Most people celebrate their birthday once a year. I celebrate my birthday twice every year. The first was the day I entered this world in the flesh in 1962. My second birthday was June 7, 1981…the day I was born of the Spirit, and I celebrate both birthdays each year.
I was not raised in a particularly religious home. We were nominally Southern Baptist, but dropped out as a family when I was about eight years ago. For a while I was an atheist. Yep, my atheist sister convinced me there was no God. I felt no need for a “higher power”.
Until my teen years. My alcoholic father left us. I loved him deeply, and felt a huge hole in my life. I had started reading a book a fried had given Daddy: “Evidence That Demands A Verdict” by Josh McDowell. It was convincing, compelling. From both an intellectual and emotional standpoint i wanted to believe.
My mother and I started attending church again. I read the Bible every day, attended worship services and Sunday School every time the doors were open. I even submitted to water baptism. I was very religious, but still lost.
Finally, one Sunday night, June 7, 1981 I heard a missionary from Australia speak. His name was Ian North. He spoke on John chapter 10 about Jesus being the Good Shepherd. He asked, “Jesus is the Good Shepherd, but is He your Shepherd? Do you belong to Him?”. In a moment it dawned on me so clearly that I had never personally called upon Christ and put my trust only in Him. No one is saved by osmosis. We are saved when we approach Christ like the thief on the cross did, abandon all hope in ourselves, and rest in Christ alone.
So, sitting alone in my little 1980 Chevette, I admitted to God that I was the sinner Christ came for, that I was totally lost, and I asked Jesus to save me. He did. I,’ve been a sorry Christian sometimes, but I’ve never been sorry I became one. My second birthday…it’s even more meaningful to me than the first one! Soli Deo Gloria.