As the New Year dawns and we look at the old year, many of us look back
with disappointment and forward with despair. How can we do better in
the coming year unless we are made better? That question is answered for
you in today’s attached devotional. God bless you!
Because of Calvary,
John 3:1-8 (ESV)
3 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
“Regeneration as an act of God occurs in the unconscious depths of our being. We know it only by its effects. Though the convert may not be aware of it at the time, yet in his first true desires for Christ, and in his first glimpses of the Savior’s divine glory, he has already passed from death to life. He knows that his faith and his submission are his own free acts but more has happened than he knows. In the words of Archibald Alexander on the rebirth: ‘The soul, though operated on by an almighty power, is conscious of no restraint, unless it be the sweet constraint of the love of Christ, but the more powerful it is, the more freely does the soul seem to act. Under the sweet influence of grace, the affections spontaneously go forth to him.” [Iain H. Murray, Revival & Revivalism: The Making and Marring of American Evangelicalism 1750-1858, (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1994), p. 352-353]