So What’s It Take?

What would it take for you to change your life – how you view things, how you react to challenges, what your priorities are, how you live? Don’t answer too quickly. What has to happen today, so that tomorrow and the rest of your life is lived much differently?

Last time, we spoke about the phrase “to all who received him.” (Jn 1:12). But what does it mean to receive Jesus?  What does it mean to believe?  In John 3, Jesus uses the phrase “born again.”  No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.  I’ll say more about the John 3 text in future posts.  But for now, let’s focus on the two words “born again.”  What does that mean?  Nicodemus surely didn’t understand it.  Jesus spoke about being born of the Spirit or being born from above.  Wouldn’t this change your life?  Wouldn’t that make you different?

Notice Jesus didn’t say, “You must say the sinner’s prayer.”  He didn’t say, “You must walk down the aisle at a church.”  Not, “You must be dunked in a large tub of water.”  “You have to be religious.”  Nope!  Jesus said, “You must be born again.”  And when you are born again, you will no longer be the same.  That’s what it would take for you to change.

The Pharisees were religious.  But they were also called “white-washed tombs.”  The apostles interacted with Jesus yet were amazed when Jesus calmed the wind (Mk 4:41).  Thomas knew what Jesus had said.  But Thomas declared, “Unless I see and touch…”  Peter followed all the way to the Garden and then denied Jesus three times.  You must be born again.

Something has to happen in our life that we’re no longer who we once were.  Read Acts 9 and Paul’s conversion experience.  He was no longer the same.  So what’s it take for you?  Maybe you’ve convinced yourself that you’re saved.  Why?  Because you walked down the aisle, said a prayer, or got dunked.  You must be born again.

Maybe you’ve made a deal with God.  If you’ll just get me out of this Lord, I’ll serve you, love you, tell others about you, etc.  And after the “passion” waned, you found yourself back in a rut.  You must be born again.

Will you hear me for a sec?  In Matthew 25, there’s a section about the final judgment.  The grades have been turned in and no extra work will be accepted.  A parable of ten virgins opens the chapter and the premise is to be ready for Christ’s return at any time.  Next, Jesus speaks about being good stewards of what you’ve been given.  If you know the truth, don’t continue to live by old ways.  And then a text on sheep and goats.  The goats represent people who didn’t put others before themselves.  Summary:  You must be born again.

Look long and hard in the mirror.  Have you changed?  I didn’t say, “Are you good.”  HAVE YOU CHANGED?  Have you allowed God to be the Lord of your life?  Or are you still holding on to control?  You must be born again.  There’s no better time than when we celebrate the birth of God in the flesh.

 

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4 Responses to “So What’s It Take?”

  1. Acts 9 was very emotional for me. So many things to learn from just that one account. This post spoke straight to my heart in that I was raised to believe that to be “born again” was: (As a woman), not wearing jeans, not wearing makeup, not drinking, not dancing… etc…. And yes, I would look in the mirror and think, “You’re not good enough!”

    Other than those outwardly changes I did not know that there was more to being “born again”. You are baptized… you go to church… you learn as much as you can… you read on your own… you pray… you seek out others who are in need and may benefit from you… It’s a way of life.

    And then… work, kids, daily life, wants and needs creep around the corner and before you know it, you are living for all of that and have pushed aside “the new man”. When the thunder came the other night I really thought it was the bridegroom… was I ready or did my lamp lack oil….?
    Moving Post!

  2. Leah Alexander Says:

    Good post. Thanks for sharing.

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