September 3, 2016
August 31st, I celebrated my spiritual birthday. What I mean by “spiritual birthday” derives from the book of John, chapter 3, in the Bible. We are all “born of the flesh” (v.6) into a world that is tainted by sin, so our physical bodies will eventually die, no matter how healthy we are. However, “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (v.6), and spiritual birth is necessary to enter the kingdom of God. Because we are all naturally sinful, all of us were born spiritually dead, and spiritual birth is only made possible by the work of God, who took on humanity in Jesus Christ. Through His perfect life and subsequent sacrifice of Himself upon the cross, Jesus made reconciliation before God for the penalty that was due all humanity.
Each person who believes in Jesus for their salvation and makes Him the new Master (rather than self) of their life will be saved from their sin and be born spiritually. I grew up in a home that honored the one true God, the God of the Bible. Because of this, I realized as a young child that I was spiritually dead and that I desperately needed Jesus to save me. So, 18 years ago, as a fourth grader, I was born again, and my spiritual life began. I am far from perfect, but I seek to live out every area of my life in a way that would honor my Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.
The reason I am writing this is due in part to a particular practice of reflection that my parents encouraged me to engage in shortly after I became a Christian. Every year, on my spiritual birthday (i.e. August 31st for me), they encouraged me to reflect on and examine the past year of my life in order to identify ways that I was becoming more like Christ, but also to recognize areas of my life that I needed to be more diligent in striving to be Christ-like. I think this spiritual exercise is important for all Christians, though it may be in different forms and ought to be more often than once a year. Just as the ancient Israelites, brought out of bondage in Egypt, we Christians should always be quick to remember where God has brought us from and constant in setting our sights on Jesus, the one we are striving for.