Inside and Out

No one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.—John 3:3

A few years ago a publisher made a big mistake. A book had been on the market for several years, so it was time for a makeover. The author rewrote the book to bring it up to date. But when the revision was published, there was a problem. The publisher gave the book a nice new cover but printed the old book inside.

The exterior was fresh and new, but the interior was old and out of date. This “reprint” was not really new at all.

Sometimes that kind of thing happens with people. They realize a change needs to be made in life. Things are heading in the wrong direction. So they may put on a new exterior without making a vital change in their heart. They may change a behavior on the outside but may not realize that it is only God who can change us on the inside.

In John 3, Nicodemus sensed that because Jesus came “from God” (v. 2) He offered something very different. What Jesus told Nicodemus made him realize that He offered nothing short of a rebirth (v. 4): He needed to be “born again,” to be made totally new (v. 7).

That change comes only through faith in Jesus Christ. That’s when “the old has gone, the new is here” (2 Cor. 5:17). Do you need a change? Put your faith in Jesus. He’s the one who changes your heart and makes all things new. —Dave Branon

Lord, I now know that changes on the outside—behavior, looks, attitude—don’t change me inside. I put my faith in Jesus, who died on the cross and rose again to forgive my sins. Make me new on the inside—in my soul.

How has your life been changed by Jesus? Share it with us at odb.org.

Only God can make us new.

INSIGHT: A central theme in John is that it isn’t possible to be neutral about Jesus. We need to make a choice—either to live in the life, light, and joy found in Him, or to remain in darkness (3:19-21). But Jesus was patient in explaining the good news of transformation available through Him, knowing that understanding the gospel requires being “taught by God” (6:45).  Monica Brands


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