Thursday, June 01, 2017

Dial Daily Bread: Is It Hard Work to Be "Born Again"?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Is it hard work to be "born again"? We know that we need to be changed from the inside out, and we feel that years of being what we are have made us set in our ways. Our problems are a part of us, through and through, whether it's appetite, jealousy, or whatever addiction has a hold on us. How can we ever become different from what we are?

We can change the color of our hair, but how can we change the color of our eyes? If we were born to be short how can we become tall? For a selfish person to become unselfish seems as impossible. And most poignantly, a sexually impure person to become pure in heart seems totally impossible--so say our courts of law for serious crimes.

Now comes Jesus telling us that "unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). To many people it sounds like a death-knell. "I am what I am, and there's no way I can be different! If only blue-eyed people can enter heaven, I'm doomed because I have brown eyes!"

Sit down and read John 3--the whole chapter. Nicodemus asked exactly the same questions. You'll be surprised how much better Jesus' Good News of the new birth is than what we have thought.

Because of what Jesus accomplished on His cross, the Holy Spirit has become everyone's new "parents." When He impregnated the Virgin Mary to bring Jesus to birth, He impregnated everyone with a divine seed of a new life to be formed within. The new birth is not you "born-ing" yourself anew (excuse me; we need a new verb); "the wind blows where it wishes," says Jesus; "so is everyone who is born of the [Holy] Spirit." (John 3:8). He is constantly casting seeds into human hearts, for Christ is the "Light which gives light to every [person] who comes into the world" (1:9). The "seed" is the Light of Good News in Christ.

Don't terminate the new life that the Holy Spirit is constantly begetting within you. Stop resisting Him. If you choose darkness, you set yourself up for judgment.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: February 17, 2002.
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