Yesterday was National Peace Officers Memorial Day in the U.S.A., and flags were flown at half-staff. I returned the flags to their full height on the church’s flagpole this morning and took a moment to enjoy watching them unfurl in the breeze. The invisible force of the wind, gently enveloping the light, nylon fabric of the U.S. and Iowa flags and pushing the clouds overhead, gave me a joy in the beauty of God’s creation.
It also reminded me of the mysterious nature of the wind of which Jesus spoke in John 3. As Jewish leader, Nicodemus, inquired of Jesus about spiritual things, He told the inquirer that he must be born again. A bit confused, Nicodemus asked for clarification. Jesus illustrated his point with the wind.
5 Jesus answered, “I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. 8 The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:5-8 HCSB*
While we do not see the wind, we hear and see its effects. Likewise, the wind cannot be controlled as it goes where it wills and does as it wishes. The Spirit’s regenerating work is like this. While unseen and beyond man’s control, the Spirit brings about new birth, resulting in lives that are transformed, enabling Christians to live differently than they did before. Thank God for the unseen role of the Spirit, enveloping lives and allowing them to unfurl in newness.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 HCSB
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