God Wants Us to Be Born Again -Advent 14 (2019)

Of all the beautiful terms that have been skewed to pejorative status, the two words “Born Again” unquestionably tower above others for its disparity between perception in our wider world and its spiritual reality.  What a pity because the image—properly understood—is so lovely.  The idea is that we’re not tweaked, corrected, reformed, trying a little harder, or beginning a 12-step program toward one day at a time, but something far more wonderful!  We are a whole new creation in Christ!  It is a revolutionary and unparalleled idea and is on God’s Christmas List. 

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. “

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are 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?  Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.  I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?  No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven– the Son of Man.  Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:3-16).

Think about it:

  • How can a person tell if he/she has been born again?  How can other people tell? 
  • Why do you suppose it was so hard for Nicodemus to understand what being born again was all about? 
  • Read John 19:38-42. Nicodemus shows up with Joseph of Arimathea to prepare Jesus’ body for burial.  The Scriptures intentionally remind us that Nicodemus had come at night, harkening back to the story above.  Why do you think that is?

What God wants for Christmas is…for us to be born again.

Dear Lord, Please grant that I would never be embarrassed to refer to myself as Born-Again.  May I remember and cherish always this beautiful image and appreciate what You intend by having us experience that spiritual birth into the family of Christ.  Knit me together with my brothers and sisters in Christ.  By Your Holy Spirit, may I be guided into act of goodness to bring glory to You as my Father in heaven.  Amen.


Join me beginning December 1, 2019 by signing up on the sidebar of my Home Page to receive these daily devotionals. Let’s enjoy exploring what might be on God’s Christmas list.

Acknowledging inquiries about an entire season’s devotionals for your study group’s planning purposes, Seminary Gal’s prior seasons’ Advent devotionals can be accessed via the archives to the right and are as follows:  

  • Last year’s Advent Devotional Series (2018) Storyteller began December 2, 2018 and entered into the Christmas story through its telling.
  • The 2017 series Still Christmas, began December 3, 2017 and was the Advent complement to the Lenten series, Be Still and Know that I AM God.
  • The 2016 season devotionals were called Timeless: The Message of Christmas for All Ages” and explored how the message of Christmas is timeless truth, for all ages of people, and for all ages at all times.  Timeless hope, encouragement, grace, peace, and love as we looked into the Word, saw the face of our Lord Jesus, and experienced restoration in His presence.  His goodness and His Gospel are truly Timeless. The 2016 devotionals began November 27, 2016.
  • The 2015 season devotionals were titled Incarnation and involved digging deep–and yes, I mean deep– in this important mystery of Christian theology.  They began November 29, 2015.
  • Carol Me, Christmas! remains one of my most popular offerings and tells the Christmas story through our most beloved Christmas hymns and carols.  You can access all of the numbered devotionals from 2014 via the archives.  They began November 30, 2014.
  • The 2013 series was Emmanuel: When LOVE Showed Up in Person and examined the Prologue to the Gospel of John.  It began December 1, 2013.
  • The 2012 series focused on Expecting the Unexpected…the unexpected, unlikely, and uniquely divine qualities of God’s perfect plan outlined in Luke’s account of the Christmas story.  It began December 1, 2012.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 14, 2019

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