Monday, August 11, 2008

float, my friends, float!!!

a continuation of yesterday's post:

may this be worthy of your time:)

1. what does this passage (just john 3:16) mean to you???
until i was 30 years old, this passage meant to me literally what it says. it meant that so long as i believed that Jesus Christ was the son of God that i would go to heaven because Jesus died on the cross so that i would have eternal life (if i believed).
but, for all those years, although i believed,
i felt like there was something missing.

2. can it stand alone in encompassing the basic nature of Christianity???
it can stand alone. way more often than not, it does, and i believe that those who publicize it, truly believe that it encompasses the essence of Christianity.
although i think it is a beautiful piece of scripture, i don't think it should ever stand alone because there's something missing.

3. do you think that taken from context it is misleading???
i find this verse very misleading. why??? it misled me for a very long time. and, i have found, since, that it misleads others.

4. should it be taken from context???
in my opinion, it should rarely be taken from context because it is more of a "chicken soup" remedy than an antibiotic (if you will:)...

5. do you think that this passage is used so often that it has lost the affect it was intended to have on john's readers???
i believe that if you see anything too much and in too many places it becomes commercialized and loses its value.


i believe that john, in his third chapter, conveys EVERYTHING someone searching for God needs to know.

John 3
Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
1Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."
3In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.[a]"

4"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"

5Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You[c] must be born again.' 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

9"How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.

10"You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? 11I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.[d] 14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.[e]

16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[f] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.[g] 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."[h]

i will try to be brief in explaining
how it happened for me...

Jesus says "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit."
water is a cleansing of sin, one needs to ask GOD with a true heart to ask for forgiveness for one's own sins (one by one) no matter how long it takes to do so.
why??? it clears a path straight to GOD for communication!!! (no road blocks)

the SPIRIT of God is sent to those who ask. the SPIRIT of GOD is real and is JESUS. and HE promised to send it to those who asked...
even his disciples had to receive it in order to truly understand (Pentecost).
without the SPIRIT, the disciples would have never had the truth, understanding, and boldness to go out and spread the WORD!!!
the SPIRIT is essential!!!
Jesus doesn't walk the earth anymore. so, the only way i believe you can know Him is through the gift of the SPIRIT.
further, many can believe THAT Jesus walked the earth and THAT He is the Son of God.
but, in order to believe IN Jesus as the Son of God, one has to know HIM. that can only come through a personal relationship with HIM, which can ONLY come through the SPIRIT, which can only come through clearing the road to GOD and praying that he send you this MOST precious GIFT.
the Spirit is what is needed to understand the whole truth of Jesus!!!
the Spirit is awesome!!!
the Spirit didn't take away who i am!!!
the Spirit increased me by giving me what i was missing...
the blessed assurance that my eternity was with God in heaven who loves me...
UNCONDITIONALLY... flaws and all!!!

when i say john 3:16 shouldn't be taken from context, it's only my opinion because of from where i come. but, i tell you the truth, "one must clear the path to God through asking for forgiveness (it's a cleansing for oneself (not for HIM)), and one MUST invite the Spirit of GOD to dwell within (because think about it; it's impossible to believe "IN" a someone you don't know personally; it's the same with GOD)!!!

thank you all for your comments yesterday; and i apologize if i've totally confused anyone with my opinion!!! hopefully and prayerfully i haven't...

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

ps... i am only a Christian. my beliefs are my very own and are not affiliated with any particular denomination... as i went to both a catholic and a baptist church when i was younger and later joined the methodist church.
by the way, i found God...
in my very own bedroom!!!
lol, really!!!


MoziEsmé said...

Valid points - there is definitely a need to be born again; to die to self and live in Christ. Is believing in Christ making it all the way there?

I guess my take is that I must choose to be born again to be saved - and believing in Christ gets me there - but that ongoing death to self is a never-ending process, and fortunately my salvation is not dependent on how successful I am at this, but on how accepting I am of God's gift to cover my flaws.

dani said...

i agree, esme's mom:) i guess my point is that for me my born again experience happened after i believed THAT Jesus was the son of GOD. but before i truly believed in the truth that became aparent through the Spirit:)

Jan said...

