"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

This is the crisis we're in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won't come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is." (John 3:16-21, The Message)

For some reason, I was thinking about the hook to one of James Brown's hit songs:

I don't want nobody to give me nothing
Open up the door, I'll get it myself

The historical backdrop into which this song entered the scene, is very significant to the lyrics.

But more significant than that is the backdrop of my personal life which these words illuminated.

While I sang and partied to the song with outward confidence that I didn't need anyone to give me anything, inside I was dead.

What do I mean?

I needed someone to give me life.

I needed someone to open the door to that life.

I needed someone to show me how to get, have, and live this life.

It was in this state of dying that I came to know life in Christ Jesus.

So now I sing:

I do want Adonai to give me Jesus
He is the door through which I receive the Holy Spirit, to live the real life


Scripture taken from The Message. ©1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

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