0107. Recognizing Rebirth

Happy New Year to you! It is the start of a new year, and for many a renewal or rebirth of sorts. Although technically it is just another day, it marks the start of a new revolution of our planet around a fireball we call the sun. This is the time of year when many people make New Year’s resolutions, or goals to improve themselves. Typically they revolve around things like getting in physical shape, learning a new skill, doing public service, or reading more books. This desire to better oneself is inherent in most people. Even if you declared tomorrow that the new year now begins on July 1, then most individuals would feel that it is rather the right time to act and engage in something new. Unfortunately, most resolutions fall to the side within a couple of months, as the pressure of normal life resumes after the holidays, and our lives become busy again with the return of obligations, needs, and wants.

Renewal and rebirth are not just limited to making resolutions at the start of the new year. It is a popular theme in many world cultures, as many in society acknowledge the cycle of birth and death. There are also descriptions of rebirth in other religions. For example, Buddhism and Hinduism believe that the souls of the dead are reborn in another body, also known as reincarnation. And then there is the mythological creature known as the Phoenix, a great bird who would die by igniting itself on fire, only to emerge reborn from its ashes.

Christianity is no different in this regard. In the gospel of John 3:3 (CSB), “Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’” But what does it mean to be born again? What is wrong with the life we currently have? Well, think about your life and culture as you understand it right now. What do you observe when you look at it? What are its values based on? Unfortunately, if you look closely enough, you will discover it is built on sin. A previous thought on today’s leadership describes this in more detail. However, Romans 6:23 (CSB) describes this life succinctly: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In other words, to be born again is to shed this life covered in sin and death by giving it to Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to accept the sins of all humanity.

So how does one bring about this? If you are interested, then click here to view our Christian Fundamentals page. It will help you understand the basics of what it takes to grow spiritually in Christ. It is a starting point on a long journey where we will discover a different life possible through faith, love, and mercy. It is not an easy road, as we will be tested and tempted by a culture and enemy that would like nothing more than to see us give up, like many of our other resolutions we have made in the past. However, the rewards for sticking on the narrow path are like nothing we can possibly imagine. Those who stick to the way will find joy, peace, and blessings with unexpected contacts in unexpected places at unexpected times, where none should be possible. And in the end, instead of losing our life to death, we will return home and get the opportunity to spend eternity with our father in Heaven.

So perhaps the best New Year’s resolution that one could possibly make is to recognize rebirth in Jesus Christ or to renew your commitment to him. We are sure he would love to work with you so you can come closer to God. Ponder that this year.

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