God has purchased our freedom with his blood and has forgiven all our sins.
(Col. 1:14 NLT)
The human brain, your brain, functions with the storage capacity of 100 million megabytes of memory (in computer terminology), which makes the brain about 100 times more densely packed than the latest super computer in the entire world. Your brain processes 10,000 thoughts every day, and though you know a great deal, there is a great deal which you can afford not to know. You can't live long enough to know everything. That's why you have to depend on doctors, and scientists, on pilots who fly the planes, and even bus drivers who know how to make those eight-foot-wide monsters fit into six-foot-wide spaces.

There is one thing, though, that you can't leave to the experts. It's far too important, because if they come up with the wrong answers, you get buried without enough resources to finish the trip. "O.K." you may be thinking, "tell me what can be so important that I can't afford not to know." In simple terms, you can't afford not to know how to reach heaven when you die. Long ago Jesus Christ told a religious man, "Nicodemus, you need to be born again, because if you aren't born again, you will never see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).

Sometimes the toughest things are the easiest and the easiest are the hardest. It's much that way when it comes to this very issue. We'd rather let somebody else do our thinking—a priest, a pastor, a religious leader of some kind. Pay them a bit, be nice to them, and let them handle the religious issue. Can't afford that privilege? If the captain of the ship takes you into a storm but can't navigate the ship, everybody goes down with him. When it comes to life and death, we face issues that are strictly one on one. When you were born, nobody could do that for you; and when you die, no one else can do it for you.

What does it mean to be born again? I'd like to outline several simple guidelines that you must take to be born again. Are you ready? What I'm sharing may be the most important thing you'll ever hear.

Guideline #1: You need to acknowledge that you need the assurance of eternal life. Yes, I'm talking to you. Not your neighbor. Not your wife, and certainly not your brother-in-law. YOU. The Bible says, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). In simple terms it means you've blown it. You've failed to measure up to the mark. You've fallen short of what God demands.

Guideline #2: You need a change of heart. Actually this isn't something you do all on your own as much as something you cooperate in. You can call it repentance, or whatever you like, but it means you do a turn-about-face. That's what the very word conversion means. You recognize that your life is a mess and you want to do something about it.

Guideline #3: Reach out and accept the free gift of eternal life which God offers through Jesus Christ. "By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not as a result of works that no one should boast" (Eph. 2:8-9). Free gifts come with no strings attached, no return favors. You just take it and enjoy it. Along with the gift comes the realization that it cost God the very life of His Son to bring you into the family. That price was the death of Christ, and in place of your death, Christ paid the price.

Resource reading: Romans 6:8-14

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