Lenten Devotional // Day 28

Saturday, April 2
LOVE GIVES by Samantha Yoder

John 3:1-17
There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a Jewish leader. He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one could do these miraculous signs that you do unless God is with him.”
Jesus answered, “I assure you, unless someone is born anew, it’s not possible to see God’s kingdom.”
Nicodemus asked, “How is it possible for an adult to be born? It’s impossible to enter the mother’s womb for a second time and be born, isn’t it?”
Jesus answered, “I assure you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Don’t be surprised that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’ God’s Spirit blows wherever it wishes. You hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. It’s the same with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus said, “How are these things possible?”
“Jesus answered, “You are a teacher of Israel and you don’t know these things? I assure you that we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but you don’t receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven, the Human One. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so must the Human One be lifted up so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life. God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
The beginning part of this scripture discusses being born again, about dying to one's own self and being born again in Christ. God wants us to reciprocate His love for us and give up our own ideals in order to better follow Him. When we are born again, we are saying “I believe in God’s love for me and I want to follow Him.” When I was a child in my home church we were baptized as infants. I believe I was a month or two old when I was first baptized. When I was 24 years old I realized that I was ready to make a commitment to Jesus, that I wanted to give my life to Him. I was baptized again as an adult and it was an insane feeling when I came out of the water. In that moment I felt I had made the actual commitment for myself to follow Jesus and that I was one of God’s children. I pray that moment happens for each person whether it’s through baptism or through you actively deciding it is time to actively follow Jesus.

The second part of this scripture discusses the deep love God has for His children. It is hard for us to truly understand the measure of love that God has for us. I am an aunt to five nieces and one nephew, and they are my world. The amount of love I have for them is off the charts. I love spending time with them, experiencing their life moments, and hearing about their school days. While three of them live out of state, my favorite time is when I get to FaceTime with them and hear about what is going on in their lives. It’s hard to believe that the love I have for them could be outdone by God’s love for me, but it is. When I look at God’s love for me, that He sent His only Son to die on the cross, it seems unreal. I cannot imagine sacrificing your child for the sinners of the world, but God loves us that much.

Question for Contemplation
Do you remember when you gave your life over to Jesus? Was it through baptism or a spiritual moment? How can you express your love for Jesus today and tell others about it?

Lord- We are so grateful that we get to follow You every day. It is an honor for us to be your children and to get to experience your love pour over us throughout our lives. We pray that You would always be a guiding light for us and show us the unmeasurable love that lives in You. We love you. Amen.

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