Each year as the birthdays of my children come around I consider the blessing God gave me in carrying and birthing them. I admit I loved being pregnant and all of the attention I received from it, the feel of their movement while inside, even having morning sickness didn’t bother me so much when I looked beyond it and toward the birth of my baby and holding them in my arms. Back when my children were born it was pushed pretty hard to go the “natural childbirth”, no drugs, and Lamaze class way of birth; so I got to experience the whole thing from beginning to end, every last pain and contraction. I wasn’t good at the Lamaze thing since I didn’t have a coach to help me either in or outside of the classes when practicing, so it was kind of a moot point for me to even take them, after the first few, I stopped going.
Would I go through the pains of labor all over again just so their dad and I could have such beautiful and wonderful children? Absolutely, in a heart-beat, if I was able I would have more children. As I think back, each time was a memorable moment – to hear their first cries, their first need for me to rescue them from the unfamiliar, to be held and comforted by me, their mother, and by their dad. However, I want to look at the birth from the stand point of a baby inside a womb for just a few moments, if you will indulge me here.
For a baby, being inside the mother’s womb is like having a continual very gentle warm hug. It is a safe place for the baby, if the baby is blessed to have parents who already love him or her, and will do nothing to the mother’s body to harm the baby or the mother. The womb is also a place in which a baby can move, practice sucking on their thumbs or fingers, and even hear the hushed sounds of what are to become familiar voices. If the baby is blessed to have a mother who takes care of her body and loves the baby inside her, enough so she doesn’t abuse her body with foreign substances, then the womb is also a place where they experience their first nurturing care and nourishment. When their very first Birth Day arrives a baby finds that the womb then becomes a place where they are being pressed on from all sides then squeezed forcefully from the womb, only to be caught football style in in the crook of an elbow and two rubber covered hands.
Now, if this experience isn’t tough enough the doctor then places two clamps the baby’s umbilical cord, and then cuts it in between. This I’m sure can’t be painless, it probably feels worse than placing a clothes pin on the most sensitive part of your body, such as an ear lobe. I may be wrong about this part too, I don’t know, but it seems to me, if the blood is still flowing to the umbilical cord, the nerve endings are still intact. The baby is still receiving nourishment from the umbilical cord up until the point it is clamped off, and then snip goes the scissors. The baby is officially no longer tied to their mother and their life has changed forever.
Even then the immediate pain of life outside the womb isn’t over. This world, in which the baby finds themselves, is to them a horrible place. Shocking and scary, devoid of all the known comforts the baby once knew inside the womb. They have no voice in this world other than their own crying to express their pain, their objection to all they have lost and all they are experiencing now; and it is their way of expressing every need they will ever have until they can learn to talk expressively. This crying is what every medical professional waits with bated breath to hear; and from the stand point of the parents, when that crying is heard, it is with a resounding joy, pride and overflowing love.
Though this world is something the parents may take it for granted, it is for the baby a world of bright lights, louder sounds, and abrupt coldness on their wet skin. There are rough towels cleaning and drying them off and there’s no longer that continual warm gentle hug; until, after what seems to be a very a long process of checking the baby over: a tube is stuck down the baby’s throat to suction out any remaining “fluids”; vitals are taken like blood pressure and temperature; fingers and toes are counted and all appendages are checked for proper “formation”.
The baby is lain on a cold metal scale to be weighed; they are poked and prodded, shoulders and hips manipulated to the point of almost dislocation to ensure they are not, the baby is scared to check for a proper startle reflex, held up to see if they have a “walking instinct”, their skin is checked for proper coloring and also for any disfiguring or identification marks – all this for APGAR scores; medicinal goop is slathered into their eyes to prevent infection; the umbilical cord is once again clamped, with a more permanent plastic clamp – closer to their body this time and cut yet again then painted with purple stuff to help it “dry up” and fall off; they are poked in the heel for blood work, ink is applied to their feet for footprints, a tape measure is placed around the baby’s head to find the circumference and the baby is stretched out on their back so the body length can be recorded; plastic non-removable straps with information about them and their parents are placed on their wrist and or ankle; they are diapered with something rather stiff, scratchy and itchy; swaddled in a rough blanket; and then they are capped with what must feel like a tight cap to keep their head warm. Finally, after all of this, the baby can then be placed in their mother’s and or father’s arms, for a few minutes of cuddling and loving (that is if they’re blessed to have parents who want to be parents and understand what a blessing and responsibility they have received) then suddenly it’s nursery time where the baby is placed under a heat lamp, rocked, fed, changed and watched carefully for Infant Jaundice. What I described was my birth experiences with my children, that happened about, well, let’s just say it was several years ago.
