1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
14 ¶ And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 ¶ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
I am so grateful for Nicodemus and his courage to go against the traditions and feelings of the other Pharisees and seek Jesus out. I am so grateful for all the beautiful truths we learn from this conversation he had with the Savior. Just like Nicodemus, sometimes we do need to be chastened a little to recognize where we are falling short and where we need to put some additional effort into our studies and our self improvement efforts. We learn from this conversation that it is not enough just to follow the traditions we were born into, but it is necessary for each of us to be converted to the Lord as individuals, to truly be born again.
I grew up believing in Christ and feeling very comfortable with His teachings and doctrine, but I know my own conversion didn’t come until I had children of my own. They were very young when my husband decided he no longer wanted to be an active member of our church. It was at that point where the road forked for me. I knew that if I were to stay an active member it would be very difficult. I would be taking two small children to church by myself every week. I would have to be respectful for our different priorities as husband and wife. I would have to ignore the judgments of others (or my own perception of these judgments) when I was not part of the traditional couple or family. As I pondered on these obstacles I decided I really needed to be clear on what I believed. I needed to be fully committed to the Gospel. I needed to believe it so strongly it would be worth the sacrifices I would be required to make. My praying became more sincere and my study of God’s word more intense. I sought out help from other resources that held uplifting messages and counsel. As I did this, I felt my relationship with the Lord change and my heart become soft and receptive. I was given some very strong reassurances from the Spirit that the Gospel was true and that I was strong enough to take this path without my husband, and that I would never be alone. Though at the time this felt like the biggest trial of my life because it was so unexpected, as I look back now I am so glad that I got the push that I needed to find my own conversion, to genuinely be born again. My relationship with my Father and His Son are mine. I know them personally and I feel their presence in my life. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. It is because of Him that I can do hard things. It is because of Him that I can continually grown closer to Him and become more like Him as He helps me overcome my insecurities and weaknesses. He is ALWAYS there and yearns for each of us to be born again, to seek a personal relationship with Him. But He will honor our agency and wait for us to make the first step.
Soul Searching Question:
What can you do to become more converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ?