Bible Reading: John 3:1-21
I know what it means to be born “physically”…but, I’m a little uncertain about what it means to be born “spiritually”. That’s okay…so was a guy named Nicodemus. John tells us about Nicodemus and what he discovered…so that we can know the answer, as well.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
What do these numbers have in common…10, 130, 380, 750? They each represent how long a particular female mammal is pregnant before giving birth. The list below includes over 50 mammals and shows the general period of time that the female is pregnant before giving birth.
- Opossums 10 days (or less)
- Golden Hamster 15-20 days
- Rabbit 25-35 days
- Chipmunk 30-35 days
- Gray Squirrel 30-40 days
- Kangaroo 30-40 days
- Red Fox 50-60 days
- Guinea Pig 55-75 days
- Dog, Cat 55-65 days
- Skunk 60-65 days
- Gray Wolf, Raccoon 60-70 days
- Otter 60-80 days
- Cheetah, Leopard, Siberian Tiger 90-100 days
- Bengal Tiger 100-110 days
- Lion 100-115 days
- Pig 110-115 days
- Porcupine 100-120 days
- Beaver 115-130 days
- Sheep, Goat 145-155 days
- Giant Panda 95-160 days
- Monkeys, Baboons (different kinds) 150-190 days
- Brown Bear, Sloth 200-220 days
- Reindeer 210-250 days
- American Bison (Buffalo) 215-220 days
- Black Bear 220-230 days
- Hippopotamus 225-250 days
- Chimpanzee 230-250 days
- Moose, Polar Bear 240-250 days
- Gorilla 250-260 days
- Orangutan 245-275 days
- Cow 280-290 days
- African Buffalo 330-350 days
- Horse 330-360 days
- Donkey 340-380 days
- California Sea Lion 350-375 days
- Blue Whale 300-400 days
- Bottlenose Dolphin 350-370 days
- Zebra 360-400 days
- Camel 360-420 days
- Black Rhinoceros 400-450 days
- Giraffe 420-450 days
- Walrus 450-500 days
- Orca (Killer Whale) 450-550 days
- Sperm Whale 480-590 days
- Asian Elephant 550-650 days
- African Elephant 600-750 days
Wow! Who would of thought? An opossum is pregnant for less than 2 weeks…and an African Elephant can be pregnant for over 2 years. Well, at least the elephant family will have time to do some remodeling to get ready for the baby. So, how long is a woman pregnant?
- Human 260-290 days.
Okay, I dare you to tell your mother that she shouldn’t complain about being pregnant for 9 months because elephants can be pregnant twice as long. Go ahead. I dare you. No, no, no…I’m just teasing. I want to see you grow up.
Anyway, we know what it means when a person is born. A life that began in the mother…enters into the world. Everyone has been born physically.
The Bible speaks of this kind of birth as being “born of water” and “born of the flesh”. “Water”, because inside the mother’s womb the baby is surrounded by fluid. “Flesh”, because it is a physical birth.
The Bible also speaks of a second kind of birth. It refers to it as being “born of the Spirit” and being “born again”. “Spirit”, because the Holy Spirit causes this birth. “Born again”, because it is not just a remodeling, or modifying of the first birth, but a literal second birth.
Jesus met a man named Nicodemus who was sincerely interested in how to become one of His followers. Jesus went straight to the bottom line in His answer. He told Nicodemus that he had to be “born again”. Nicodemus was confused by this. In his mind, he was seeing himself as a grown man, going back into his mother’s womb…and being born physically, again. Jesus said that He was not talking about a second physical birth…but a second birth, that was spiritual.
Think about this. How much did you have to do with your mother giving physical birth to you? Nothing, nada, not a thing, right? The same thing is true about your second birth. You have nothing to do with it. The Holy Spirit causes you to be born, spiritually. He does everything necessary for you to be born, a second time.
But there is one glaring difference between your first birth (physical)…and your second birth (spiritual). It’s kind of like this. Have you ever seen a teenager get frustrated with her parents and then say, “You can’t choose your parents”? Well, that’s true with your first birth, your physical birth. However, it is different with your second birth, your spiritual birth…because you can choose whether to be born again, or not. In fact, the only way that you will be born again…is if you choose for it to happen. How do you choose? By faith. You have faith in Jesus as your Savior…and then the Holy Spirit gives you a new birth. What is the new birth? It means that the Holy Spirit has come into your life spiritually and you have literally, actually, become a new person…born, again. And here is the cool thing…there is no waiting time. Not 10 days…or 750 days. At the very moment that you accept Jesus as your Savior…you are born again and become a child of God. You now have a spiritual Father…God. You immediately have all of the blessings and all of the privileges of being a part of God’s family. You don’t have to wait until you get to Heaven. God made Heavenly living an earthly opportunity…through the spiritual birth. So, let me ask you a question? Are you living like a child of God? Are you experiencing His blessings? Are you practicing the privileges that come with being a part of His family? I hope so. How do you find out about these blessings and privileges? You read a letter that your Father sent you. It’s called the Bible. As you read it and learn it…you will discover all that God has in store for you. Now, go to it. Start living like a child of God!
Love you more than bunches and bunches,