The Miracle of Life
We all have experienced the birth of a baby either directly or indirectly. I remain amazed how conception and the development of those first cells eventually grows into a baby that in turn develops into an adult. Each baby is a miracle of God. King David reveals God’s miraculous work in the womb with these words of Psalm 139.
For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
A baby is nourished by her parents and grows through healthy loving relationships, relationships which model maturity and provide nourishment, teaching and encouragement. But God is the power that causes that little body to change and grow.
While these truths in Psalm 139 have many ramifications for how we value the unborn child, they also are a model for another kind of birth—our spiritual birth. Jesus intentionally describes our salvation as being “born again” when He talked with Nicodemus. “Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
If being born physically is a miracle of God, how much greater is the miracle of being born again? Being a Christian is not just working harder to not sin and be good. Rather, our salvation is a fresh new life that has been radically changed by God Himself. God will use others to help nourish, guide, teach and guide us in life (like a baby’s parents), but it is God’s power that moves us from spiritual infancy to maturity in Christ.
Each of us growing as a new born-again child, adopted into God’s family, lives a transformed life in which God’s miraculous work continues to change us. Our attitude and actions take on new life as we become more like Jesus.
I told an amazing story of what Christ accomplished in one of His children a few months ago. I want you to consider this miraculous change of a woman here in Orange County. She attends another church and her pastor had permission to share it with us.
A young woman in another church was praying at the altar one evening. She was a single mother with two darling girls. She was weeping at the altar and the pastor said, “How can I pray with you?” She said, “I’m still struggling with the aftereffects of my husband’s infidelity. I began to suspect my husband was having an affair with my best friend. The four of us would often have dinner together. I was the only one of the four who was a believer. Even though I suspected that my friend was having an affair with my husband, I decided that no matter what, I would do my best to lead her to Jesus, because the reason she was having this affair was she didn’t have God’s love in her heart. And I faithfully was a witness to her. Our marriage broke up. My husband’s affair with her didn’t pan out. But after it was all blown up, that friend of mine who had the affair with my husband came to me and said, “There’s something about you. I’ve got to have whatever you have, because I know you knew it was me and yet you witnessed to me. I want to come to faith in Christ. And she did.
This story reveals the miracle of God’s love and grace to heal the heart of this single mom, and give her the power to love and witness to the woman who betrayed her friendship. I hope I could express that kind of love. Such love is not natural, but divine.
Jesus did not love us after we decided to turn from our sin. He loves us even while we are sinners and died on the cross to set us free from those sins. So, loving a sinner who has hurt us deeply is Christ-like because we are “born again” with new capacity to do the impossible. Just as it takes time for a baby to mature as an adult, such wounds may take time to heal so we can live out a Christ-centered love.
This Sunday, we will immerse ourselves in the powerful truth of our redemption through Jesus Christ and the miracle of new life in Him. We will see how He changes us and offers to us His hope, regardless of our circumstances. Please be sure to join us each Sunday for this new series, Better Together. The love we all need comes from Christ and is strengthened through our friends.
Celebration begins at 8:45 and Elevation at 10:45.
David Mitchell | Senior Pastor