Wednesday was Birth Day. Seriously.
It blew my mind - the devotional was about birth. About rebirth, specifically.
Jesus answered [Nicodemus], “I am telling you the truth: no one can see the Kingdom of God without being born again.”
- John 3:3 (TEV)
- John 3:3 (TEV)
Today's DevotionalGrowing up, I sometimes found it discouraging that I couldn’t remember an exact moment when I became a Christian. Then I feared that I couldn’t remember it because I had actually never become a Christian at all. This worry would inspire me to commit my life again to Jesus in some sort of childlike, salvation-insurance prayer.
As a teenager I didn’t have a dramatic testimony to give when I went to Christian camp. I often wasn’t sure what to say when people asked when and how I became a Christian. When others would talk enthusiastically about a powerful, definitive time of conversion, I was left feeling as if my Christian faith wasn’t as good as theirs — simply because I could not look back and identify a point when my Christian walk began.
With time, I have come to realize that my experience of being born again spiritually can be much like being born physically. I don’t remember when I was born, but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. Neither does the fact that I don’t remember when I was born as a Christian mean that it didn’t happen. The evidence of my natural birth can be seen in my life as I live, just as I hope the evidence of my life in Christ can be seen as I grow in my faith and seek to love, serve, honor, and obey God in everything I do.
Joanna Ronalds (Victoria, Australia)
Thought for the Day: The evidence of new birth is a changed life.
Prayer: Loving God, thank you for the assurance we can have of our salvation in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Prayer Focus: Those who do not yet know God
Wednesday evening, I had a very busy thing going on at church. Each Weds is our mid-week time at church. We have food teams who prepare a meal that people come to enjoy, we share announcement, joy, concerns and we pray, and then we head into small groups to share God and learning and community and so on.
This past week, I was filling in for Pastor Jennifer to lead the Christmas program practice with the kids. I had finished up the rework of the script we are using (making it personal and assigning the speaking parts) and the kids were eager to find out their parts and read through the lines.
Since it's a Christmas program, it's obvious that it's about the birth of Jesus. Birth.
I normally spend my Weds evening with our healthy living group. Since I couldn't be there this week, I printed out the devotion for my co-leader (who happens to be pregnant). The title of the devotion? Labor. And the subject was the importance of birth stories to mothers and what Mary's experience must have been like. It spoke to me in terms of the connectedness between Mary as a birthing mother and me and other birth moms since that is an experience that hasn't changed that much in a thousand years. Birth.
After finishing with the kids, I went over to join the group that Jeff was in. He's been helping to facilitate a small group study that looks at the story of Jesus and the story of Superman. And the topics being touched on that night? You guessed it - birth.
Wednesday was also a day that I spoke up in a big way in my workplace and I think may be the start, if I continue to follow through, of some development and changes for me down the road.
Birth. Rebirth. Beginning. Start.
I had lunch with a friend on Thursday and was telling her a little bit about my job stuff and the path I've been on spiritually with it. And something I said was that after hitting a serious low back in June, I finally am starting to again feel like myself. I had gone through a time when I knew my job stress was a serious problem, it was impacting my health, my parenting, my marriage. I didn't feel like myself, I didn't much like how I was feeling, and I didn't know what to do about it. I prayed a lot, I sought support from friends, and I prayed even more.
And now I feel like me again. I feel my passion and energy and excitement returning.
Look back at the Upper Room devotion where it says Thought for the Day.
The evidence of new birth is a changed life.
I'd say my life has changed a lot in the past 5 months. Given how I feel today and how I felt back in June, there is definite evidence of new birth.
I've been reborn.