I’m in my mid 40’s and have never seen a baby bein’ born. Not even my own. Oh, I’ve seen them on tv, but I’ve never experienced watchin’ a live birth. I was lamenting that fact this morning as I remembered my sister being with me at the birth of my only son, and the cries of joy she gave as she watched his head crown and this wonderful miracle unfold before her eyes. Her cries of joy were the perfect focus I needed as I strained to bring this child into the world.
It got me thinking about another kind of birth. The quiet unseen one of the spiritual realm. The one Jesus calls being ‘born again.’ The Bible says its like the wind. No one knows where it may blow. I’ve never been privileged to see one of those either. Oh, I hear about these churches that have alter calls and they count up the numbers of those who have gone forward, and a lot of people truly believe they can keep track of how many spiritual births they’ve participated in. But you know what I heard the other day? 90% of those that come forward don’t follow through on the commitment they make.
I wonder if spiritual birth is more than just counting numbers. I wonder if its more than making a commitment. I wonder if it really truly is what Jesus says it is – being born again.
Jesus replied to Nicodemus, “I can guarantee this truth: No one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus asked him, “How can anyone be born when he’s an old man? He can’t go back inside his mother a second time to be born, can he?” Jesus answered Nicodemus, “I can guarantee this truth: No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Flesh and blood give birth to flesh and blood, but the Spirit gives birth to things that are spiritual. Don’t be surprised when I tell you that all of you must be born from above. The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you don’t know where the wind comes from or where it’s going. That’s the way it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus replied, “How can that be?” Jesus told Nicodemus, “You’re a well-known teacher of Israel. Can’t you understand this? I can guarantee this truth: We know what we’re talking about, and we confirm what we’ve seen. Yet, you don’t accept our message. If you don’t believe me when I tell you about things on earth, how will you believe me when I tell you about things in heaven?
A little later Jesus says,
“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” John 6:63
Faith comes by hearing friends, and hearing by the word of God.
Jesus, thank you for physical birth, and spiritual birth. Thank you for Luther and the wisdom you gave him. It truly takes faith to believe what your word teaches, and we know that everything apart from faith is sin. Help us to live reborn, grow and mature, and discern Truth. Lord, you promise me that I will bear fruit if I continue to speak your word. I have never seen anyone born again while I speak, but I look forward to Heaven and the cries of joy at the births I never got to see with my physical eyes. In Jesus’ name, Amen
What’s always popular ain’t always right, and what’s right ain’t always popular! Forgive my poor English.