Him: “But dear, we have to make some choices. We’re in tough economic times. We can’t afford everything. We have to say goodbye to some of our luxuries – if I can call them that. Let’s make a list of our bare necessities – the essentials and then have a separate column for the non-essentials.”

Her: “Well, our utilities are required. We need lights and water. We can’t survive without them. If you truly want to get down to the essentials – we are talking about a roof over our head, food, electricity and water. That’s it, dear.”

Him: “Now, you’re not thinking straight. Just listen for a second. We can’t survive without the internet and our cell phone. Of all the things to trim from our budgets, those two things will be the last to go! I’ll give up our plans to attend an NHL game this season and we can scrap our plans to attend the concert. We can cancel our subscriptions for the newspaper and magazines and our membership in the DVD buying club. We’ll quit going out to movies. We’ll not renew our premium cable package and yes, if push comes to shove, we’ll cancel our home phone. But the internet and my cell phone are definite survival requirements. So we’ll guard them at any cost!”

A recent survey conducted in Canada and the U.S. suggests that if consumers are forced to reduce spending, they will look almost everywhere else in their household budgets before they unplug their computer or switch off their BlackBerry.

Many consumers, with minor exceptions, view these as essential utilities, like water or electricity,” says the report, which was compiled from interviews with 800 consumers last week, and is expected to be released today.

People were saying, ‘It’s not going to happen – you would have to pry it out of my hands,’ that kind of language,” said Kaan Yigit, head of Solutions Research Group, the Toronto firm that produced the report. (1)

What do you consider essential in life?

A friend of mine who was alive yesterday is not alive today. Just 24 hours ago Patrick (53) was doing charity work at a church when he fell seven feet, hit his head and the news this morning is – Patrick Gaudet passed away. It matters not now whether Patrick had an internet connection or a Blackberry or an iPhone. They are non-essentials in the grand scheme of things.

What matters now is whether or not Patrick had the ‘new birth’ before his fatal fall. Was he right with God?

A very successful man approached Jesus one night. Nicodemus had everything. Riches, popularity, education and religion. If any one had his act together – it was Nicodemus. ‘Totally shocked’ are the only two words that could be used to describe how he must have felt when the Lord Jesus revealed a glaring deficiency in his life. He never thought of himself as a ‘needy’ person. But Jesus exposed the most serious of all deficits – the absence of the new birth.

When Jesus said to him: “Unless a person is born again, it is an absolute impossibility for them to ever gain entrance or acceptance into God’s Kingdom,” the jaws of Nicodemus must have dropped open in shock. Who would have thought that Nicodemus would never make it to Heaven the way he was?!!

Jesus with authority said to Nicodemus:

“Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born again he can not see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

A little later in the conversation Jesus became even more pointed:

“You must be born again.” (John 3:7)

When Patrick fell yesterday, did he have the bare essentials – the one necessity required to get into Heaven? Thank God, he did.

Patrick was in his early twenties when he heard the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ alone.  Back then, he trusted Him personally as His Saviour one night driving home from a Gospel service. The moment of salvation, the moment of personal faith in Jesus Christ is the moment a person is born into the family of God. The absolute essential of the new birth is only experienced by those who look away from themselves and to Christ for personal salvation.

When Nicodemus asked Jesus how he could be born again, Jesus told him about His upcoming death upon the Cross and then He said: whoever believes in Him (speaking of Himself) will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:15,16)

In John Chapter 1 we learn three ways a person can NOT be born into the family of God.

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born

  1. not of blood (the new birth is not passed along through the family blood stream. You are not a Christian because your parents are Christians)
  2. nor of the will of the flesh (no matter how much will-power you have, you can not produce the new birth by anything you do yourself)
  3. nor of the will of man, (no religious person can baptize you into the kingdom of God or bestow upon you as an infant or an adult the new birth)

but of God. (The power to bring about the new birth is God’s alone. You are dependant on God alone through your personal faith in Jesus Christ to bring about the new birth you require for Heaven.)

(John 1:12-13).

As important as everything else may seem in your life, the one essential you MUST have before you die is the new birth – otherwise you will never be in Heaven.

Have you experienced the new or the second birth? Have you been born again? When and where?

Patrick Gaudet had life’s one bare necessity – the new birth. Do you?

For help or more information email.

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(1) Internet, cellphone: ‘the new essentials’, Grant Robertson, Globe and Mail, October 23, 2008.