Three Years Later

December three years ago I wrote what has become my most popular post. With the hope you have a Christ-filled Christmas, I am reblogging “The Divine Sperm”:

Gabriel had delivered God’s message, but it could not be activated without Mary’s consent. From all the available virgins she was the one who had been chosen; yet she must be willing to submit. Nothing would be forced on her.

The social stigma would be inevitable in her small town. She could expect gossip, suspicion, shame, shunning, possibly stoning. And oh, the pain she would cause her family–her mother, her father–and her fiancé! But there were more lives than hers and theirs at stake.

Gathering up faith to accept the Divine offer with all its known and unknown risks, she gave the waiting Gabriel her answer.  “Then Mary said, Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have said. And the angel left her” (Luke 1:38 AMP). When Mary merged her will into God’s will, the power of the Holy Spirit impregnated her with the Son of God.

Three decades later one man’s worldview was revolutionized when the Son of God discussed supernatural birth with him. Nicodemus, a member of the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body of the Jews, was stunned when “Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God” (John 3:3 AMP).

To Nicodemus, held captive by his inquiring mind as an Old Testament scholar, such an idea was absurd. But to the Son of God, it made perfect sense:  “What is born of [from] the flesh is flesh [of the physical is physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:3 AMP). This rebirth is a choice any individual who wants to become a legitimate child of God can make.

But to all who did receive Him,
He gave them the right to be children of God,
to those who believe in His name,
who were born,
not of blood,
or of the will of the flesh,
or of the will of man,
but of God.
(John 1:12-13 HCSB)

Did the highly educated and socially esteemed Nicodemus activate God’s promise of a new birth? If so, he could only do it with the key of faith. Did he decide to merge his will into God’s will? You be the judge:

After it was all over, Joseph (who came from Arimathaea and was a disciple of Jesus, though secretly for fear of the Jews) requested Pilate that he might take away Jesus’ body, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took his body down. Nicodemus also, the man who had come to him at the beginning by night, arrived bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. So they took his body and wound it round with linen strips with the spices, according to the Jewish custom of preparing a body for burial. In the place where he was crucified, there was a garden containing a new tomb in which nobody had yet been laid. Because it was the preparation day and because the tomb was conveniently near, they laid Jesus in this tomb.
(John 19:38-42 (Phillips)

Decision time comes at the moment we realize God has chosen us to be born again in a spiritual sense. Will we by faith merge our will into God’s will? If we give the consent for His seed to be implanted in our soul, God’s nature will germinate there and never die.

No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God. (1 John 3:9 AMP).

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Who Heard God’s First Double Knock?

The Bible records only eight times when God reiterates someone’s name (Before moving on, you may find it helpful to open God’s Double Knocks.)

Abraham heard the first of God’s double knocks. He was about to slit his son’s throat when God called out “Abraham! Abraham!” (Genesis 22:11 NIV) and stopped the slaying.

How did Abraham get to this place? Through faith’s route. Obedient step-by-step faith in God had led him there.

Periodically, Abraham heard God declare he would become the father of innumerable descendants. After twenty-five years of hearing God repeat it, Abraham struggled to hold on to the promise. His mind couldn’t figure out how it would happen, because he and his wife remained childless. Logically, it was too late for a blood heir. Was there another way God would fulfill His promise?

God listened to Abraham’s troubled mind and assured him that “a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir” (Genesis 15:4 NIV). And that’s what happened.

Abraham, aged one hundred, fathered Isaac by his wife Sarah, aged ninety. The patriarch cradled in his arms tangible proof that God is true to His word. So God’s directive to him years later must have sounded inconceivable:

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you” (Genesis 22:2 NIV).

Surely, this was the most gut-wrenching, agonizing moment in Abraham’s life. Why would God ask this of him? It made no sense to promise him a son, fulfill that promise, and then tell him to kill the promise. Isaac embodied the future.

During the 50-mile trip to Moriah, Abraham had three days to mull it over. And enough time to turn back. But he trekked on with his son beside him. By the time they reached the destination, Abraham had the matter settled in his mind:

He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you” (Genesis 22:5 NIV).

Did you notice “We will come back”? Abraham believed that somehow both he and his son would return alive. Did he think that God would resurrect Isaac? Whatever he thought, Abraham was confident God would keep his word that Isaac was the next conduit for the promised future nations. That belief, however, did not erase carrying out God’s order to sacrifice Isaac.

Abraham stacked stones for an altar . . . arranged wood on the stones . . . wound leather thongs around Isaac’s ankles and wrists . . . laid his submissive son on the wood . . . clasped the knife in his sweaty palm . . . stretched out his hand for the death cut and instantly froze at the sound of God’s urgent double knock.

“Abraham! Abraham! . . . Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son” (Genesis 22:11-12 NIV).

Father Abraham passed God’s proof test for total commitment. At test time may we also trust God Almighty all the way.
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You’ll Find It Eight Times in the Bible

Eight times in the Bible God speaks the one-on-one double knock.