Although any physical Birth Day is of great importance; and I shall never forget the Birth Days of my own children, Jesus says that re-birth or to be born again is the most important. A person can have as may birthdays as is written in God’s book of life for them, but if you haven’t been born again, a birthday whether celebrated or not, is useless. Before you read further, please see this passage in the Bible. It is taken from the Complete Jewish Bible, so therefore Jesus is called by how His name would have been pronounced then – Yeshua, Nicodemus is Nakdimon, and Moshe is of course Moses; you may also want to know P’rushim means Pharisees, and Rabi means Jewish scholar or teacher. This passage also includes the most famous verse in the world, which many know – John 3:16, and whose very words came from the lips of Yeshua (Jesus) Himself!
To be born again is also a less painful a process than our first Birth Day. It is a free gift of God, not of ourselves, to all who believe on the His son, the LORD, Jesus Christ. There is something though which keeps you and me from opening such a beautiful pure and free gift. According to the God’s written Word, the Bible, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. So sin is in the way. Our hands are too dirty with sin to open such a pure gift, sin permeates the entire being of man and woman.
What is sin? Sin is doing something bad, or not doing something you should have, or thinking wrong thoughts or saying (or thinking) bad things… that list could go on for quite some time, because we could sin and not even realize it until later down the road. Sin makes us an enemy of God and it separates us from Him. Sin separates us from God while we’re here on earth and if we are not cleansed of the sin (meaning, being born again) before we die, then we are separated from God for eternity also, and that happens in a really horrible place called Hell. Sin is basically breaking one of the Ten Commandments, which Jesus summed those commandments for us up into two commands found in Mark 12:30-31. Even then, we cannot follow it perfectly.
What is Hell? Hell is a place, which God originally made only to be used for Satan – who was once an angel and who with many other angels God had made, wanted to take over God’s throne; it is also a place where an eternal lake of fire burns. Hell is a place of torment, and all who die with sin in them will be sent there by God because He is a trustworthy and just judge, He is not corrupt as some here on earth are and will let those who do bad things go without punishment. At some point, which only God knows, Satan and his minions, that is other angels who tried to help him take over God’s throne will also be thrown into the lake of fire called Hell. Hell is eternal separation from God.
Any sin we could ever commit can be summed up in the Bible in Deuteronomy 5, in the Ten Commandments, but those aren’t the only ones. As I stated before God expects perfect adherence (obedience) to those laws, unfortunately we have a sin nature in us, which without being born again through accepting God’s free gift through the LORD, Jesus Christ, we will eventually give in to sin and we will die for eternity upon our physical death. Stinks pretty bad doesn’t it? This is why God, in His mercy, made the perfect plan to save us not only from our sin, but also from Hell!
God sent His only Son to be born on earth, die on a cross, be buried in a tomb, and then after three days He arose from the dead – to save us from our sins, to help us live according to His plan. So now what?! Let’s look at it:
This video is kind of fun to watch, but also very serious at the same time…
You must understand and see sin for what it is, an offense to God, which keeps us separated from Him. How do you know if you have sinned? Well let’s check some of the more simplest or recognizable sins…
- Have you ever told a lie, even a little one?
- A little white lie is still a lie.
- Omitting very important information on purpose to hurt another person is also a lie.
- A partial truth is still half of a lie, therefore it is a lie.
- Have you ever stolen anything? It doesn’t have to be anything big like a car or T.V..
- If you have taken any type of office supply item, such as a notebook, pad of paper, pen, or a paper clip, etc. from your work place, a store customer service counter, or a public office, which you didn’t buy, it is considered stealing.
- Maybe you claimed the credit for someone else’s work at the job place. Not only is this stealing, but it’s also a lie, and you’ve lusted after whatever it was you were going to gain that your co-worker would’ve gotten for the same work! Three strikes, you’re outta there!
