Pastor Mike Novotny
Who was the first crafty kid to hustle his parents into praising him for being born? I’m trying to envision the conversation . . . “Mom, remember when I caused you to vomit with morning sickness? And I stamped on your bladder at 3 A.M. all those nights? And I came out breach so your labor lasted forever? So . . . I was thinking that you should make me a cake! And buy me presents! And sing me songs of praise!” For real? Who were the first parents who agreed to that?
Peter would be baffled by our birthday customs. He wrote, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth” (1 Peter 1:3). Who deserves the praise, the presents, and the cake for “new birth”? God! The Father who has given us new birth. The heavenly Dad who turned natural-born sinners into his born-again kids.
Think of the miracle that is your faith. Born in sin (Psalm 51:5), hostile to God’s authority (Romans 8:7), without the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2), and dead in transgressions (Ephesians 2). Yet the God of grace did not let that stop him. He used his living and enduring Word (1 Peter 1:23) to give us new birth, new life, new hope, all by his great mercy in Jesus Christ.
So the next time you have a birthday, give a word of praise to your parents. And the next time you think about being part of the family of faith, give a shout of praise to our Father.
Fear runs wild in our world today—fear of the unknown, fear of sickness, fear of failure, fear of who will be our next president, fear of _____ (you fill in the blank). But there is a remedy to fear and a path toward hope in a broken world. It’s God. And Pastor Mike Novotny shows you how to trust in God’s presence and power every day in his book No Fear Year.
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