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Dr. Jay P. Cook, Pastor

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Defining Our Relationship
John 3:1-15

Let me do a little quiz with you:

One of my favorite books I have read recently is entitled Not A Fan: Becoming A Completely Committed Follower of Jesus by Kyle Idelman.  One of the things that caught my eye was he doesn’t even capitalize his name.  When I read the cover I immediately wondered about the reason he did that. I knew it was intentionally done.  The book is clear that he was doing that to define his relationship with Jesus Christ – his Lord. In the beginning of the book he takes a close look at Nicodemus.  This Pharisee came to Jesus at night, he wants to get to know Jesus better.  
Listen as Michael reads the first 15 verses of John 3. 
John 3:1-15 (NASB)
1 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 have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." 3 Jesus answered and said to 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? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?" 5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into 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 be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' 8 "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit." 9 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can these things be?" 10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? 11 "Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. 12 "If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 "No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. 14 "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.

Conclusion:
Are we willing to follow?  Not just believe, but actually follow.

Two Horses ~ Author Unknown

I read this story not long ago.  There were 2 horses in a field and from a distance, each looks like every other horse. But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing.  Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him.  This alone is amazing.

If you are nearby and listening, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field. Attached to her halter is a small bell. It lets her blind friend know where she is, so he can follow her.

As you stand and watch these two friends, you’ll see how she is always checking on him, and that he will listen for her bell and then slowly walk to where she is and he trusts that she will not lead him astray. When she returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, she stops occasionally and looks back, making sure her friend isn’t too far behind to hear the bell.  It is hard to become the follower but that is what God is calling us to do and be.

Like the owner of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges. He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.

Please click here for slides to accompany the sermon.