By Ada Brownell
“You must be born again” ( John 3:7).
Some people don’t seem comfortable with their own identity. A feature in the July 2010 417 Magazine highlighted people who “starred” in Branson, Missouri, shows—but took the role of another person. Tony Roi was Elvis. Dave Ehlert played Mark Twain. Actors and singers assumed the roles of the Beatles, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, and other stars. They are greatly talented, but they didn’t become famous for who they are but for being able to impersonate someone else—often a dead person.All of us, however, copy other people looks, actions, beliefs, habits, and that affects who we are and who we become, making us like impersonators.
But the real YOU shows up sometime. What will you think when you get a good look at who you are?Like the old man who said, “I wish I could live my life over—as someone else,” you might not like your looks, character, and meaningless accomplishments.
Looks shouldn’t be the top of the list. Beauty comes in all sort of sizes and designs. Every person is uniquely attractive because we all are made in the image of God. Humankind finally figured out it’s not the color of our skin that matters, but we still don’t seem to know it’s what’s under our skin that counts.Is love there? Compassion? Joy? Peace? Patience? Gentleness? Goodness, like good money that’s not counterfeit? Meekness? Faithfulness? Self-control? Faith? Wisdom?
Truth is, none of us are perfect but we can be “born again!” Jesus told Nicodemus, “I say unto you unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”Nicodemus asked, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
Jesus explained that we need to be born of the flesh and of the Spirit, and explained the miraculous occurrence in John 3:1-21.
The Bible teaches about what happens when we’re born again Ezekiel prophesied that when the Messiah came (Jesus) those who accepted Him as Savior would be changed. God told Ezekiel, “I then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my judgments and do them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezekiel 11:18-20).The Apostle Paul explained it this way: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Have you been born again?All you need to do is believe in Jesus, confess your sins to God just as you’d tell a friend, ask for forgiveness, and decide to follow Jesus and His Word. His power will change you.
PRAYER: Lord, I need to be born again. Make me a new creature by your Spirit. Thank you for shedding your blood on the cross to wash away my sins and for your promises of new life here and for eternity.
-- Adapted from Ada Brownell's book, Imagine the Future You.