New birth is all around us during springtime
and it reminds me of something I appreciate about our Heavenly Father.
While I was recently feeding my newborn grandson a bottle of his mother’s milk, I whispered a prayer he would love the Lord with all his heart, mind, soul and strength when he is old enough to believe and trust in Jesus.
I know more than ever how important it is to believe, trust, and love God if we hope to shine a born-again light to those around us. And I suspect it was a dip in my passion for the Lord that precipitated my latest relationship stumble. For if I loved God more than anything—more than anyone else—All. The. Time.—I would have heeded the warning to bite my tongue when fear riled up my adrenaline.
God’s Spirit is love—not fear.
At first I complained to God about how quiet His whisper was: “Hey, Lord, couldn’t You slap a hand over my mouth whenever I’m tempted to say something stupid?”
But God has given us freewill; we must cover our own mouths.
When we love and cherish someone, we listen to them well. When my grandson makes little noises and looks around the room, I smile, lean in close, and listen. I inhale his delicious newborn scent. Oh, that I would consistently pay attention to the Holy Spirit as devotedly as I watched my grandchild.
But after I stumbled, I went to God and asked for forgiveness. And according to His promises, He forgave me, cleansed me, and used my fumble for the furtherance of His kingdom. Because He is God, and He is the Master of creating goodness from our messes.
When Jesus was mocked by a thief hanging near His cross, goodness came from this situation, too, when a second thief rebuked the first one. The second thief told the first thief they deserved to die, and he said Jesus didn’t deserve to because the Lord hadn’t done anything wrong. Then the second thief asked Jesus if He would remember him when He went to His kingdom.
And here’s where I share the wonderful thing spring reminds me of about God—newness—second chances—a fresh start. Jesus said yes to the second thief.
He accepted the thief’s confession and profession of faith in Christ.
The thief was saved from eternal separation from God; Jesus told him he would be with him in Paradise, not because the thief was baptised by full immersion, graduated from confirmation classes, or went forward at a Billy Graham Crusade—he was saved because he trusted Jesus to save him.
Jesus paid it all.
Jesus paid it all for us too.
He is the author of a born-again life.
He’s not going to give up on any of us either. His salvation is an all-the-way-to-Heaven’s-gate rescue, because He’s not a quitter and He’s making something new in each of His followers. He won’t give up because He is love.
I love my grandson—a lot—but our Father loves us even more than we love our loved ones. That’s why Easter happened. That’s why I will keep praying for my family members and friends to know God’s amazing love.
This is love: not that we loved God,
but that he loved us and sent his Son
as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:10 NIV
I’m nosey-to-know what favourite thing Easter and spring remind you of?