Monday – December 12, 2016
Read: James 1:16-18
Focus: vs 18
“He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”
James is referring to what Jesus called being “born again” or born anew” when he uses the phrase, “birth through the word of truth.” I have been writing several short stories for my family, and maybe a few friends, about the things that happened in my life as I grew up. One had to do with my experience of the “new birth” (being saved) as a ten year old.
I just don’t remember ever attending Sunday school or church when I lived with my parents and siblings in “the city” (Binghamton, NY). My first remembrance of anything to do with any church is going to Sunday school and worship at a little Baptist church about a mile from my grandparent’s farm. Of course, it was a walk of about mile uphill both ways with wild dogs wanting to tear us limb from limb. Actually, it couldn’t be both ways could it? And really, those wild dogs, they were really wilder about fighting with Tuffy, the mongrel bird dog, than doing any physical harm to us. (By the way, Tuffy more than held his own.) In any case, between Sunday school, worship and Vacation Bible School we heard the story about Jesus and why He came to earth. Along with that, my grandmother was zealous in telling us about Jesus and our need to receive Him as our Savior. Finally, at age 10, I did so while kneeling at grandma’s knee on the front porch of the old farmhouse.
As I attended more at Sunday school and worship I learned more and more about what it meant to be a believer. There was never any kind of flashing or blinding light to let me know something momentous had happened. Rather, it was more of a growing awareness of who Jesus really was and what He could do in my life. In my case, and I suspect for most who receive Him as Savior when young, it took time for it all to percolate through my spirit. He really is my Savior and Lord.
The point of our scripture lesson though is that God chose to give the gift of birth (spiritual) to us as the crowning point of all His creation. He could have just left us alone to wander all over the earth and populate it and essentially completely destroy it with our sin and selfishness as mankind has a tendency to totally slough off any responsibility toward a Creator God. The unchanging God James talks about began this process of giving the gift of life through “the word of truth.” What God speaks and does is always truth. What He originally intended for us is still what He intends for us. He does not change. However, we do change and thus need to be reminded again and again of our unchanging God who loves us and wants only to give us real life. Real life is in the spirit – not in the flesh. May we each this Christmas really grasp the meaning and importance of God’s unchanging and very giving nature toward us in His own creation story!
Lord, Your word of truth is something we believers need to pay close attention to. Help us all to spend time studying and meditating on Your word.