[reprinted from June 17, 2010]
Jesus answered, â€œMost certainly I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he canâ€™t enter into the Kingdom of God! That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Donâ€™t marvel that I said to you, â€˜You must be born anew.â€™ The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but donâ€™t know where it comes from and where it is going. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.â€ Â Â Â John 3:5-8 (WEB)
Those who would rather not consider that the Holy Spirit is part of their Christian life will have a problem with this devotion. There was a time in my life when I felt the same way about Father God. I did not want to think about Him. I did not address Him in my prayers. Jesus was my Friend. The Holy Spirit was my Comforter. I was good with them. The Father was â€“ THE FATHER. I thought He was waiting to whack me for my sins. I had sins so I was going to get whacked. The Spirit spoke to me and said, â€œDo a word study on â€œFatherâ€. Let Him teach you through His word who He is.â€ I did. I got a whole new attitude. I love to crawl up in my Fatherâ€™s lap. I love to look at Him and know His love. I love to feel His love even when He is rebuking me. Yes, my attitude has changed because I learned about who He truly is.
Jesus says I must be born both of water and spirit. My parents made a commitment for me to be a child of God as I was baptized as a child. It is a good thing for parents to make that dedication and I believe the ritual is way to commit that to the parentsâ€™ memory every day as they raise the child. It would be over 40 years before I made that commitment for myself. 40 years until I decided that there would be no turning back. I was baptized at that time because I believe that baptism is a sacrament. A sacrament is an outward sign of the change inside of me. My then 16-year-old daughter and son were also baptized that night. A night to remember.
The Holy Spirit was in me from the moment that I accepted Jesus. If the Father, Jesus, and the Spirit are One, then accepting Jesus means I accepted them. Now, as I said, I was entirely on board with that concept but where my faith is weak â€“ God is strong. I was born in the Spirit. Every day, the Spirit has been teaching me. Itâ€™s like being hooked up to a spiritual IV.
â€œThis is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and doesnâ€™t come to the light, lest his works would be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his works may be revealed, that they have been done in God.â€ Â Â Â Â John 3:19-21 (WEB)
Here is that Three in One mystery again. The Spirit brings the Light to shine in all the dark corners of my life. There is nothing that escapes His scrutiny. When I am contemplating sin, I am moving away from the Light and attempting to stay in the shadows, trying to avoid being found out. Ha!
My life is Life with God. There are no â€˜compartmentsâ€™ that God is not invited in. Everything that I do, everything that I say is a reflection of God. I call myself a Christian and Disciple and so what I do is revealed as being done by God. The Holy Spirit is the â€˜convictionâ€™ that corrects me and shows me the path toward Light vs. the darkness. My choice.
Being a Christian and Disciple of Jesus Christ is not my name tag inside of a church building. It is my name tag every minute of every day no matter where I am.
Take time to read John 3 today. Listen as the Three in One speaks to your spirit.
Spirit and the Bride written by Tom Dickson, sung by Lindell Cooley