Tuesday, March 14 Spiritual Questions: Born Again?
Terry and Jeff Blair
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless she/he is BORN AGAIN” (John 3:3).
We are going to split up our thoughts of being “Born Again”, as we have come to know that two different ways:
Being born into a Christian family and attending church regularly growing up you would think I would have had a strong understanding of John 3:1-17, and the importance of being Born Again. But the depth of my understanding was actually very shallow, as I went through the “acts” of what I was “supposed to do”. I believed…I knew God…I knew there was a Heaven…I knew right from wrong…I prayed when someone needed prayer…I attended church most of the time. But I did not know there was something really BIG missing in my relationship with God.
Then we had a work opportunity to move to Australia. Although we would live in a small town south of Sydney, we flew into Sydney, and due to the length of the trip with 3 young children, our new company put us up for 2 days in Sydney to sightsee. On Sunday morning we were walking along some back streets, and heard some wonderful music. We opened a door to follow the sound and walked into a smallish open area, where a band was playing songs. As I listened and watched, it turned out to be a worship service and the band was playing Contemporary Christian, which as an Episcopal and Lutheran, I had never heard before. But boy did it speak to me.
As we became settled in the small town of Wangaretta, we became involved in a small church, with devoted members, that simply had a different outlook on life, and Contemporary Christian music continued to fill my soul. I could not explain what I was feeling, but, “I had a feeling in my soul…and I prayed that I was not wrong….that the life I have now..it was only the beginning…it felt like I was born again….it felt like I was living…for the very first time in my life…” Lyrics from “BORN AGAIN” from the Contemporary Christian Group, Third Day…enjoy the link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m_dP2n-5W8
When I was 12, maybe 13, I attended a Lutheran church. This is where I was being confirmed. Luckily for me, God worked in ways only a middle school student could relate to: a young pastor who put an illustration of running shoes on his office wall rather than the Last Supper and the Broadway musical, Jesus Christ Superstar. Pastor Linders made the stories I had heard in church and Sunday school meaningful and relevant through stories of everyday events. And a trip to New York City to see Jesus Christ Superstar helped me understand the story of Christ and glimpse Him and all those around Him in a personal way.
You never know what is going to change the course of your life. But one day I was searching to understand who this Jesus was, and the next day, it was as if my eyes and heart had been opened, and I loved Him profoundly. My born again moment changed the course of my life. I believe I would be a very different person – a slave to my selfishness and stubborn nature. With God as my compass and Christ as my Savior, I live a more contented life. I still fight my shortcomings daily (just ask Jeff), and my life is not immune to the hardships and sorrow of everyday living. However, sometimes, just sometimes, the Spirit opens my eyes to the joyous workings of God, and I am humbled and overwhelmed to be a part of how God uses his people to carry out His plan bit by bit in everyday life.
John 3:8 “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”