Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Born Again?

John 3 3:5-6
Jesus said, "You're not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation--the wind hovering over the water creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life--it's not possible to enter God's kingdom. Whan you look at a baby, it's just that; a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can't see and touch--the Spirit--and becomes a living spirit.

What would I have said if Jesus had said this to me? Would I have been like Nicodemus and questioned the possibility of being "born again"? Probably--because I am a skeptic. I don't believe everything I see and hear; I need proof. I'm so thankful that I learned as a child the teachings of this scripture. I accepted it without question. If I were hearing this teaching for the first time as an adult, I would be just like Nicodemus. That's scary to me. As a believing adult, I have seen so many people's lives changed by being born again that I have my proof. I don't doubt the life-changing power of spiritual re-birth. Did these people become perfect, absolutely not, but their lives have gone from empty to full, broken to blessed. In my experience being born-again is the only thing that lasts.
This is the time of year that everyone is making resolutions. They are going on diets, starting to workout, setting up a new budget, making connections with family, whatever. These are all worthwhile efforts and good for us on this earth, but turning a life over to Jesus is good for eternity. Does it make life perfect, trouble-free? No, that would be nice, but it doesn't work that way. We still live in this fallen world--a world that has illness, suffering, death, sin, temptation. What being born again does is helps us cope.
I have begun a new semester this week. It is one of the things about teaching that I love the most. I get to start anew every few months. I love starting fresh. That's why I am such a firm believer in salvation. The idea that you can begin new--experience a new birth--no matter what you have done, where you have been. What a gift.

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