Have you ever wondered what the phrase “born again” means? The Bible records that Jesus used the phrase in a conversation with a man named Nicodemus. Nicodemus approached Jesus at night. He was curious about Jesus and the kingdom of God.
Jesus told him: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Nicodemus responded, “How can a man be born when he is old?” (John 3:4).
Nicodemus was a highly moral man who obeyed God’s law. He was a respected leader of the Jewish community. No doubt he was a fine man. Yet something was lacking. Like Nicodemus, many people today confuse religion with new birth in Christ. Phrases like “I pray regularly” or “I believe there is a God” often are confused with a real new-birth experience.
New birth begins with the Holy Spirit convicting a person that a person is a sinner. Because of sin, we are spiritually dead. For this reason, spiritual birth, as Jesus described it, is necessary. God loves us and gives us spiritual birth when we ask Him for it.
The Bible says all persons are sinners (see Romans 3:23). Jesus died on a cross and was raised from the dead to save sinners. To be born again means that a person admits to God that he or she is a sinner, repents of sin, believes in or trusts Christ, and confesses faith in Christ as Savior and Lord. Jesus told Nicodemus that everyone who believes in (places faith in) Christ would not perish (see John 3:16). Jesus is the only One who can save us (see John 14:6).
To believe in Jesus is to be born again. Confess your sins and ask Jesus right now to save you. “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). After you have received Jesus Christ into your life, share your decision with another person, and following Christ’s example, ask for baptism by immersion in your local church as a public expression of your faith (see Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:6).
From Open Windows
A Guide For Personal Devotions
Fall 2016 Lifeway
And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. Luke 22:15
Not “the” Passover but “this” Passover-the last Passover before the cross. The Lord fully knew what awaited Him after the supper; “before I suffer”. He knew all about the arrest, the unrighteous trial, the mockery, scourging, thorns, cross and death that loomed before Him. Yet there would be resurrection and joy too. But before all of that, He earnestly desired this last supper with His own. What about us? Our Lord is alive and today may we say to Him, “Lord, with desire have I desired to eat this supper, to remember you, thank you, and worship you. -Carl Knott
Break ye the bread and pour the wine, as ye have seen your Master do; This body and this blood of Mine, is broken and shed for you. -John Pierpont
Because of God’s love, we are never truly alone.
INSIGHT: The circumstances that took place on the night of Jesus’s betrayal seemed to be confused, chaotic, and out of control. But our Lord’s measured words in facing His betrayer showed His understanding of the big picture of God’s sovereign plan. Without the cross we could not be redeemed. Dennis Fisher
He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. Proverbs 29:1
When the Liberian tanker, the Arrow, ran aground and broke in two off Canada’s east coast, it polluted 125 miles of shoreline. Confessing it to be his error, the Captain said, “I did not believe the message of my electronic depth sounder.” Friend, if, on the sea of life, you ignore the warnings of God, your soul will be lost on the shores of eternity. -Arnot P. McIntee
O, turn, while the Savior in mercy is waiting, And steer for the harbor light; For how do you know but your soul may be drifting, Over the deadline tonight? -Virginia W. Moyer
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15
We construct beautiful buildings for worship, then struggle to get people in. We have eloquent preachers but often no unsaved are there to hear them! We seem to have things back to front. The Lord’s final message before He ascended was “Go ye.” Use your feet to go into all the world to preach the gospel. He is saying to the church today, “Go ye into the high street and market; go to the homes and playgrounds; go to your friends and neighbors. Whatever else you do please go. I am waiting to make you a blessing if only you will go.” A conference held some years ago was entitled, “Go Out or Die Out.” How true. Is yours a dying assembly? -David Croudace
Go then and tell them of Jesus, it was for them He was slain
Give them, O give them the Gospel, let not their cry be in vain! -O. Smith
As mentioned, a detailed synopsis of this trip will be provided after the conclusion, giving my thoughts time to settle in. Right now, we are in the midst of the mission trip, and I will share a few of the highlights up until this point. The evidence of intercessary prayer is with us, as things are progressing beautifully. The travel has been fine and without incident, our team is of one accord and one spirit, no one has been ill, and the logistics and accomodations are all great. We attribute this to the prayers of the saints. We covet your continual prayers. There have been peaceful demonstrations throughout Romania, related to the populace’s rightful grievances against their government. After preaching last night, the host pastor and translater had dinner with me and we observed protests in Oradea right next to our restaurant. They were peaceful protests. The Romanian people are anything except violent. More importantly, in the service prior to our fellowship, we were blessed with a packed church with absolutely no extra seats available, and we were also blessed with four professions of faith. Because of the Lord’s blessings and your faithful prayers, the Holy Spirit is working and convicting hearts. It does not get any better than this, this side of heaven. The Romanians who we have met in the many churches are red hot for the Lord and just waiting for leadership, teaching and preaching. In other words, the pump is already primed. We have an open window of opportunity in this wonderful nation and would be foolish to not take advantage of it. Last night is why I feel led to be a part of this dynamic ministry!
Oradea, an ancient city, is filled with archaeology from both Roman and medieval times. It was formerly called Dacia, the northern most outpost in the Roman Empire, after Romania was conquered by the Emperor Trajan. Dacia was the last province to fall to the Romans. As mentioned, this is a presentation of a few highlights with much more to follow.
In His Service, Pastor Steve <><
I am on the verge of embarking on a mission trip to Hungary and Romania in January-February 2017. I had the opportunity to go to the same nations in 2005, and it was the best mission trip I have ever been on. (That previous trip is summarized on this blog site in the category Hungary/Romania 2005). I request your prayers. Romania is still very receptive to the Gospel and recent mission trips were blessed with hundreds of converts.
The beauty of the trip is that I will travel with the same mission organization as before – Partners In Missions International (PIMI). Their website is http://www.PIMI.org
This trip will feature a crusade/evangelistic atmosphere, and it will consist of about fifteen pastors preaching the Gospel. We will be preaching crusade evangelism based in Oradea and the surrounding towns. We will also attend and contribute to a pastor’s conference in Satu Mare.
Bob Ward was the president and founder of this wonderful ministry of nearly twenty years. He has gone on to be with the Lord. The president is now Elijah Morar, from Romania, who works very hard in both Romania and in the United States of America. The Romanians are one of the finest people groups I have ever met, and they are very receptive to the Gospel. They are kind and respectful to their guests.
I covet your prayers for the following:
1)Logistics- airplane flights and tickets, hotel accommodations, luggage and connections. I pray not to be rushed.
2)Health- I pray for good health throughout the trip. The weather is very cold this time of year. Their latitude is the same as Minnesota. I just heard prior to departure that there is lots of snow right now! I pray to be well rested with a minimum of jet lag.
3)For the Great Commission to be accomplished in a powerful way. For folks to be gloriously saved. We pray for professions of faith, baptisms and rededications. We pray for our preaching to be anointed and for souls to be touched for eternity. We pray for excellent interpreters who accurately convey the original meaning of our words.
4)For love, harmony and unity with our mission team. For doors to open up through new relationships and new Christian friends.
5)I pray for conditions at church and home to enable the entire trip to go smoothly.
Thank you for your prayers and support.
A complete narrative of this trip will be provided on this blog site at the conclusion of this trip.
In Christ, Pastor Steve
Pray For Revival In America!