Someone asked, “Are you born again?” My reply was, “Again and again and again.” My friend, shocked by my response, rather blatantly scolded me, “You are only saved once. You need not to be redeemed more than that.”
I was unable to explain what I meant. The right words just did not come to mind, but as I have matured as a Christian, it has become clear. Each day brings a renewal in my spirit, and my walk with Jesus grows closer.
What I had referred to as being born ‘again and again’ was my way of trying to say that I was not through learning all I need to know about my Savior. Life is full of “A-ha!” moments, when you suddenly get a point or the depth of a concept you thought you understood. Each step closer, was as rewarding to me as being born again.
For example, we all grew up with Bible Stories that told us about David and Goliath, Noah and his ark, Eve and the apple, or Moses versus the Pharaoh of Egypt. Whether you believe them or not, we understood them well, and even memorized these stories.
As I learned more from the Bible and grew in my faith, I gained understanding about the human beings surrounding each story. Moses was a stutterer, and hence needed Aaron’s help speak to Pharaoh. David, a man of God’s own heart, would grow to be an adulterer, and a murderer. Noah was a drunk. Interesting as these facts were, they seemed to have no bearing on the story.
Later I realized those human traits were very pertinent. These stories illustrate that one may not be able to accomplish great things, but with God Almighty, one can. I once thought that these Biblical heroes were far holier than I was, and I prayed for God to help me be more like them.
It took a long time to put the pieces together, but in one of those ‘a-ha’ moments, I realized God uses our weaknesses to prove His glory. I began to understand that I was no different to these “holy” people. We are all children of God, made in His likeness! He knows we are going to mess up, but His love overcomes whenever we get ourselves into trouble. Using damaged people, the world sees God’s transformation and redemption even more profoundly.
Think about that for a minute. Jesus loves us so much that He does not even see our failures. Rather He sees our possibilities and uses us, just as we are. Just recently the book of Romans has provided several ‘a-ha’ moments for me. I love the elation I feel when I see things from a new perspective, more in line with what God wants me to be.
As a self-check, I pray on the newly revealed insight to be sure it is God’s meaning, not my own. I ask for some small indication that I am on the right track. God always provides back up when He is teaching me a new concept. When the sign appears, I am like a child at Christmas, full of love, joy and excitement.
Jesus loves each of us as we are. He knows our deepest darkest secrets more intimately than we do. My latest a-ha has been realizing that I have always had enduring faith, but I was still trying to prove myself worthy. Jesus is my best friend. Why was I trying to pretend to be anything but the person He created before time began!
I have changed over time, giving up worldly pleasures for a life without fear, and a generous heaping of God’s peace. Grace has changed me from the person I was, and in replace, He has granted me great joy in living. My chains are gone- I have been set free!
I have a long way to go, but I am a much better person than I had been before I gave myself to Jesus. Being a Christian is not about being a perfect human. No one will ever accomplish that goal, short of Jesus, the Christ. I am a sinner saved by Grace. I am not perfect, but I am the person Jesus loves. The one He created me to be.