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In order to commune with God, we must have something to say to Him concerning our actual life. Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. SC 93.

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A Change Of Heart Needed

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3.

Nicodemus held a high position of trust in the Jewish nation. . . . With others, he had been stirred by the teaching of Jesus. . . .The lessons that had fallen from the Saviour’s lips had greatly impressed him, and he desired to learn more of these wonderful truths. . .

Nicodemus had come to the Lord thinking to enter into a discussion with Him, but Jesus laid bare the foundation principles of truth. He said to Nicodemus, It is not theoretical knowledge you need so much as spiritual regeneration. You need not to have your curiosity satisfied, but to have a new heart. You must receive a new life from above before you can appreciate heavenly things.

The change of heart represented by the new birth can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit. . . . Pride and self-love resist the Spirit of God; every natural inclination of the soul opposes the change from self-importance and pride to the meekness and lowliness of Christ. But if we would travel in the pathway to eternal life, we must not listen to the whispering of self. In humility and contrition we must beseech our heavenly Father, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Ps. 51:10. As we receive divine light, and cooperate with the heavenly intelligences, we are “born again,” freed from the defilement of sin by the power of Christ.

The mighty power of the Holy Spirit works an entire transformation in the character of the human agent, making him a new creature in Christ Jesus. . . . The words and actions express the love of the Saviour. There is no striving for the highest place. Self is renounced. The name of Jesus is written on all that is said and done.

Is not this, the renewal of man, the greatest miracle that can be performed? What cannot the human agent do who by faith takes hold of the divine power?

From Devotional: Our Father Cares, pp. 73, 74.

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