I appreciate your fervent fire in your beliefs in this scripture. It really conveyed a strong testimony that you have in your Savior.

I also believe that the Spirit is essential in leading all to truths. I love the Spirit also. Very much. He has testified to me many times in my askings. I am grateful for that.

I think I was also in my bedroom when I gained my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was in there for 2 weeks in my PJ's asking and praying and repenting. It came and I have never been the same. I was changed. It is a very personal experience isn't it? And a very solid when it is yours.

Thanks for your sharing in your thoughts and beliefs. I really enjoyed it.

dani said...

"solid" is a very good word, jan:)
i wonder how many more have found God at home in their pajamas praying/pleading for Him to reveal Himself???
i would imagine more than either of us could EVEN imagine:) the reality of Him has made all the difference in my life:)
have a great day!!!

Tabitha said...

Thank you so much for this and your last post Dani ~ You have explained your opinion and your beliefs so well!!

I believe in god and believe in the power of prayer very strongly ~ I suppose I just do not have strong opinions on this ~ I have never really thought too deeply about what it means to me ~ but now your post has made me really think and I want to thank you for that!!
You are truly a wonderful person Dani and I am so thankful that our lives crossed and we found each other!! You have made me laugh, made me cry ~ really made me think about things ~ and all that through your blog ~ as we have never ever met!!
Love and heaps of hugs to you

Shannon said...

Just to share with you when I felt Christ come into my life. I have always gone to church. I grew up going on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. I went through all of the motions because this is what and how I was taught to believe. Although most of my friends were getting baptized I never truly felt worthy...therefore never did. It wasn't until I got married and had a child until I truly realized the love my Lord has for me. I truly accepted Christ and surrendered myself to him when we baptized Sam. Rick baptized me the same day. It was then that I felt the holy spirit enter my body. I can remember sitting in the church pew and I asked God to come into my heart and open my eyes to see and my ears to hear that I felt this overwhelming sensation.
When I think of the Scripture John 3:16 I literally picture Jesus Christ on the cross and the suffering he endured for my sins. It only makes me want to serve him more.
I don't believe you have to be in a church to accept Christ..I just happened to be at FUMC at the time.

This may sound odd to you, but before I got to know you, people would often talk about your relationship with God. Almost as if HE spoke to you directly. I have often thought of you as being an angel on earth...does that sound corky...if so ...sorry.

dani said...

thank you, tabitha... i don't know really what spurred me yesterday other than God, Himself... i feel so strongly that people have to find Him on their own because it is such an intimate relationship. so, i'm try not to push anyone.
but, if i can help someone clear the path to Him, i will. getting to know Him was/is the most amazing experience if have ever known!!!
heaps of hugs and love to you all too,

dani said...

shannon, your experience sounds exactly like mine just differnt places (and different wardrobes, ha;)!!!
there have been times that i have been so close to God that i would swear i could truly reach out and touch Him. there have been many times that i have prayed so hard it has drained me. during those times He quickly answered my questions and literally showed me what was going to happen next and what i needed to do...
but, i am no angel. i am just dani as i said "flawed and all"... i have/do allow Him to make use of me; and sometimes He takes me up on my offer:) (only HE knows why because i don't!!!)
thank you, shannon, for sharing that with me. i never knew.

Tanya said...

Another beautiful post Dani! God has indeed chosen wisely (as only he could) through your testimony you have opened the eyes of many & let's hope & pray they choose to float!! I would say God has used you well!

Thank you my beautiful friend :)

Tanya xxxx

Wendi said...

I really enjoyed this little glimpse into your heart! Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hi gorgeous Dani - I'm Vanessa and I love reading your positive, uplifting comments on Sheye's blog.

