Have you ever been judged for your belief in someone or something? Who is it that was passing judgement on you? Was the judgment fair?
The bible has record of a conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a religious leader. He was trying to understand Jesus. In this story Jesus shares some incredible things:
#1. There is a spiritual life that is initiated by God’s Holy Spirit. It has a clear beginning. Jesus compared it to birth, a new life born to live.
#2. This spiritual life is what gives people the ability to understand God and the work of God’s kingdom. We can’t make sense of God without this spiritual life.
#3. God loves the world. He sent His one and only Son to bring us into relationship with Him forever.
#4. God did not send Jesus into the world to judge it, but rather, to save it.
#5. There is no judgement by God or from God against anyone who believes in Jesus.
#6. There is a judgement by God for those who do not believe in Jesus as God’s one and only Son.
#7. The judgement is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than light, for their actions were evil.
#8. People who love evil are afraid of having their sin exposed, so they avoid Jesus.
#9. To those who do what is right, they draw near to Jesus. In doing this others can see their commitment to doing what God wants.
#10. Ultimately, relationship with God is determined by belief in Jesus as God’s one and only son.
What God has provided us through Jesus Christ is a relationship that fulfills any judgement on my life for sin and brokenness. A ruling of judgement is completely satisfied (sentence fulfilled) through belief in Jesus Christ as God’s one and only son.
While the world may judge for expressions of faith, and religion, especially related to Jesus, God releases me from judgement and invites me into the spiritual life of His Kingdom forever.
It’s an easy choice.
Thank you young leaders.
This morning is a shout out of gratitude to young leaders. Over the next 10-15 years you will be leading nearly every organizational effort. You are incredibly important to today. You are the foundation of the future. To young leaders following Christ, you will shape the spiritual tone of an entire culture.
In the bible, the apostle Paul writes a couple of letters to a young leader. His name is Timothy. Paul has counsel for Timothy in navigating the unique issues young leaders face: Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith and your purity. Until I get there, focus on the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them. (1 Timothy 4:12-13)
A few points of focus:
1. Stand with humble confidence, even if others are more experienced. The Lord has raised you into leadership. He has purposes and reasons for doing this. He is confident in you.
2. Be a good example with your life. In matters of lifestyle, love, faith, and purity, set an example that others will follow and be thankful for.
3. Stay focused on God’s word. Scripture is the bedrock expression of who God is. He is the source of all leadership. Scripture is rich with wisdom. In a very real sense, it gives life.
4. Encourage other followers of Jesus. People need encouragement today. Bring it.
5. Teach well. There is a real need for good teaching today. Take time to teach well.
Thank you for being a young leader.
“…those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.” Jesus, as recorded in John 5:24 NLT
14 more things you might want to know about Jesus:
#1. He is interested in our life, no matter what kind of shape it is in.
-“Would you like to get well?” V6
#2. He is not limited by the obstacles we experience every day:
-“I can’t”, “No one will help me”, “Someone else always gets helped first” (Sick man V. 7)
-“Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” (Jesus, V8)
#3. Jesus can heal on the spot, in the moment. (V9)
#4. Jesus challenges us to use his healing to stop sinning. In the challenge he reminds us that sin is destructive
in its very nature. (V14)
#5. Jesus is always working in the same way His Father is. (V17)
#6. Jesus does not act by himself. He follows the example of the Father. (V19-20)
#7. The Father loves the Son and shows Him everything He is doing. (V20)
#8. The Father shows Jesus how to do even greater works than healing. (V20)
#9. In the same way the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he
#10. Jesus has been given the absolute authority to judge. (V22) for the purpose of being recognized and honored in
the same way God the Father is. (V23, 27) His judgement is just, because He is carrying out the will of the
#11. Believe in what Jesus is saying and believe in God who sent him and two things are true:
-You will never be condemned for your sins
-You have already passed from death into life (v24)
#12. Even the dead will be given the opportunity to hear from Jesus, and those who listen will live. (v25)
#13. Just as God the Father has life giving power, this too has been given to Jesus. (V26)
#14. Jesus can do nothing on his own. (v30)
Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything. Proverbs 13:3 NLT
Apt words for today. Reckless speech is being disguised as Free Speech. The personal responsibility each person has to think about the impact of their words is so important. Opening our mouths without taking time to discern the people, place and space that will be impacted is a dangerous action to take.
The phrase “I don’t care what people think” should not be substituted for “I am not responsible for my words and speech.” On the one hand, there is a set of convictions that sometimes require us to stand strong regardless of other people’s perspectives. On the other hand, there is a responsibility to be careful with our words and speech as we make those stands.
This simple verse of scripture speaks a clear truth: control your tongue and you will live longer. Continually open your mouth, and you will be in constant trouble.