Theme of the Week: Don’t Just Exist
Bible Verse: “Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’” John 3:3
Scripture Reading: John 3:1-21
At the start of this week, I said that I wanted to share seven life-changing experiences with you, seven times where it felt like the way I looked at and lived my life changed. I mentioned my suicide attempt as a teenager. That whole chapter didn’t turn me into a believer, but it did lead me to believe in God’s existence for the first time.
I resisted God for several years after because of what I thought following him meant. I wanted to live for pleasure and money, not by what I thought were a bunch of rules to keep me from exactly those things. Being young, I didn’t want to live a dull Christian life for a boring God.
But as I grieved an ended relationship, despondency smothered me, and suicidal thoughts crept back into my mind. I couldn’t shake them, but the Lord graciously showed himself to me and wrapped his loving arms around me. I gave my life to God wholeheartedly.
I was “born again”, as Jesus had told Nicodemus in John 3:3. Nicodemus had trouble understanding this language despite being a top Jewish spiritual leader. To be fair, this language is strange when you hear of it for the first time.
If you’re a believer like me, you know exactly what it means to be born again. You’re a new person. It’s like you started out as a human being again as God rebirths you. It’s your spiritual birthday.
Jesus goes on in John 3:8 to speak of the wind of the Spirit blowing into people’s lives and giving Christian birth as he pleases. He blew into my life that night and I’ve never been the same. I’ve never had a suicidal thought since then. Never. It’s been over 30 years.
God and the Christian life certainly haven’t been boring either. It begins and ends with Jesus. I sense his constant friendship. His strength enables me to do good to my family and others. He empowers my work. His lordship guides me daily. His mercy spurs me to forgive. His love enables me to love. His cross allows me to hope for life after death. When I see him in heaven, I hope I won’t be too caught off guard despite his majesty, because I’ve been seeing him every day.
I’m not always close to Jesus. Far from it. But I try. Most of the time, it seems like Jesus comes to me.
Prayer: Lord, I choose you today. I choose to know and walk with you today. Thank you for always being near.
Reflection: Maybe you’re coasting in your Christian walk and going through the motions of the Bible, prayer, and church. But I encourage you, remember your rebirth! Turn to Jesus and experience the wind of the Spirit afresh today!
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