Hi this is Pastor Ken and these are my thoughts on a Thursday…New Birth!
Just yesterday Eddie Brown showed up! You may not have any idea who he is, but we have been awaiting his arrival for many months. Lynn and I have looked forward to every one of our grandchildren’s impending entrances to the family since the first day we knew of their existence. Each one has captivated our imaginations before they arrived, and our heart’s attention afterward. I have said it before and I will say it again now…being a grandparent is the best job on earth! So if you see me walking on a cloud, you’ll know why…this never gets old!
Besides taking the opportunity to shamelessly brag, why do I mention this? In part because it is a Thursday and I always offer you my thoughts on a Thursday. Additionally, it has been difficult on this particular Thursday for my thoughts to be anywhere else. Beyond that though there is a spiritual truth I want to share because Eddie’s arrival has caused me to ponder it.
Yesterday was Eddie’s Birthday. It is a day that for the rest of his life will be commemorated. Each year on that day we will spend time with him, give him gifts, and embarrass him with stories of his years gone by. He will get a cake with the appropriate number of candles perched atop that he will blow out with increasing success over the coming years. However, that cannot be the only day we pay any attention to him or there would not be many birthdays. Instead, his mom will lovingly feed him every day. She will tend to his needs to see that he has all that is required for good strong healthy growth. His dad will make sure that he is directed and corrected as necessary so that He can grow up to be who he should be. Though He arrived on scene just yesterday, he immediately enjoys all the rights and privileges of being a member of the Brown family, but there is still much to be done!
So it is with our re-birth. While the day it happened is an amazingly important day, the other 364 days a year are just as important. 1 Peter 1:3-4 in the New Living Translation reads, All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you. Because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead and in so doing conquered death, He made a way for us to share in that new life in Christ. For those of us who have accepted his totally free gift of salvation, we have been born again. We have been born into a heavenly family and have all of the rights and privileges available to us from that very first day in the family…but there is still work to be done!
Just as Eddie’s little life must be sustained with food and protected with clothing every day for the rest of his new life, our new life needs sustenance and protection. We need to be fed if we are to grow to be strong. In John 6:57 Jesus said, “I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me.” Earlier in this same chapter of John Jesus refers to himself as the “Bread of life” in other places in the book of John he referenced himself as the source of living water. Psalm 34:8 tells us to Taste and see that the Lord is good. Even Paul, concerned with the continued growth of the Corinthian Christians spoke to them about their need to learn; to move on from spiritual milk and to begin to consume spiritual meat so that they could mature and become stronger.
Just as little Eddie will grow as he is nourished so will we grow in our rebirth as we are nourished. In fact, our growth will be proportionate to the amount we consume, just as his will. The more he eats both in volume and frequency, the more he will grow. The more you and I pull ourselves up to our Father’s table and partake of the Living Word, the more we will grow and the stronger we will become. If we cut ourselves off from that food, no matter what our reasoning, the result will not be one of health. If you were babysitting little Eddie, you would not withhold food from him, saying that he had no need of it. Of course, you would make sure he got the nourishment he needs so that he would continue to strengthen and grow. So why starve yourself and withhold the very spiritual food you need to grow. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from God.” One of my favorite scriptures relaying the need for regular consumption of the word is 2 Timothy 3:16. God has breathed life into all of scripture, It is useful for teaching us what is true. It is useful for correcting our mistakes. It is useful for making our lives whole again. It is useful for training us to do what is right.
I submit to you that every day of Eddie’s life will be one to celebrate…they will all be important to his Papa; I can assure you of that! I will want to see him begin to grow and take shape as he becomes the man of God he is purposed to be. So, I will take every chance I can to feed him, protect him and watch him grow. Though that is difficult for me to imagine, our Abba Father cares more about you and I and little Eddie than I will ever be able to do, He desires to see each of us grow into the fullness of our purpose as well. Each day of our walk with the Lord is precious to Him so he celebrates our life and cares for us wonderfully everyday…not only on our re-birthday.
So now, recognizing its probably time to eat again, devour His Word voraciously, and go be Awesome!