Friday, May 9, 2014

The Word Remains Forever: Day 11

I Peter 1:22-23 - Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

Zombies aren’t real…right? I have a dear friend who runs a youth group. At a recent meeting for a mission trip, she made a joke about preparing for the zombie apocalypse. One of the students, who may be spending too much time with the TV, was scared that this might be a real possibility. It took 20-plus minutes to convince the student that zombies would not be a real threat.

Zombies are all the rage these days. Of course, actual zombies aren’t real. However, if you will indulge me for a moment, spiritually speaking, we are born like zombies. In Ephesians 2:1, St. Paul says that we were “dead in the trespasses and the sins in which we once walked.” We were the sinful, walking dead (sorry, I couldn’t resist). Think about it. What do zombies do? Zombies do nothing but destroy things and harm their neighbors. As born sinners, we are by nature incapable of fearing, loving, and trusting in God. This means that we cannot, from a pure heart, love our neighbors. We have zombie hearts which produce zombie actions!

Zombies destroy living things. But our God, in his mercy, takes that which is dead and gives it new life (Romans 4:17)! Peter reminds us today that we have been rescued from sin and death by the new birth. Sin destroys things, it brings about death. But God, in his mercy, has destroyed sin on the cross of Jesus, and through His resurrection given us new life. We have been given a second birth! We are given a new life in Christ in which we no longer are bound to sin against God and our neighbor, but free to love them sincerely and deeply from the new heart we have been given. We are no longer the walking dead bound to perish in our sin, but the born-again children of God, born of the imperishable word of life!

Heavenly Father, I thank you that you have crucified my old nature in baptism and raised me to a new life. Grant me the grace I need to die daily to my sins and rise to a life filled with faith towards you and love towards my neighbors. AMEN!

*The symbol on the top of this devotional stands for “Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum.” It is a Latin phrase which means “The Word of the Lord endures forever.” This phrase, based on I Peter 1:24-25, served as the battle cry of the Lutheran reformers as it reminded them that God’s Word alone was sufficient to teach them God’s will. The symbol was on flags, banners, uniforms, and even swords as a sign of unity among those who suffered for confessing their faith in Christ alone. *
Pastor Bob


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