“Double knock” is how F. B. Meyer (1847-1929)–pastor and author–described God’s repeating a person’s name to get that one’s undivided attention. What God was about to say was important, and He wanted the person he had singled out to be aware of its heightened seriousness. When God doubled the person’s name, He was essentially saying, “Listen up.”

Double Knock #1

Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” (Genesis 22:10-12 NIV)

Hold on! Abraham was about to kill his only son because God had told him to do it (Genesis 22:2). When he reached the point of no return, Abraham proved he would obey God no matter the cost–even if that meant his most precious earthly possession. But God did not require the sacrifice. What He wanted was Abraham’s willingness to be faithful and obedient to Him. God is number one.

Double Knock #2

And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again, and Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes.” (Genesis 46:2-4 ESV)

Jacob was scared. He had started a life-changing journey. But wasn’t he too old to be moving to a new country? a new culture? a new language? Shouldn’t he go back and die in his homeland–the land promised to his grandfather Abraham? Jacob needed God’s confirmation he was following His will, and God gave it. God confirms His direction.

Double Knock #3

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” (Exodus 3:4 NIV)

God was going to offer Moses an earth-shattering job, but first He had to get him ready to listen. God knows how to get our attention.

Double Knock #4

The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
(1 Samuel 3:10 NIV)

On the fourth occurrence Samuel did not again mistake the voice he heard as coming from Eli, the priest. The twelve-year-old listened intently as God apprised him of the judgment that would befall Eli’s household. Children are not exempt from knowing God’s business.

Double Knock #5

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

In loving-kindness Jesus corrects Martha. She was so busy doing for Jesus that she was missing out on the pleasure of His company. Enjoy Jesus!

Double Knock #6

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32 NIV)

As He had with Martha, Jesus sought to soothe a troubled heart. In Simon Peter’s case, however, his was yet to come. God is in our future.

Double Knock #7

From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). (Matthew 27:45-46 NIV)

God the Son had carried out perfectly God the Father’s plan for His earthly life. Why the divine desertion? No one knows. But somehow during the three-hour darkness, the obedient Son felt utterly alone–totally abandoned by His Heavenly Father. We, too, may have periods of dark desperation when we cry, “Lord, I have done all you asked of me; why this?” Jesus’ sufferings pass all understanding.

Double Knock #8

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:4 NIV)

Like Moses’ experience, a spectacular event captured Saul’s attention. This was Saul’s spotlighted moment of decision to resist or to yield to Jesus Christ. God lets us decide whether to get into business with Him or not.

Why the urgency of the double knock in the above lives? Visit here in the coming weeks to open those doors.

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The Divine Sperm

Gabriel had delivered God’s message, but it could not be activated without Mary’s consent. From all the available virgins she was the one who had been chosen; yet she must be willing to submit. Nothing would be forced on her.

The social stigma would be inevitable in her small town. She could expect gossip, suspicion, shame, shunning, possibly stoning. And oh, the pain she would cause her family–her mother, her father–and her fiancé! But there were more lives than hers and theirs at stake.

Gathering up faith to accept the Divine offer with all its known and unknown risks, she gave the waiting Gabriel her answer.  “Then Mary said, Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have said. And the angel left her” (Luke 1:38 AMP). When Mary merged her will into God’s will, the power of the Holy Spirit impregnated her with the Son of God.

Three decades later one man’s worldview was revolutionized when the Son of God discussed supernatural birth with him. Nicodemus, a member of the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body of the Jews, was stunned when “Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God” (John 3:3 AMP).

To Nicodemus, held captive by his inquiring mind as an Old Testament scholar, such an idea was absurd. But to the Son of God, it made perfect sense:  “What is born of [from] the flesh is flesh [of the physical is physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:3 AMP). This rebirth is a choice any individual who wants to become a legitimate child of God can make.

But to all who did receive Him,
He gave them the right to be children of God,
to those who believe in His name,
who were born,
not of blood,
or of the will of the flesh,
or of the will of man,
but of God.
(John 1:12-13 HCSB)

Did the highly educated and socially esteemed Nicodemus activate God’s promise of a new birth? If so, he could only do it with the key of faith. Did he decide to merge his will into God’s will? You be the judge:

After it was all over, Joseph (who came from Arimathaea and was a disciple of Jesus, though secretly for fear of the Jews) requested Pilate that he might take away Jesus’ body, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took his body down. Nicodemus also, the man who had come to him at the beginning by night, arrived bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. So they took his body and wound it round with linen strips with the spices, according to the Jewish custom of preparing a body for burial. In the place where he was crucified, there was a garden containing a new tomb in which nobody had yet been laid. Because it was the preparation day and because the tomb was conveniently near, they laid Jesus in this tomb.
(John 19:38-42 (Phillips)

Decision time comes at the moment we realize God has chosen us to be born again in a spiritual sense. Will we by faith merge our will into God’s will? If we give the consent for His seed to be implanted in our soul, God’s nature will germinate there and never die.

No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God. (1 John 3:9 AMP).

9781490808949_COVER.indd