My mind and my thoughts finally drifted back into my body just in time to see the flashing red lights in my rear view mirror. “What the heck?” What had I done to warrant this traffic stop? I reran in my thoughts my drive thus far, and where in the world had that policeman been? I couldn’t remember any violation I had committed but if I was truthful to myself, I really wasn’t all there as I pulled out of my driveway a few moments ago. My thoughts were rotating through my long list of things I needed to get accomplished that day. I had been gone off and on the entire summer and now all my travels had taken a toll on everyday life. I was shooting from behind the eight ball. And now this. I didn’t have time to get pulled over. I had things to do and places to go. I took a deep breath, got out my driver’s license and my insurance card, and rolled down my window.
“Ma’am, I’m pulling you over because you never even slowed at that stop sign.” “What stop sign?” I thought. I had been so preoccupied; I didn’t even notice the stop sign that I pass at least three times every week.
“Man, pull it together Kellye!” “Get in the moment!” “Breathe and pay attention to all that surrounds you in the here and now!” These were my shake up thoughts as I received my $129 traffic citation.
Kevin got pulled over a few weeks ago also, and for the exact same reason. And because of that, I didn’t mind confessing my traffic slip up. There was one big difference: Kevin charmed his way out of a traffic ticket. Man, I’m going to have to learn the art of smoozeling.
I confess all this now on the World Wide Web because I have paid my dues. I coughed up the $129 to the city of Bixby for my transgression against their traffic laws. Seems as though they don’t take kindly to people failing to stop at stop signs and thus risking collision with innocent bystanders. I get that!
I use this worldly experience to tell of a spiritual violation. Too often that is what I do with John chapter three, and especially John 3:16. Most of us are able to quote that verse by the time we turn 10. It’s posted at most NFL games. We read it on billboards. This verse is so prevalent to us that we have grown accustomed to it. Or at least I have. It is so common to me that I have become oblivious to it. Just like that stop sign I happened to roll through the other day. As I sit here and study on this conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus, I am looking in my rear view mirror and I am seeing flashing red lights. They are warning lights telling me to stop. Slow down and come to a complete end to my forward motion. I cannot approach this chapter with a lackadaisical haphazard attitude. Don’t read on. Don’t skim through these verses. Don’t come to a California roll. Stop. Take a look at each word because they are life to you. These words are everlasting. Though each generations passes, these words have lived on through the centuries. And for those who believed these words, they have brought everlasting life to them. But for those who failed to stop at these words, they have brought everlasting condemnation to their being. That’s what this chapter says. I’m just stating the facts.
“Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter his mother’s womb again and be born?” Jesus answered, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, unless a man is born of water and even the Spirit, he cannot ever enter the kingdom of God. What is born of the flesh is flesh (of the physical is physical) and what if born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:4-6 AMP
I use the Amplified Version because it make the emphasis, “he cannot ever enter the kingdom of God.” Unless God breathes His Spirit into a person that said person will never ever enter the kingdom of God. Never ever. There is no passing “Go” in the monopoly game of life. There is only an everlasting stop for prison. That’s it.
The word spirit in the Greek is pneuma. One of its meanings is breath.
“Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground a breathed into his nostrils the breath of spirit of life, and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7 AMP
The first man came to live, and move because God breathed His breath into Adam. Because of the very breath of God flowing through Adam’s lungs, Adam got animation. We need God’s breath to wake us up spiritually. We cannot enter into God’s kingdom without that breath.
Slow down. Make a complete stop at John chapter three. These words are our salvation from eternal separation from God.
You might think I am making light of my traffic stop. I’m not. I’m thankful nothing catastrophic happened because of my absentmindness. I broke the law and I had to pay the price. I shutter to think of other outcomes just because my mind was wandering and I wasn’t fully aware of my surroundings. I say all that to make note of this life giving principle. Pay attention to the words of John chapter 3. Pay attention to every single one of them. Be present in the moment as you read through. Every single one of us has broken the Law of God. The price for that violation is death, but Jesus paid our violation ticket with his blood. Take heed to Jesus’ words the eternal ramifications can either be life or death to you. I urge you to choose life.