Bible Reading: Romans 8:1-4, 11
The power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death. Romans 8:2
THEIR EYES MEET just minutes after the umbilical cord is cut. The young husband and wife can’t believe that cradled in their arms and looking up at them is a tiny baby, their firstborn child. They have never seen anything so beautiful, wonderful, pure. They have never felt such total responsibility. And they can’t remember ever being so happy.
Ponder for a few seconds the feelings and thoughts rushing through these new parents’ minds. They expect nothing less than a bright future-sharing life together, watching their baby grow up. Sacrificial love, devotion, and commitment all burn in their hearts. As they tenderly enfold the helpless bundle of life, they dedicate themselves to raising their child.
And then their little boy grows up into a serial killer.
Not really. The point isn’t that some lives turn out with unhappy endings, but that some lives start out with unhappy beginnings.
Maybe you have grown up in a happy home where you felt loved, cared for, accepted, and valued. On the other hand, maybe you lie awake at night wondering if your parents really love you and want you. Not every newborn baby is lovingly welcomed into the world. Some children were unwanted. Some have parents who neglect or abuse them. Others never meet their birth parents. Year after year they hear others sing, “Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you.” But they wonder if there was anything happy about the day of their birth.
No matter how your birth was welcomed at home, there is no question about the happiness that surrounded the day of your re-birth, the day you trusted Christ as Savior and Lord. (Read Jesus’ description ofthe re-birth process in John 3: 1-21.) God eagerly awaited your re-birth. The Holy Spirit planted the seed of God’s love in your heart. He nurtured it and waited for the day you would bow to Christ’s lordship. Then, as you trusted Christ, the Holy Spirit was right there, setting you free from sin. He entered your life to “raise” you in the totally loving and accepting environment of God and his children. Thanks to the Holy Spirit’s ministry in your re-birth and growth, you can count on nothing but happy re-birthdays ahead.
REFLECT: If you have felt less than welcomed by the people who should love you most, find a caring adult you can talk to about your feelings. But if you are welcomed, ask God how you can help anyone in your life who needs an extra dose of friendship because he or she isn’t as fortunate.
PRAY: Say thanks to God for the Holy Spirit’s activity in bringing you to Christ and bringing you up in Christ.
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