This morning a group of people stepped into my yard while I was fixing my car. As soon as they approached I could see the smiles, so I said, "I bet you are Jehovah's Witnesses?" One of the ladies shook my hand and started to tell me about Jehovah and what it meant to be a witness for Jehovah. I told her that I was a Spirit filled believer of Jesus Christ who believed that Jesus still did miracles, but she just went on about knowing Jehovah, so I let her talk. She kept quoting the Old Testament and I kept quoting the New Testament. She claimed Jesus was a messenger from God, a mere man; I said Jesus was the son of God and was of a divine nature. She went on that Easter was not of Jehovah and Halloween was of the devil. According to this woman they also didn't believe in Christmas or any holiday such as birthdays, Mother Day or Father's Day, calling all these pagan holidays. My Christmas lights all but doomed me according to her.
When I explained that I didn't care if they were pagan or even alien holidays as long as they bought a smile to some child's face she got hot and lost her smile. After telling her that without the power of God to heal and deliver it all boiled down to just empty words which couldn't help anyone, she again got hot and said that all this power talk was just human emotion. I told her of all the miracles I had seen God perform, but when she saw the other ladies smiling, the one doing the talking shook my hand and said goodbye, taking the others with her. As I watched them leave I realized that they did not believe in being born again. They were not a new creation as stated in 1 Corinthians 5:17 in the New Testament. They were still under the Law of Moses as were most of the Jews in the Old Testament, so they kept the Sabbath and ate no pork or finless fish.
As far as I know the Christian religion is the only one which guarantees you a second chance at life. This second chance is not left to your talents or character strengths but is the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father and acts as the Fathers agent while working in a believer's heart and mind. Without being born again we would be no better than the devil who also believes in God and trembles. But when you are born again you acquire many of Gods own thoughts, because now you are born of His Spirit, you are a new creation that has never existed before.
One of the first things that caught my eye the first time I read the bible was this term, born again. I thought exactly the same way Nicodemus did as I asked myself "how can a man be born again?" Up until then I had just been a granola type believer in Jesus Christ. But I could not get that scripture in John 3:3 out of my head. You must be born again. My next question was how could I be born again?
I asked the Lord in prayer how this was possible and in a dream he taught me what it meant to be born again. First he said that it was by faith like all things in the bible. Than that we would trade places, he would become like me and for argument sake I would become like him. He also said that he would not do anything without my permission, that he would knock and I was to open the door to my heart so he could take up residence there. After this took place I could see that he really had come into my heart and was now residing in me together with my own spirit which had been renewed.
The next morning I was all smiles when I went to work remembering what had taken place the night before. In the following days I would see my entire life change, what was more amazing was that up until now I had not enjoyed reading the bible but now it seemed to be the only book I wanted to read. I read and read as if I had been a starving man who had suddenly been given a huge meal. When I wasn't reading I just wanted to pray and just talk with God.
I had never been a nice person; I had always been selfish and self-centered, it had always been about me and only me. I was rude, rebellious, a liar, and cruel at times. Even in my twenties if I could not get my way I would have a fit so I could manipulate who ever I was with. I had always been extremely violent and had spent my youth in amateur boxing matches in order to let out the rage and fury with which I lived. But after this event in my life I was a new man with a new passion, Jesus the Son of the Living God.
Thirty years later I know beyond any doubt that I was born again of the Spirit of God. It was not just a faith thing, there was a real manifestation of the presence of Jesus in my life, I changed, I saw it. I also lost my need to take control of everyone and everything I came in contact with. I now put every aspect of my life in his hands and stopped saying "I am this or I am that way and can never change. In the same dream the Lord had shown me that the old man had been drowned in the deepest part of the ocean and would never come back again, He was dead and I was alive in Jesus. Not only was I saved but I was really born again just as the bible said in John 3:3
I was born again during a very bad period of my life. I was seeking help from God and this was the path he chose for me. But it is not the same for all people. Some can be born again in a church service or in a home group, or while hiking through the mountains or woods alone. The only requirement is to believe that Jesus has already paid the price and want it. But how can you know if you are really born again? That is really the easy part. You know because you are no longer the same. If after you believe you were born again you are still lying, conniving, and stealing or trying to always have your own way than you were not born again.
The wonderful thing about Christianity is that every day is a new day with wonderful new opportunities. Today you could get saved or be born again. You could be baptized in the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues or you could see a child who was dying healed. The couple who were always fighting stopped fighting after praying with you and were also were born again. There is no limit to what you could do or see if you just believe in Jesus. If after being born again you make mistakes or sin unintentionally, again every day gives you a new beginning. God is Good.
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