June 24 I Wednesday
“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
What characterizes a child? The basic answer that enables a child to even be a child is that he or she must be born. Simply put, there has to be a start to their life. Interestingly, the KJV translation of Jesus’s teaching to His disciples to change and become like little children is as follows, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). Instead of the word “change,” the KJV uses “converted,” which is found in Scripture to denote what it means for a person to come to Christ and be born again.
On the subject of being born again, we encounter this topic in a dialogue between Nicodemus and Jesus. Nicodemus, a Pharisee, was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He went to Jesus at night searching for some answers saying, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with Him.” Then Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless they are born again.” Jesus’s answer puzzled Nicodemus to which he asked, “How can someone be born when they are old? Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Nicodemus gave a logical response since it is impossible for a person to enter their mother’s womb and be born again. Yet, 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’” (John 3:1-7).
As stated earlier, in order for a child to be a child, he or she has to be born. Similarly, entry into the Kingdom of Heaven is by new birth. This new birth begins with recognizing that we are separated from God and we cannot live a life that we have not first received. In other words, nobody can live the Christian life without first being born again because it is a life that we have to receive before we can live.
We know we are born again because we have received the Holy Spirit as Paul tells us, “When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit…” (Ephesians 1:13). If we are not born again, would we humbly ask God to convert us?
Prayer: Dear God, I confess my sin, my condition of separation from You. I ask You to convert me and give me a new birth. Thank You, Lord.