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Thursday, August 22, 2019

1 Peter 1:3 w/ California coastline (Photo by Nancy Martin)
California Coastline
Photo by our friend Nancy Martin
Click on photo for larger view

"Born Again"

Message summary:  "I'm just a nobody trying to tell everybody all about Somebody who saved my soul."

Listen to our message on your audio player.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who, according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3). "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).

Forty-eight years ago today, as I was preparing to enter my junior year in high school, I placed my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
According to His great mercy my heavenly Father invited me to be born again, and according to His great love He forgave me all my sins!

Several months earlier I had been confronted with the Gospel message through the witness of my older brother Pat who became a born again Christian while serving in the Air Force in Europe. Initially I rejected Christ's claims on my life. I was entering into the fun times that is typical of those in their teen years and was certainly not inclined to give any thought toward that which I thought was "religious". I clearly did not understand that faith in Christ initiated a relationship. Those several months I was pretty miserable as I fell under the conviction of the Holy Spirit while He was working in my life to convict me of my sin and show me my need for Christ.

On Sunday evening August 22, 1971 I was persuaded to attend an evangelistic service at the old Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. The preacher was evangelist Lowell Lundstrom, who faithfully proclaimed the Word of God. The Holy Spirit dealt with my heart and that night I accepted Jesus Christ into my life and became "born again". I got saved not just that night but my decision to be born again granted me an eternal inheritance in heaven!

Thankfully lost souls continue to get saved and have been ever since Christ began His mission to seek and save the lost. Will you examine your heart
today? Have you been saved? Today can be your day of salvation.

In our first daily text the Lord is speaking to Nicodemus. This is the primary verse most of us recall when we consider the Bible's teaching concerning the necessity of being born again. Jesus emphatically stated several verses later that, "You must be born again" (v.7).

In 1 Peter he is writing to the believers in the first century church. Like us, these believers 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 "have been born again", the same term used by Jesus when He witnessed to Nicodemus. This is one of the Biblical terms used for conversion.

This new birth is "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 from our third text today, "through the living and enduring Word of God":

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 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 people 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 endures forever" (1 Peter 1:24,25).

Today we join hundreds of millions of believers around the world who are born again; those who are reading and applying the truths of Scripture; those earnestly seeking to "bear fruit in keeping with repentance". Many will be proclaiming this life-giving Word to others as I am doing so through this encouragement message. Most, like us, relative to worldly fame, are "just a nobody trying to tell everybody all about Somebody who saved my soul." (See song "Nobody" below.)

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily Prayer: "O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come!"  How powerful and enduring Your Word is. It is ever-living, ever-relevant and ever-active in the lives of believers all over the globe convicting people of their sin and calling them to repent that they might be born again. More than just print on a page, the Word of God penetrates the heart; guiding, instructing, convicting, delighting, comforting and performing Your supernatural work in our lives. Increase our love and passion for reading Your Word faithfully so that we may grow in understanding and appreciation for all You have to show us. We seek to bring You glory as we witness to others that we are born again and appeal to them to be born again. We pray that our lives "bear fruit in keeping with repentance" as a visible witness to others of Your awesome life changing power in our lives. Through Christ Jesus we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Nobody"  Video  Casting Crowns/Matthew West

"I Got Saved"  Video  Corey Voss

"Born Again"  Video  Newsboys, suggested by Ester

"All My Hope"  Video  Gold City

"My Living Hope"  Video  Calvary Church worship team  Considering the phrase in our 2nd daily text about having a living hope.

Hallelujah, praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah, death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There's salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ, my living hope

Finally today: We heard from those who expressed appreciation for our short series the last several days on "A Consideration Of Marital Vows". Our friend, David Penley, reminded us of an outstanding example and expression of enduring love when Dr. Robertson McQuilken resigned his post as president of Columbia Bible College in South Carolina to care for his wife.  Video  (1:48 minutes). Here is a longer version with a very moving testimony  (10 minutes)

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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