Free to become the person God intended
I want to be free! I want to be me!
It sounds great - free to be me.
Travelling, friends, music, sport, hobbies and reputation.
I want to be free! I want to be me!
But could you do even better?
What about becoming the person that God intended you to be?
Wow! That’s quite a challenge - but with God’s help it can become reality.
It may involve getting top marks in exams, doing well in your career, or excelling in sport.
It may involve learning to drive, getting married or finding a home of your own.
But it might not.
Becoming the person that God intended you to be - is less about doing and more about being.
Being transformed on the inside:
The Bible calls this being "Born Again."
And the amazing thing is that everyone needs to be born again.
Good or bad.
Rich or poor.
Young or old.
We all need to be transformed on the inside.
Take a look at the two people below - Zacchaeus and Nicodemus.
They were two very different types of people.
One was widely respected - the other was despised.
But they both needed to be transformed.
And what a transformation we see in the life of Zacchaeus!
We can all be transformed by God.
He can change us on the inside:
Transforming the "real me" inside the "visible me."
If you ask him - you too can be Born Again.
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.’ So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
All the people saw this and began to mutter, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.’
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.’
Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’
Luke 19:1-10 (NIV)
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.’
Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’
‘How can someone be born when they are old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!’
Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again.” The 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.’
‘How can this be?’ Nicodemus asked.
‘You are Israel’s teacher,’ said Jesus, ‘and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven – the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.’
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
John 3:1-17 (NIV)