Summary: God has a place for the unlikely, places where the Lord will direct us to GIVE. Let’s look quickly at seven unlikely and perhaps unexpected ways we can give: Unlikely places to give because your sins are forgiven.
UNLIKELY - Your Place to Give with Open Hands
John 3:7-8 MsgB
“So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.”
God has a place for the unlikely; the wind of the Spirit will blow us into surprising places to accomplish His purpose in our lives.
The Holy Spirit continues to surprise us; one breath of God is not enough.
Nicodemus found himself surprised by the place God brought him. Nicodemus thought he was good with God. He struggled to understand the God wanted him to be born again. Jesus explained this spiritual rebirth as being of the Spirit - the wind or breath of God.
The “PNEUMA” quickens us to be “born again” or “born from above.”
The Greek word PNEUMA is translated as both WIND and SPIRIT
Nicodemus understood this word play because it works the same way with the Hebrew word RAUCH. Rauch likewise is translated as both wind and spirit - it can also be translated breath. Here is what Nicodemus understood:
The root of rauch is simply rah, which is translated as a verb TRAVEL or as a noun PATH. Nicodemus understood this carried the idea of a PRESCRIBED PATH or what we might think of as a routine.
The wind follows a prescribed path - we don’t know the path the wind follows, but the wind does not deviate from the path determined for it to follow. The wind blows bringing the changing seasons; it accomplishes its purpose along it’s prescribed path.
The prescribed path of the wind likewise illustrates the idea behind rauch also meaning BREATH. Every breath we take follows the path of being inhaled and exhaled. Our breath follows this path without deviation and without our conscious thought; breath moves in and out according to the prescribed path giving us life.
Similarly, the spirit is the breath of a person following the prescribed path or purpose to breathe out the life and creativity within the individual. In the same way the wind is invisible but brings the changing of the seasons, so too the invisible spirit within an individual accomplishes the desires or purposes within the person. Therefore, the Holy Spirit breaths into our lives to fulfill God’s creative purpose in our lives.
Jesus wanted Nicodemus to remember the creative power of God’s Spirit.
Genesis 1:1-2 NIV
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Job 33:4 NIV
The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Nicodemus recognized the “pneuma” (wind/spirit) as the Spirit of God because God and the Spirit, are an unbreakable unity. They are ONE.
Therefore, when Jesus tells Nicodemus no one enters the kingdom of God unless they have been born of the Spirit - the rauch or pneuma - Nicodemus rightly understands the Spirit to be the Spirit of God.
Nicodemus understood something else: The Spirit of God is the Messiah - this too is the unbreakable unity of who God is.
This is the teaching of Jewish Rabbis passed down to Nicodemus and the Jews living in the days of Jesus: “From the time of creation constant reference is made in the Holy [Scriptures] to Messiah and the Messianic hope of Israel. ‘The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters’; ‘The Spirit of God means Messiah.’” This is what Nicodemus studied in the writings of the Madras of Genesis 2 and Leviticus in the Rabbah 2 and 14.
The New Testament demonstrates the unbreakable unity of God as the Spirit of God and Messiah are one. ⇛ Luke 4:14, 18 NIV
14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit. . . .18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me. . .”
The Spirit and Jesus the Messiah are ONE. Therefore Jesus is not a mystery or unknowable, but makes Himself known to us by the Spirit - His breath, His Wind - in us.
Like Nicodemus we too are surprised; the wind of the Spirit brings us to unlikely places. God desires to transform our lives by the wind or Spirit of God. The Spirit that blows into our lives is the breath of Messiah, God’s anointed one. Jesus, the Messiah, the Spirit of God, the breath of God, the wind of God are all ONE.