Daniel Fast 2023

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Message Text

John 3:1-17

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. ” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Message Notes

1.Real love is not spontaneous, it is planned.

John 3:16 God so loved He gave…

God planned to express His love to us by giving His Son.

Love is not always associated with an emotion. If you wait until you feel it, you may never act.

God had a plan from the beginning. Gen 3:15

2. Real love is often misunderstood.

Nicodemus did not understand Jesus when He was describing God’s plan of salvation.

The disciples did not understand Jesus when he described His death and resurrection.

Mark records 3 times that Jesus tells them He was going to die and each time He has to instruct them on what their plan should look like.

Mark 8:31, Mark 9:30-31, Mark 10:33-34

3.Real love wins in the end

Mohamed Ali used the rope a dope to win the Rumble in the Jungle against George Foreman in 1974.

Love often looks like we are being taken advantage of in the middle.

If love is our plan we can forgive

If love is our plan we can endure

If love is our plan we can give

Connect Group Discussion Questions

  1. Give your definition of what love looks like.
  2. Why is it necessary to have a plan to love others?
  3. What are some ways you have “Planned” to love others?
  4. Why is love often misunderstood?
  5. What are some of the more difficult aspects of love Jesus called us to live out in Matthew Chapter 5?
  6. Give an example of how love always wins in the end.