Monday, August 22, 2005

Happy 34th

Today my "young" brother in the Lord, Stephen Weber, is celebrating his 34th spiritual birthday. I celebrated my 53rd back in April. Each day I'm enriched as I read Stephen's Daily Encouragement. Why not check out his site!

Today Stephen writes:

"For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring Word of God" (1 Peter 1:23).

Today is my spiritual birthday. Thirty-four years ago today I placed my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. Several months earlier I had been confronted with the Gospel through the witness of my older brother. At that time he urged me to accept Christ, but I initially rejected Christ's claims on my life.

For the next several months the Holy Spirit worked in my life to convict me of my sin and need for Christ. On Sunday evening August 22, 1971 I reluctantly went to an evangelistic service in a convention hall in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. The Holy Spirit dealt with my heart that night and I accepted Jesus Christ into my life and became "born again".

In our daily text Peter is writing to the believers in the first century church. Like us, they had never seen Christ during His earthly ministry (1 Peter 1:8) but at the proclamation of the gospel they had believed in Him for their salvation. Peter says they had been "born again", a term first used by Jesus when He witnessed to Nicodemus (John 3). This is one of the Biblical terms used for conversion.

This new birth was "not of perishable seed, but of imperishable." This indicates the spiritual, eternal dimension of the work of the Spirit and Word of God in our lives.

Note these two powerful qualities of God's Word:

1) The Word of God is living. The writer of Hebrews uses this very phrase when he says the "word of God is living" (4:12). The living God imparts spiritual life through His living Word. I once read the story of a street evangelist who had placed his hat on the ground and drew a crowd by pointing at it and shouting, "it's alive". When a group had gathered around him he lifted up his hat to reveal a Bible!

2) The Word of God is enduring. The Psalmist wrote, "All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal" (119:160). No other written work comes even remotely close to the Bible in its enduring qualities. Peter concludes the chapter with this powerful truth: "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever." And this is the word that was preached to you.

Today we join hundreds of millions of believers around the world who will be reading and applying the truths of Scripture to our lives. Many will be proclaiming this life-giving Word to others as I am through this encouragement message. And today scores of highly dedicated translators will be working in the remotest areas of the world to translate God's Word so that all might know God's love.

Praise God for the "living and enduring Word of God"! Continue to subject yourself to its life-giving qualities and present them to others!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

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