John 1:12-13 English Standard Version (ESV) 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
Today’s bible verse became very meaningful to me today. I’ve read the words before but I had a nightmare last night and woke up feeling manipulated and guilty. Those are two very strong emotions from my past. That past is gone and over thanks to God.
Not of blood speaks to me that my parents are not to blame nor do they get the credit. They did not lead me into Kingdom living but their failures left me with a longing for something more.
The will of the flesh speaks to me about chasing after happiness and never finding it. Nothing I did to try and make myself happy filled that longing. Mistakes were made and only made me feel the worse for it.
Then I was born again and the past had nothing to do with my change, my rebirth, it was totally God’s will to do so. Being a child of the living God is nothing like having earthly parents. There is no way to compare this experience with the past except to say I am where I was meant to be from the moment I was born.
We all have a past that led us to Jesus Christ and every tale is different, even if similar. That is not unlike being born again. We are all children of God, the same yet different. How we are the same is in how God loves us with His perfect love. How we respond to that perfect love differs in each of us because pf who we were in the past and how that knowledge affects our love response.
Luke 7:47 English Standard Version (ESV) Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
Matthew 5:14,16 English Standard Version (ESV) “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
These are not all the words for these verses and 15 is missing altogether. When writers are trying to make a point we often leave out parts that do not convey the message we intend to relay. We are not being evasive of misleading. Readers are encouraged to look at the whole message.
Readers should not try to read into truncation as manipulation. Brevity can be useful but it does not offer up a full range of discussion. This was the daily verse from BibleGateway.com and not part of a discussion group. Writers who do blogs would appreciate questions and exchange of ideas. Brevity can sometimes encourage that effort.
If verse 15 is missing, why is it missing? That is the first thing that comes to mind for me. Is it worthy of a discussion? Probably but placing that one verse without context could be misleading. We lose the tenor of placement in the whole chapter. It is part of the Sermon on the Mount and comes after the beatitudes. Jesus used the beatitudes to set up the verses that follow, setting the stage as it were.
Blogs and daily devotionals cannot treat a subject in its context and if a point is going to be made or discussed truncating can be a valuable tool to deliver a concise subject. Jesus is the ultimate motivational speaker. He stirs listeners like no one else. He does so by the Spirit of God.
When reading a daily devotional or blog the spirit may possibly stir the reader to investigate further and that is our hope, that God stirs. What interests us and the points we make may not be what God wants to say to the individual. No devotional or blog writer wants our messages to be the only communication the reader has with God.
Respond to His stirring.