I went to church for the very first time last year (aged 35). I look forward to reading over your blog and learning from you, a wonderful Christian lady - Vanessa xxxx

dani said...

thank you, t... i really felt it important. i hope it's because someone out there needed to read it. i hope that it helps someone without offending anyone:)
wouldn't it be awesome to think that Jesus' testimony to nicodemus on my little blog might keep someone sinking from drowning??? it would be awesome, indeed, t!!!

dani said...

thank you, wendi:) my words are not beautiful like yours... but, my relationship with God is beautiful. i think i wrote these posts like i did because there are times that i feel like i have an open window just to lay it all on the line. i really felt like GOd opened that window of opportunity yesterday!!!
shall something blesses come from it:)

dani said...

and, hi back to you, gorgeous vanessa:) i'm so happy you stopped to say hello, and thank you.
when you read me, i think you are going to find that i am a regular person who believes strongly in God and prayer but also a person who has never lost site of who she is (ha!, i am). feel free to return anytime!!!

E and T said...

Hi Dani

What a thought provoking post. I have always taken that passage literally and visualise a scene of Jesus on the cross, who made the ultimate sacrifice so we could all have eternal life.

Thank you for sharing your views, it makes me evaluate my own opinions and beliefs.

In the past, I have been guilty of turning to God usually in times of need, but as I have become older I have noticed that my relationship with our Heavenly Father is more balanced. Now in my prayers I also give thanks to Him for everything that he has blessed me with. I very much believe in the power of prayer; asking for forgiveness and being thankful.

Lots of love to you

Anonymous said...


Wonderful thoughts.

I too gained my testimony of the redeeming power of the atonement in my bedroom. My life has never been the same. As you and Jan said, Solid is the right word here. When you have been changed by the Spirit, nothing is ever the same. It was and still is beautiful. I wish my children the same experience when they are older.
I love you Dani for this wonderful 2 day post. I think those who expressed their opinions here or read these posts are closer because of it.

Purple Teacup said...

Dani- you are such a blessing to me. I was a Christian 'in a box' for most of my life and I was always struggling. I knew I was saved by Jesus no matter what, but only recently have begun to understand my freedom in Him. Are you going to seminary anytime soon? =)

dani said...

hi, elise:) i just wanted to share that there is so much more than what meets the eye at times...
i hope blake is feeling better with his little tummy:)
take care!!!

dani said...

jenn, i really just expounded on your comments from my previous post. it's funny that you found God in your bedroom, too... i think it probably happens a lot outside of the church because there's so much "order of business" going on in church on sunday mornings... church is, however, where i believe the seeds are planted:)
have a lovely day!!!

dani said...

shannon, the TRUTH really does set you free; doesn't it!!! that unconditional love and assurance that you are HIS allows you to fly just as you are...
i was working on a masters in biblical studies when i became ill and never completed my post grad degree (i just wanted to learn more and maybe write). i'm not the preacher type, ha!!! and, i've never had the calling. but, if i can share the greatest joy of my life, i will and do.
thank you for your kind words:)

SuzanSayz said...

Dani, thanks for pointing out to me how remiss I have beenwith my blogging. I was thinking it had been just a couple of days that my current post had been up, when I looked at it to see what day it had been put up I was shocked to see it was WEDNESDAY!!!!!!
I will try to get a new post out today. Friends don't let friends neglect their blogs ;D

Jan said...

Great great comments in here. I bet this has been very moving for you as well as the readers. Wonderful.

About the table. Worldly here ;)

This table was in a garage for years and years. It was well out of there way before the fire. Most of the furniture from the original family, has been sold throughout the land. I have no idea what damage occured with the furniture in there. It was arson by the owners. Isn't that selfish.

dani said...

ha!!! suz, i promise i wasn't begging for a comment:b i just wondered where in the world you'd been:? i'm just relieved that all is well with you!!!

dani said...

oh, that is very selfish!!! it's funny john found ours in one of his aunt's barns (it, too, had been there for years). he refinished it, and i wouldn't take anything for it!!!

Bren's Life said...

Dani- I am just so touched by your thoughts & feelings. You are just too sweet.
I completely agree with you to know our Savior Jesus Christ you have to gain your own relationship with him. You need to pray & study & ask him for his help in learning & understanding of his infinate love for us.
We are all Children of God, he loves each one of us. You can know all these things through the Holy Ghost and building your faith..
Thank you for this thought provoking post.
Have a Great Day!

dani said...

you are so welcome, bren:) i pray that these 2 posts will make a difference for someone searching!!!