“Are you a born again Christian?” This was a question posed to me a few months ago and I wasn’t sure how to respond. And so I didn’t. I changed the subject to allow myself time to digest the question and be certain of my answer.
John 3:1-20 gives us a conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus about this very topic and Jesus tells the man, “You should not be surprised at my saying, `You must be born again.'”
Some of my research on born again turned up phrases such as ,”spiritual renewal” “spiritual transformation” and I have definitely had experiences in both of these. I also found that the Greek meaning is “born from above.”
Here is a point of view from a sermon of years ago: “All those who put their trust in Christ, even though they have times of doubt, have been born from above and have been given the gift of the Spirit.”
So…am I a born again Christian? Most definitely.
We sometimes think that change can be detrimental to our lives when in fact it can be very good for us. I’m thinking mostly of changes we make in ourselves and our thinking. It is interesting how scripture speaks of change. Happy Sunday
Be transformed by the renewing of your minds. Romans 12:2
If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly…Jeremiah 7:5
Unless you change…Matthew 18:3
We will all be changed…1 Corinthians 15:51
To be made new in the attitudes of your minds…Ephesians 4:23
And then there’s the Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Having been ill for a couple of weeks, I have received many words of prayer, encouragement, upliftment, inspiration, and just plain love.
Among the many that came my way are these: “I was so surprised and sorry to hear how ill you are. You know we are all praying for you to be completely well. I never realized how much I would miss not seeing or hearing from you.”
Healing words from a caring friend on my road to recovery…God’s love in action. “‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40 Happy Sunday.
Today I am going to share with you a prayer request that went through our prayer chain yesterday in the hopes that any praying people will also offer prayer for a human in need. We usually pray for health problems and the like so this request is untypical but valid.
I know of a young man who is in Spiritual crisis at the moment. He needs to know and feel God’s love for him in a profound way. Please pray that as stated in Psalm 23 the Lord will restore his soul and lead him in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Pray that as he walks in the valley of the shadow of death he will fear no evil because God is with him.
Thank you for your heartfelt prayers. Happy Saturday.
Some people get hung up on the word, “repent”. It seems to automatically ring a ‘religion’ bell in their head and they are turned off probably because of Acts 2:38 where Peter tells the people, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…”
In this regard repent means to be sorry for living in ways that dishonor God.
However, Professor Robert Wall, Professor of Scripture and Wesleyan Studies, adds that it is “the internal and intellectual act of exchanging old beliefs for new ones.”
To me, this explanation is much more digestible and may appeal to those outside of religion as well as to the religious.
The internal and intellectual act of exchanging old beliefs for new ones…it makes me happy that I got hung up on a word.
This post was prompted by a blog from Matthew Ruttan’s devotional, UP, on April 29th.
I often quote one of my favorite scriptures, Jeremiah 29:11-13, to those who are going through difficult times in their lives and things look hopeless. I also quote it to new believers who will begin to learn the promises of God, and this is one of His best.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
This morning I read in Luke 1:45: Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
I have believed this promise since I learned it in 1995 and it has proven itself, or better, God has proven Himself, many times over in my life since.
I have found it pays great dividends to believe…especially in difficult times.
Today is known as Maundy Thursday…the Thursday before Easter, observed in the Christian Church as a commemoration of the Last Supper, the last meal Jesus shared with his disciples before his death.
Maundy also means “commandment”, and at that last meal, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34
And that is what Jesus was/is all about…Love…not only in this Holy week but always.