by Pastor Tim Burt
Personally knowing Jesus Christ, which begins when you make the choice and decision to ask and receive Him into your heart as Lord and Savior, is the greatest decision a person can make in their life. Likewise, He is the greatest gift given to any individual on the earth at any time. This decision and action instantly initiates a miracle— the reconciliation of God and man in forgiveness and relationship. All our sins are washed away. The separation sin created between God and man, is bridged through the forgiveness give by Jesus. We become reunited to God through the sacrifice that Jesus paid upon the cross for our sins.
This is the real beginning of life for a person. The apostle Paul said it like this: “…taking hold of the life that is truly life.” (1 Tim 6:19 NIV) Physical life begins at conception, but real life—being born again—God giving birth to our relationship with Him—never really comes to anyone until they come to receive the gift of Jesus Christ as Savior.
Jesus was revealing this truth to the religious ruler Nicodemus to this truth. His heart was open and he was seeking to understand. We see Jesus teaching him in John 3:1-10 (NIV.) “Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." "How can this be?" Nicodemus asked. "You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things?”
When a person receives Jesus, a miracle happens, their sins are washed away and the Holy Spirit comes to live in their heart. There is a new birth and their life begins spiritually. The Holy Spirit comes to live within them and opens their eyes to begin seeing the world through God’s eyes. Jesus describes it like this: John 14:17 (NLT) "He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now...and will be in you."
The Apostle Paul also wrote about it this 2 Cor. 5:17-18.17 "When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun! All these new things are from God who brought us back to himself through what Christ Jesus did. And God has given us the privilege of urging everyone to come into his favor and be reconciled to him."
From that very first moment as a new Christian, we are given a life-long assignment that changes the course of our life. God privileges us with the significant honor of helping others come to know Jesus. “And God has given us the task (the mission) of reconciling people to Him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people's sins against them. This is the wonderful message He has given us to tell others." (2 Cor. 5:19 NLT)
From that first moment of this new spiritual life in Christ, our life takes on new significance and purpose. One receives the most important purpose given mankind—reaching people—anyone who will listen, with the message and touch of God’s love and forgiveness. We help them come to really know what this present life on earth here is truly about: an operation rescue—sharing the love of Jesus to redeem mankind.
Never give up serving God and reaching others with His love. There is nothing more important to God than this. That means there should be nothing more important to us. Ask God to stir you and help you exercise that privilege. He’ll guide you and you’ll find there is nothing more gratifying. It is “…taking hold of the life that truly is life.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt