Face to Face - Part 3 [Devo]

Learn By Heart

Face to Face, Part3

I got pretty good grades in school. I was a mostly-A student. I thought I knew how to study and take a test, and figured I knew just about everything by the time I graduated high school. Then I went to college. There was certainly an adjustment period. I learned some more, figured out how to truly study (hint, actually read the book you spent hundreds of dollars on), and was definitely an expert on everything by college graduation. Then, there was the real world. In my case, this meant teaching in a high school Biology classroom. All the study in classroom management and Biology curriculum in the world will not prepare you to be in a real life classroom with real live kids. In a lot of ways, I felt like I was starting over — learning and applying, and truly understanding for the first time. (And sometimes, flying by the seat of my pants and hoping no one would notice.)

This Sunday, Pastor Tim continued the Face to Face summer series, focusing on Jesus’ first interaction with Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a member of the Sanhedrin, a leader and scholar and all around “big deal.” Yet, he came to Jesus and confessed that he did not understand when Jesus said,
“I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” - John 3:3
Nicodemus had all of the titles and education. He was likely among the elite in his devotion to God. Yet, Jesus admonished him saying,
“Are you a teacher of Israel and don’t know these things?” - John 3:10
The things to which Jesus was referring included being born again, of water and Spirit, and believing in the Son of Man. This was completely new to Nicodemus. He even asked Jesus if He meant we had to re-enter our mother’s womb to be born a second time. All of his study and devotion had not prepared him for this concept. His faith had to shift, to start over, to come to terms with the concept of sin and the need to be changed by God, through acceptance of his sinful condition. Nicodemus had relied on rules and memorization of texts to achieve his place as a religious leader, but the true application of this new concept from Jesus wasn’t study and fasting and tithing… it was faith. He knew the Word by heart, but he needed to learn to use his heart, to turn all things over to God.  

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we expect to know it all. We’ve prepared and feel confident, then find ourselves confronted by a whole new reality. When the world shifts, we can follow the example of Nicodemus and choose faith. We can be born again by recognizing our sins and turning to Jesus to save us. As Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:16,
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."
Michelle Lemley, Nursery Coordinator
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