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HEAVENLY CITIZENSHIP BIRTHDAY
by Barri Cae Mallin
Shalom. My name is Barri Cae. I was raised in a Jewish home and was saved in 1980
Why don’t we celebrate spiritual birthdays? The day that we were saved? Today is my 30th birthday in the LORD [article posted Jan 21, 2010 - ed.]. This is such a benchmark day today! Thirty years ago, I was having lunch with two business associates. We were eating in my Jewish cousin’s deli. Over lunch, the topic of religion came up. One of the men called himself a Messianic Jew. Back in 1980, I had no idea what was this term.
I replied “What?”
He answered, “a born-again Jew.”
I asked if that was similar to the place on Northwest Highway, in Dallas. It had a sign with a cross, a star of David and a fish (although back then, I thought that was a Greek fraternity symbol!). He said, “yes” and I asked him to tell me about it. He shared with me his own story of faith and shared one Bible verse, Isaiah 53:6:
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way,
but the LORD has taken the iniquity
At that moment, my spirit came alive. It was as though God reached down into my spirit and turned the light switch on. Although I was raised Jewish, I had never really read my Bible, the Holy Scriptures, yet I recognized that this man was sharing Jesus with me. God revealed to me Messiah Yeshua, Jesus in my own Holy Scriptures. This was astounding!
Right there, sitting in my Orthodox Jewish cousin’s deli, I was saved. I walked into that deli on the way to Hell and I walked out of the deli on the way to Heaven. I now had heavenly citizenship! What a glorious day! January 21, 1980. There has never been a day like it in my life. Back then, the Americans won the gold medal against Russia in hockey. The next Sunday, I went to my first church at a non-denominational Bible church. What a heavenly citizenship!
Why don’t we celebrate spiritual birthdays? It is such a glorious transformation and one that is a true mystery! There is no greater thing than to realize that the God of Heaven loves YOU! That He has a plan for you, tailor-made just for you! That He truly cares for you!
Salvation is a difficult thing to explain. Scripture tells us that a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised (I Corinthians 2:14). No matter how much we try, we have not the power to save, and it is a God work, directed by the Ruakh HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit. All of us have prayed for loved ones to come into the family of faith, but it is a God work.
But what a glorious work is salvation! Before I was a believer, I always wanted to know where I was going when I died, and where I was before I was born. I recall buying astrology books with very involved numerological calculations based on my birth date. These were stupid! I got bogged down just trying to figure out how to add, let alone determine what special meaning came along with my birth date, according to the sun and the moon and the stars. All that became meaningless on January 21, 1980. My name was written in the Lamb’s book of life on that date. What a glorious Heavenly citizenship!
All of us know that walking with the LORD is never easy but there are so many benefits. The invisible God shows His love to us in visible ways. Sometimes it is through healing or provision or miracles or family salvations. My oldest brother came to faith in Messiah seven years prior to me; my middle brother came to faith five years ago. I have cousins on both my mother and father’s side who are believers in Messiah. What a heavenly citizenship! May all of our family tables be filled at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
When I was nine years old in the LORD, I could not wait to be ten years old. Then when I hit thirteen years old in the LORD, I remember wondering if I would go through tough ‘teenage’ years in the LORD, but I did not. When I was nineteen years old in the LORD, I remember being very excited to be twenty, as I would have the ‘teenage’ years behind me. I then wanted to have more years of life on earth, as a believer. So when I turned 26 years old in the LORD, I was so excited as now I would have more years on earth as a believer rather than as a non-believer. What a heavenly citizenship!
Had Jesus never come into my life, I know that I was on my way to destruction. I was morally bankrupt, financially bankrupt. I could describe my life as two steps forward, five steps back. I was a bad girl. I picked up cigarette smoking in college, seven years prior. I was a cheater, a former adulterer, I lied, I stole, and I was a good manipulator, a party gal. Immoral and ignorant. I justified my immorality as there were others far more worse than I. I was in dire need of a savior.
But all praise and glory go to God! He reached down in that little deli thirty years ago and picked me up out of the miry clay and set my feet on a solid Rock, The Rock of Ages. What an exciting citizenship! For as many as are the promises of God, in Him, in Yeshua Jesus, they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us (1 Corinthians 2:20). What a heavenly citizenship!
Yet, with respect to the promise of God, he [Abraham] did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. (Rom 4:20-21)
To see God in everything makes life the greatest adventure there is. There is no sweeter name than the name of Jesus. What a glorious day it was, January 21, 2000, when that name Jesus, became more than a name. He became real. He became my Best Friend. Is He your Best friend? I pray so!
Copyright © Barri Cae Mallin.
This article has been edited and may be read in its original form here.