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Friday, May 25, 2018

Church is a gas station where we fill up our tanks for the journey ahead. Thankfully, Jesus did not come to the world to tell us we are running on empty. Nor does Jesus judge or condemn us for our sinful ways. As humans, however, we have a thirst for judgment that is never quenched. You name the subject and we are there judging: not good enough, not smart enough, not talented enough, not enough money, not beautiful enough. Who would you rather be around, someone who tells you all the ways you fall short before God or someone who loves, forgives, serves, appreciates and cares for you because they love Jesus?

Jesus didn't come to tell us that we are in desperate need of gas. Instead, God sent Jesus to earth to wash away the sins of the world. In Jesus, you are enough and you have enough. In Jesus, you are saved and forgiven.

O God, help us to hear the good news that you judge us not through our own eyes, but through your one and only Son; it is enough to know that in Him we are forgiven, we are loved, we have been made perfect in your eyes. Amen.

Micah Pearson, '14
Pastor at Woodlake Lutheran Church, Richfield, Minn.

John 3:1-17 (NRSV)

1 Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews.
2 He came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God."
3 Jesus answered him, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above."
4 Nicodemus said to him, "How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?"
5 Jesus answered, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.
6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, "You must be born from above.'
8 The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."
9 Nicodemus said to him, "How can these things be?"
10 Jesus answered him, "Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?
11 "Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony.
12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?
13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.
14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
17 "Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.