Monday, November 18, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: Born Again

Born Again
A devotional by Nanci Rubin

“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” – John 3:7 (KJV)

If you read and study The Holy Bible, you may be familiar with this verse in the book of John where Jesus is talking to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews and explaining to him about how to be saved.

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 (KJV)

Nicodemus, a Pharisee, came to Jesus at night inquiring how one could be born again. It’s interesting that he came at night so his friends wouldn’t know or see his interest in the teachings of Jesus. He marveled at Jesus saying he must be born again to get into Heaven. Not understanding, Nicodemus looked at this experience as a physical one, asking how one could return to their mother’s womb and be born again? He didn’t understand Jesus meant a spiritual re-birth.

Unlike the Sadducees, who generally held to have rejected any existence after death, the sources vary on the beliefs of the Pharisees on the afterlife. According to the New Testament, the Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead. See what is written in Acts 23:8 (KJV) in regard to the Sadducees and their belief: “For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.”

What is the born-again experience, this new life in Christ?

The new birth is, then, a sovereign act of God by His Spirit in which the believer is cleansed from sin and given spiritual birth into God's household. It renews the believer's intellect, sensibility, and will to enable that person to enter the kingdom of God. To break it down further, it is belief in the Cross, the redeeming Blood of Jesus and accepting the knowledge that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, born of a virgin, came as Man and God to bring us to His Father.

Jesus Christ lived, died, resurrected and is coming again to establish His sovereignty forever. When we accept Him, we are born-again. But, until we do, we are on the outside looking in. God is long suffering and will gently draw us by His Spirit unto Himself. Sometimes this can take years for some people. However, God is patient with us because He wants us all to be saved in His Kingdom!

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9 (KJV)

“And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you.” 
– 2 Peter 3:15 (KJV)

Le’ts read 1 Timothy 1:16 where the Apostle Paul is talking to Timothy about the dangers of false doctrines.

“Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” – 1 Timothy 1:16 (KJV)

I am grateful for God’s patience toward us. And I am especially grateful for His longsuffering with me. I had the idea that I needed to clean up my act before I could come to Jesus. I wasted so many years when I could have been serving my King by wrong-thinking. Many accept this deception and lie of the enemy of our souls. 

However, it is important to realize that if we could save ourselves, we wouldn’t need Jesus. We come to Him just as we are and He will do the transformation, the cleansing to form us into new creations in Him. Matthew’s gospel says the following:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
 – Matthew 11:28-30 (KJV)

I love this verse, Matthew 11:28, because it was the first one God gave me when I was born-again. It lets me know I can come to my Father when the burdens of life weigh me down. He’s always there and He’s my ever-present help no matter what the situation.

Paul in the above verses in Timothy warned against false doctrines. We have many in our world today. One I’m sure you’ve heard is, “all roads lead to God.” Indeed, there are many roads, many gods, many doctrines but unless they point to Jesus Christ, then you’ve taken a detour.

Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” – John 14:6 (KJV)

And here it is, how to be born-again.

I can only pray that you accept His way and settle the age-old question of how to be born-again. Christ wants all to come to repentance and join Him in eternity!

Author Bio:

Nanci is a poet and short story writer published in Cypress News, Family Times E-Zine, Free Verse and the Commonwealth of Poetry.  

She belongs to RWA, ACFW, and Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild where she’s enrolled in his novel writing program.

Nanci lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and cats, Romeo and Juliette, along with their newest member of the family, Roni who is a seven-month-old Goldendoodle.

Recently, Nanci completed her debut novel, A Betrayal in Cross Keys. It is an Amish romance that she has placed in her agent's capable hands. The rest is up to God.

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