ALWAYS INVOLVES AGONY AND PAIN
You can interview any mother and discover that she suffered a great deal physically to give birth to her new child. Our new birth experience is not without agony and pain. The Lord Jesus gave Himself on the Cross and suffered great pain and agony that we might experience eternal life. 
            Now we know why Jesus used birth as the analogy to illustrate our personal relationship with Him.   That is what makes Christmas have meaning. I am always amused by the story of a man who very sleepily opened his newspaper one morning and turned to the obituaries. There he discovered his own name.  This woke him up, of course.  He called the editor, who was his friend, of the small town newspaper, and complained that his name was in the obituary and he was still alive. The editor laughed and said, ''Don't worry. Today your name was in the death column. Tomorrow, we will put it in the birth column." Some of us find that humorous, but that is exactly what Jesus has done for each of us who know Him. He has moved our name from the death column to the birth column.
That is the true purpose of Christmas.
 
PRAY FOR THE WORLD
Most of the people who attend church in Liechtenstein, a country of some 34,000 people, are Roman Catholic; in fact, this is almost the entire indigenous population. Muslim groups only represent about 3.5% of the population. The first and only evangelical church was started in 1985 after an evangelistic campaign. Pray for this church to grow in grace, power, and numerically.
 
A WORD FOR YOUR WORLD TODAY
''A power from on high is the supreme need of today."
Charles G. Finney