Scriptures: Genesis 12:1-4, John 3:1-17

Abram was 75 years old.  He had lived in Haran most of his life.  He had his family and friends in Haran.  I assume Abram graduated from the Haran High School.  Even his parents were buried in Haran.

One day God called Abram to leave Haran.  God said, “Abram, leave your hometown, friends and family and go to a place that I will show you.”  God didn’t say, “Go to Canaan or the Promised Land.”  God didn’t tell him where he was going.  Why?  Because, “I, God, will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.”  That was an attractive promise to an old man with no children.

So, Abram took Sarai and went as God had told him.  He stepped out of his comfortable peaceful life in Haran.  Into the road ahead of him to spend his retirement years following a God with no name.  He was no longer called Abram of Haran, but he would be Abram of unknown place.

That is faith!  God said, “Jump.” Abram didn’t ask in which direction, he just jump.  God said, “Step out Old man.”  In faith, Abram did it.

God is always asking people to step out in faith.  God asked Noah to build an ark because there would be a flood.  God asked Moses to go to Pharaoh and deliver the slaves because God told him to.

That is faith.  Faith is stepping out of our comfortable zone because God is calling us to.  It means trusting God’s promises and God’s word even though we don’t understand or can’t see how they are true.  Faith means taking a chance on a promise we don’t fully understand.

The Bible tells us it is through Faith that we are saved.  Abraham couldn’t make himself a great nation, but God did because Abram trusted God.  Likewise, we can’t save ourselves.  We can’t find happiness, peace and joy on our own.  But God can give us all those things.  If we will only trust the Almighty God.

This is what Jesus was talking about to Nicodemus.  Nicodemus, like Abram, lived a comfortable life.  As a Pharisee, he had position, power and wealth.  But that couldn’t buy him what he really needed.  He needed to restore a relationship with God.  He needed the Kingdom of Heaven.

Nicodemus came to Jesus by night and said, “Jesus, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God.  No one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.”  Jesus knew what Nicodemus wanted before he even asked.  He knew that Nicodemus was missing the Kingdom of God.  So, Jesus said, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God without being born from above.”  But Nicodemus still didn’t understand!  So, he asked, “How in the world can I go back into my mother’s womb and be born again?”

Jesus told him you have to be born of water and the Spirit.  Jesus was referring to the water of womb but he also was referring to the water of Baptism, and the Holy Spirit that comes only from above.  You have to start all over again, and make a new beginning.  This beginning is not your own doing.  It is not a work of the flesh.  It is God’s work in you.

Nicodemus had lived his whole life trying to earn his salvation.  He thought that he could keep the law and earn eternal life.  I am sure that many people told him he was doing well in his religious life.  But Jesus said, “No, you must start all over again with God’s help.”  You must step out in a new direction and trust what God is doing.

Faith is stepping out in trust.  It is trusting God’s word and God’s promised enough to take a chance.  Abraham took a chance on leaving home at 75 to start a new life.  He didn’t do it because he had a plan.  He did it because God said, “Do this and I will bless you.”

Jesus told Nicodemus to take a chance on making a new beginning.  Not a new beginning created by the flesh.  Not based on his good works.  But based on the grace and forgiveness of God given by the Holy Spirit.  Are we having the grace and forgiveness of God?

God calls all people to step out in faith.  When we turn to Christ, we step out and take a chance.  We place our trust in Christ and his promise of salvation.  And God blesses us with the fruits of salvation.  As we grow in Christ, God is always calling us to step out.

Step out with faith in God!  Trust God’s unfailing love.  God blessed Abram and Sarai and made them a great nation.  No matter what your situation is in life today, God wants to bless you in some way.  God wants you to have happiness, Peace and Joy.  Put your faith and trust on God, and let the Almighty to guide you.  God blesses those who place their trust in Christ, and God will bless you if you do the same.  Shalom and Amen!