- Have you ever moved in someplace new, found out the cable for T.V. hadn’t been shut off but you continued to use it without paying for it. That’s stealing.
- Ever go to a movie theater pay for one movie, but then when that one is over, go to another movie right afterwards without paying for that one? That’s stealing.
- Have you ever taken something without asking permission first? That’s stealing.
- Have you ever cheated a customer out of something, as an employee or a business owner? That’s stealing.
- Have you ever “fudged” just a little bit on your income taxes, your time sheet at work or anything else of this sort, just so you could get more money back? This too is stealing.
- Have you ever looked upon another person with lust?
- Jesus said that if a man lusts after a woman, he has committed adultery with her in his heart.
- Women can commit this sin too, have you ever looked at a man and said to yourself, “I wouldn’t kick him out of my bed!”, or something similar to that phrase? Well that’s lust.
- Have you ever used God or the LORD, Jesus Christ’s name to swear?
- Have you ever said, “Oh my _ _ _!” or used the “OMG” in a text or when talking? It’s the same thing and it’s considered blasphemy.
- Perhaps in hurting yourself, you have said, “_ _ _ d_ _ _ _t!”
- Have you ever said, “J_ _ _ s C_ _ _ _t!” When you’ve gotten angry or for any other reason except to speak of Him favorably and with worship and respect? This too is blasphemy
If you have done any ONE of these things, then in the eyes of God you are a sinner and you are deserving of the penalty of sin, which is death eternal, in Hell.
- But, this isn’t everything, God who made us, can even see into the heart and mind of men and women.
You must truly be sorry for having committed the(se) sin(s), not just being sorry you were caught or found out or are having to pay the consequences for the sin, but actually truly heart broken over the fact that you have sinned against God, and are repentant (willingly turning away from) of your sin.
You must ask God to forgive you of your sin, wash you clean and invite the LORD, Jesus Christ to come live in your heart so He can help make you a better person. God really does love you and He does not want anyone to go to Hell, please believe this!
There is no perfect prayer for forgiveness, but here is an example if you would like to pray
“Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and I do not deserve eternal life. But, I believe You died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever. Jesus, come into my life, take control of my life, forgive my sins and save me. I am now placing my trust in You alone for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life. Amen”
That’s it… If you have gone through these simple steps, have truly repented from your sin, and asked God to forgive you and the LORD, Jesus Christ to come live in your heart, then you have been born again. You are a new creation in the LORD, Jesus Christ, according to the Bible through your being born again. Many call this becoming a Christian, or a Believer. Now that you have done these things, go out and tell someone about it! Find a Bible, read it daily and talk to God (pray) just as you would to a friend, memorizing Bible verses can be very helpful to you during your daily life – I encourage this, and finally find a Bible believing/teaching Church and attend services so you can grow in your New Life.
Thank you for reading, watching and listening, I hope you have found a New Life in the Lord Jesus Christ, today. If not, I hope you will take what you have seen, read, and heard with you and think about it. This is a proverbial “fork in the road” – Jesus is in one direction, Hell is in the other. However, if you don’t choose Jesus today it doesn’t mean that you can’t do a U-Turn if you change your mind later. Just don’t wait too long, because once you die, it’s too late. You can’t change your mind, your decision to accept God’s free gift of life through the LORD, Jesus Christ, can only be opened while you are still alive.
Deuteronomy 5 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Ten Commandments Reviewed
5 And Moses called all Israel, and said to them: “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your hearing today, that you may learn them and be careful to observe them. 2 The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. 3 The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, those who are here today, all of us who are alive. 4 The Lord talked with you face to face on the mountain from the midst of the fire. 5 I stood between the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord; for you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up the mountain. He said:
6 ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
7 ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.
8 ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 9 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,10 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
11 ‘You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
12 ‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
16 ‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
17 ‘You shall not murder.
18 ‘You shall not commit adultery.
19 ‘You shall not steal.
20 ‘You shall not bear false witness [lie] against your neighbor.
21 ‘You shall not covet [lust after] your neighbor’s wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’
22 “These words the Lord spoke to all your assembly, in the mountain from the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and He added no more. And He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.