Born and Born Again

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” (John 3:3)

Today is my birthday. That’s right. On an early Monday morning, at approximately 2:00 a.m., I entered the world with a pat on the bottom and a scream of shock. Although I don’t remember the event, my mother has recounted it many times, how the event unfolded, often in a crowd of people (to my embarrassment). She was proud of the accomplishment and so was I. To this day, I have never met anyone who actually remembered their own birth. As cataclysmic as it was for all of us, the memory does not stick. However, we know it actually happened because we are here right now.

During that evening encounter with Nicodemus (the religious seeker), Jesus spoke clear words to him. These words completely took him off guard and left him shaking his pragmatic mind. “Born again” is a phrase which describes the moment of redemption, when an individual turns from sin and turns to Christ. This moment of heavenly salvation to a worldly, flesh-focused man, is another cataclysmic event.

Eyes are opened and sin is forgiven in the heart of one who breaks from their way to God's way, from their self-determined path to God’s Savior-directed path.  No longer a loner, we are transformed into the handiwork of God for His purposes, planned from eternity past for our earthly present. Unpacking each new day as a gift from Jesus is a joy which never loses its power.

I don’t remember my birth day, but I surely do remember my “birth again” day. It, too was on a Monday, many springs later after my birth, when I said “Yes” to Christ and “No” to self. Getting off my knees, following a simple childlike prayer of repentance and faith, I knew something eternal had happened. The weight of my sin was lifted and for the first time in my life, I felt free and completely full of joy.

As I rode my bicycle home from our church, I couldn’t help but sing out loud. In fact, I made up a song, a new song, which flowed from my newly regenerated, completely clean heart. I sang at the top of my lungs and didn’t care who heard my melody. The freedom of that moment still resonates within me. It has never stopped surging me forward. I am all about celebrating birthdays…the one I don’t remember and the Big One, I do remember! You see, I’ve been born and born again!

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