Are you feeling depleted, empty, and overextended right now? Has [...]
There is a question that earmarks a disciple. We are [...]
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Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a ruler in the Jewish community. He was a teacher of the law and confident in his knowledge of God. However, when He encounters Jesus, he realizes how much he doesn't know. In John 3:1-21, Nicodemus is struggling to understand the kingdom of God, and Jesus explains that he must be born again to see the kingdom. At this statement, the one who usually teaches must admit he doesn't understand and needs to be taught. Then even after Jesus explains, Nicodemus says, "How can these things be?" He has arrived at the juncture of faith.
Jesus had closely walked with His disciples for three years. He had been preparing them for His death and resurrection. He knew the cost of the gift He was about to give them and that they couldn't know its value until much later. But there was one, not obvious to the rest, who desired to give a gift that would cost her all that she had even before Jesus would give His. He would pour out his life for others while Mary would pour out her sustenance for Jesus. Both would be mocked, undervalued, and misunderstood.
You won't be required to do what you aren't capable of doing. However, sometimes you're called to do what you think you can't do. Moses thought the people wouldn't listen to him and that he was insignificant and asked the Lord how. The Lord asked him a question in response. "What do you have in your hand?" He then successfully led millions of people to freedom with the rod that was in his hand. And God will do the same with you. You do have what it takes. There are no excuses. God has given you everything you need to be fruitful in this life and the next.
Prayer. Such a small but powerful word. And to access its power, you simply must do it. You want to do it. You know you need to do it. Your own spirit calls to you, asking you to do it. And it's the one thing that can actually change you and your situation. It is the one thing that can bring peace into your chaos. But it won't happen by itself. You must do it. Just as keys are only useful when you use them, so is prayer.
A brand new year often brings a desire for consecration for the Christian. We sense that we need to draw closer to the Lord or, in essence, rededicate ourselves to Him. We recognize the need for more of Him. For many, that consecration means fasting. Fasting literally means not eating food. I know it has become common practice to go easy on ourselves and say that we are fasting television or social media for a time. Though those things are good to do, they aren't fasting. Fasting means food.
Phillippians 3:13-14, "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."