Category Archives: bible

Born A Second Time? #Lent2

John 3:1-17

I must be born Again?

Born a new way,
come to life God’s way.

Not a magic formula,
but letting God
create and form me.
As my parents genes
once dictated my make up,
how I look,
those family traits
– now I must allow God
to shape my life.

Lord,
may I allow myself
to become a product of your love
for me.

May I allow you to create,
mould,
form
and guide me.

May I become
all that you have planned for me,
may your breath
breathe in me,
your love
beat through me.

May I be born again,

this time in and through you.

John 3:1-17 Good News Translation (GNT)

Jesus and Nicodemus

There was a Jewish leader named Nicodemus, who belonged to the party of the Pharisees. One night he went to Jesus and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher sent by God. No one could perform the miracles you are doing unless God were with him.”

Jesus answered, “I am telling you the truth: no one can see the Kingdom of God without being born again.”[a]

“How can a grown man be born again?” Nicodemus asked. “He certainly cannot enter his mother’s womb and be born a second time!”

“I am telling you the truth,” replied Jesus, “that no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. A person is born physically of human parents, but is born spiritually of the Spirit. Do not be surprised because I tell you that you must all be born again.[b] The wind blows wherever it wishes; you hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. It is like that with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

“How can this be?” asked Nicodemus.

10 Jesus answered, “You are a great teacher in Israel, and you don’t know this? 11 I am telling you the truth: we speak of what we know and report what we have seen, yet none of you is willing to accept our message. 12 You do not believe me when I tell you about the things of this world; how will you ever believe me, then, when I tell you about the things of heaven? 13 And no one has ever gone up to heaven except the Son of Man, who came down from heaven.”[c]

14 As Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the desert, in the same way the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior.

Footnotes:

  1. John 3:3 again; or from above.
  2. John 3:7 again; or from above.
  3. John 3:13 The quotation may continue through verse 21.

Good News Translation (GNT)Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Reflecting on The Commandments

This is the other half of the reflection for the beginning of Lent, that we didn’t use last week.

Read The Commandments slowly and prayerfully and then listen to the reflection

Exodus 20:1-17

The Ten Commandments

20  God spoke, and these were his words:  “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, where you were slaves.

 “Worship no god but me.

“Do not make for yourselves images of anything in heaven or on earth or in the water under the earth. Do not bow down to any idol or worship it, because I am the Lord your God and I tolerate no rivals. I bring punishment on those who hate me and on their descendants down to the third and fourth generation.  But I show my love to thousands of generations a]”>[ a ] of those who love me and obey my laws.

“Do not use my name for evil purposes, for I, the Lord your God, will punish anyone who misuses my name.

“Observe the Sabbath and keep it holy. You have six days in which to do your work, 10  but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to me. On that day no one is to work — neither you, your children, your slaves, your animals, nor the foreigners who live in your country. eleven In six days I, the Lord , made the earth, the sky, the seas, and everything in them, but on the seventh day I rested. That is why I, the Lord , blessed the Sabbath and made it holy.

12 “Respect your father and your mother, so that you may live a long time in the land that I am giving you.

13 “Do not commit murder.

14 “Do not commit adultery.

fifteen “Do not steal.

16 “Do not accuse anyone falsely.

17 “Do not desire another man’s house; do not desire his wife, his slaves, his cattle, his donkeys, or anything else that he owns. ”

Good News Translation (GNT)
Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Alone With God

Alone,
with God,
with myself,
with my demons.

Faced with the stark realities
of my life.

Where do I put my trust,
where do I look for nourishment,
where do I seek validation?

Do I try to live without God?
Filling my life with stuff
that fails to satisfy?

Do I think I can look after myself?
Or trust God to rescue me
when I have got myself into a mess?
Or do I seek him first,
before I jump?

Do I want to test God?
To see how far I can push him?
How far I can go?

Do I put my trust
in the wrong things?
Am I distracted by the shiny,
and lose my focus on God?

Lord,
this lent,
I want to walk with these questions,
to come again
to you.

Deepen my trust,
my faith,
my worship,
my service,
I pray

Matthew 4:1-11 (GNT)

The Temptation of Jesus

Then the Spirit led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the Devil. After spending forty days and nights without food, Jesus was hungry. Then the Devil came to him and said, “If you are God’s Son, order these stones to turn into bread.”

But Jesus answered, “The scripture says, ‘Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks.’”

Then the Devil took Jesus to Jerusalem, the Holy City, set him on the highest point of the Temple, and said to him, “If you are God’s Son, throw yourself down, for the scripture says,

‘God will give orders to his angels about you;
    they will hold you up with their hands,
    so that not even your feet will be hurt on the stones.’”

Jesus answered, “But the scripture also says, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Then the Devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in all their greatness. “All this I will give you,” the Devil said, “if you kneel down and worship me.”

10 Then Jesus answered, “Go away, Satan! The scripture says, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him!’”

11 Then the Devil left Jesus; and angels came and helped him.

Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society