Born Again. What is it and How Does it Work?

(Anyone can copy my posts for any reason.)

Lately, I’ve been listening to Tim Keller’s podcasts. He is a wonderful speaker for God. He brings things out of the Bible that I’ve never known because he has studied the culture of those times and explains the meaning of words from the Hebrew and Greek.

Today, he told a story of a woman who had become a Christian as a teenager. But through her life she tried to find peace and joy through men, work and volunteering. Finally, she saw that the love of God for her was what she had been seeking all along.

Her story is my story. I did the same things she did. When I realized no one could ever love me enough; no one could love me in the exact way I wanted to be loved, that is when I moved closer to God and found that love.

I will say, I still struggle with believing God loves me. When you have been through a rough childhood, it is hard to believe anyone loves you. But I know the feelings of not being loved by God are wrong and just feelings. He does love me, just as I am.

Here is a link to Tim Keller’s sermon. It is inspiring how he talks about being born again, how it happens and what it does.

The Becoming of A Christian.

My last post was about how we cannot know who is a Christian and who is not because it is a slow process brought about by the Holy Spirit. I thought I would give some examples of this.

I was raised in a home that was religious. We went to church each week and had conversations about God. Because of this, I have always believed there was a God. I have always believed the Bible is a true book about him. I was attracted to God all through my childhood and teen years.

But though I am grateful for that part of my upbringing, I was also taught God was strict and we needed to not sin in order to go to heaven. I wanted to be a Christian, but knew I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t understand grace and being converted.

When I was 18, I gave birth to my first daughter. As I held her in my arms, I knew I wanted her to be saved and I knew I needed God’s help to raise her. For the first time, I put another person before me. I learned what love was.

That year my grandmother gave me a book called, “Patriarchs and Prophets.” I read it and was moved by the picture of God by the author. Then I had a dream.

I dreamed I was drinking and partying with my friends. We were outside walking up a hill on a sidewalk. All of a sudden, the sky went black. I turned around and saw a rainbow spanning the dark sky. I knew Jesus was coming back and I wasn’t saved. I wouldn’t be going to heaven. I felt terrified.

When my daughter was two, I went to California to visit my parents. My mother and grandmother took me to an evangelistic meeting. The night he spoke about Jesus’ love, I went forward and gave my life to him. My grandma and mom were crying with joy and I was very happy and at peace.

Not long after that I had a dream. I was standing in front of my parent’s house with my daughter. I saw Jesus coming in the clouds. I felt great joy and knew I was saved.

All through these years (I am now 68) I have been learning about God. There have been times I was very angry at him; there are the many times I have seen his wonderful works in my life. I have learned to admire and love God.

My two daughters were raised by me to believe in God. We took them to church and they attended a church school. When they were teens, they decided not to be Christians. My oldest daughter told me she thought heaven would be boring so she didn’t care if she was saved or not. But she believed there was a God, and prayed when she needed help.

Then 8 years ago, her oldest son died at the age of 21. She needed God desperately in this time and has stayed with him. He has been her help, comfort and courage.

My grandsons went through years of the Holy Spirit working on their hearts. When they were teenagers, they told me they were atheists, like their step-father. But after years of listening to my husband and other family members, they both believed in God. My grandson who died was praying and wanting to live a better life. He died by drinking way too much, falling asleep face-first on a soft sofa and never waking up. But he was accepted by Jesus as he was. He is saved for eternal life.

My nephew, who was mentally ill and killed himself 2 years ago, was at first an atheist. But my sisters and I talked with him about God for years. He had many questions we tried their best to answer. When schizophrenia took hold of him in his last year, he phoned me and visited me in order to ask me all about God.

Thankfully, I had gone through a time of having doubts about God’s goodness and I could answer his doubts as God had answered mine. A few days before he died, he told me, “I’ve made up my mind about God. He is the one true God and I’m giving my life to him.” I was so very happy. I had no idea what he had planned to do. But I do know God accepted him as he was, mental illness and all. The only time he talked normally was when it was about God. Other than that, he talked about how the government was after him and people were following him every place he went. He said he put us at risk by just visiting us.

I give these examples to show how true it is that people are either becoming Christians or are not becoming Christians. It shows how for years the Holy Spirit works on a person’s heart and then, seemingly all of a sudden, they ask God into their lives.

I am so thankful for God’s patience and mercy. I thank him for accepting us where we are; that we don’t have to become a great person before he comes to us. I’m thankful he came to save sinners, not the righteous! What a God he is, full of love, compassion and forgiveness.