Finding the right ‘SOULution’: no mere restoration
I once had an old car that was in dire need of restoration. It looked old, rusted and ready for the junk heap. In addition to the physical facelift that it needed, it also needed some mechanical surgery.
After my dad and I were able to breathe some new life into the worn-down engine, give it a long awaited brake job and muffler, tune-up, new tires — the works! — it was time to concentrate on the physical appearance of the old car.
The body work on the car required body filler and numerous cans of robin egg blue spray paint. Finally, the project was finished. Although the car wasn’t new … I could still proudly line it up alongside anything else on the high school parking lot. It was all mine … bought and paid for!
We sometimes treat life as if a tune-up, new tires and a paint job will fix the rust and decay of our spirit. The spirit, however, is one thing that cannot be restored: it must be renewed!
In the story of Jesus and Nicodemus (John 3:1-21) in the Bible, we find Nicodemus in the same predicament in which many find themselves today. He needed a life-change, a renewal. He wanted truth and he was searching for the answer … the solution.
Jesus’ answer to Nicodemus’ query was: “ … Ye must be born again” (John 3:7). Nicodemus didn’t need religion … after all, he was a ruler of the religious Pharisees! He didn’t need acclaim … for he was a ruler of the Jews! He didn’t realize his real need until he sought out Jesus: he needed to be born-again!
Jesus provides a peculiar and unexpected response to the Pharisees question. Jesus went beyond the words of Nicodemus’ real problem. God is not impressed by elaborate attire, position or a wall covered with degrees. He knew why Nicodemus had come to him. He knew of his problems, troubles and concerns.
Jesus responds to a ‘religious’ man with a ‘spiritual’ answer. All of man’s wealth, all of man’s position in life, all of man’s power, and certainly … all of man’s ‘religion’ could not assure eternal life!
Jesus provided the ‘SOULution’ to Nicodemus’ concerns: “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5)
People spend endless hours and exorbitant finances to bring about personal change to their lives. They seek out the most famous designers, the most learned psychiatrists and the most experienced plastic surgeons to restore their bodies and minds. And still, there exists a great void that man cannot fill.
You are not obscure from Jesus’ radar. He knows of your problems, troubles and concerns. Jesus knows precisely what your worn-down existence needs. And it is not something that is purchased, packaged or painted. People need the new, born-again, Spirit-filled life that only Jesus Christ can provide … not some temporary fix that a mere restoration can offer.