Ye Must Be Born Again
I downloaded a song this weekend called "The One You Want" by the Christian artist, Todd Agnew. I've listened to it a couple of times, and the lyrics have really spoken to me, because they expresses some of the thoughts I have had at times as a believer. The beginning of the chorus says, "It's hard for me to believe that I could be lovely in Your eyes, that I'm really the one You want." It amazes me time and again to be reminded that I have been made acceptable in God's eyes, and that the blood He shed for me on Golgotha's hill has blotted out all my sins, and that God sees me as perfect in Jesus, His Son.
Sometimes I forget that maybe not everyone reading this blog I write is a born again believer in Jesus Christ. From time to time, parents inquire about the possibility of putting their children in Greater Grace Christian Academy, and they hope we have a open seat in one of our classes, because we have a caring, safe, academic environment and high standards; but they overlook or misunderstand the word "Christian" in our school name. GGCA is a Christian school, not simply because we have a Bible class every day, but also because our mission is to serve the children of church-going Christian families who believe as we do that, as Jesus said in John 3:3, “... unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Our desire is for our young people to experience what Jesus meant when he said that we must be born again, and not only be born again, but to choose to live a life as a disciple of Christ.
This past Sunday, a pastor referenced Ezekiel 47, the passage where the prophet Ezekiel is brought to a river and taken out to where the waters reach his ankles, then his knees, then his waist, and then are so deep that he had to swim. I thought of how some Christians become born again and believe in Christ for salvation from hell, but don't go much further than that in their spiritual walk with God. They stand on the river bank and watch the waters flow by, maybe sticking in their toes to test the waters. They don't get into the river of spiritual life itself. Some venture as far out as to immerse their ankles and are in no danger of being swept away by the current. They like to wade. Some progress to knee-level waters and they can feel a bit more of the current's tug, but they can still stand and walk with some ease where they want to go. Those who go out to the waist-high waters can now seriously feel the water's pressure against their bodies, and it takes some effort to resist the current and still go where they want to go in the water. Others go out further still and abandon themselves to the river's flow, the river takes their bodies where it wills, and they are immersed, swimming, buoyed up and enjoying the refreshing, healing waters of the river.
At GGCA, we hope that the Spirit of God will move our students to "take the plunge," so to speak. We are hoping that our parents desire the same for their children, and this is why we make a big deal about beliefs in interviews with parents. We want every child to be supported in his or her education with spiritual guidance from not only the school, but their home and their church.
As an adult believer, someone who still finds it hard to believe that I am the one God wants, I believe very strongly that our young people need to be in a place in school, home, and church where they are getting the message that God desperately, jealously loves each of us who have become part of his family. That personal relationship with Christ is what will sustain us in this life and for all eternity.