Tender HeartsHow can we avoid being spiritually stubborn and unresponsive to God?
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Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to
spiritual life (John 3:6).
Someday I want to go skydiving. While I’m not
overly fond of heights, I think there’s something
incredible about jumping out of an airplane with
a parachute (and an instructor soaring tandem with me!).
As kids, my sister and I would jump off our second-story
deck into the huge mounds of snow that covered our
front yard in the dead of winter. One time I even jumped
off the roof of a friend’s house (single story) into the deep
end of a pool. As a general rule, though, I don’t jump off
buildings. I’m convinced that gravity is real.
When it comes to spiritual things, we can’t separate
what we believe is real from the way we act. John 3:16
is priceless in communicating the truth of God’s love for
us. Our beliefs are not measured by our mental assent to
Jesus being the Lord of our lives, but by the actions we
live out in submission to Him.
John 3:33 says, “He who has received His testimony
has set his seal to this, that God is true” (NASB). Those
who believe put their confidence in the reality that God—
and His Word—are true. Because they understand the
connection between belief and obedience (Joshua 22:5;
John 3:36), they are convinced to the point of action.
Jesus paid the price so we could have the abundant,
free life He promises (John 8:31-32, 10:10). To choose
Christ is to become a new creation, not by our own
works but by His grace—the same grace that empowers
us to act in accordance with our belief (2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Timothy 1:9).
We cheapen the cross when our Christianity goes no deeper than to
acknowledge in our minds that Jesus is the Son of God. Even the demons
recognized as much (Luke 4:33-35; James 2:19). May our actions reflect our
belief in Jesus. —Regina Franklin
Read John 14:14
to see the connection
between the work of the
Holy Spirit in us and our
obedience to Jesus.
Can those who know you
see a difference between
the “old” and “new”
you? (John 3:21). How
has your belief in the
Word of God penetrated
your life to the point of
changing your actions?
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