Life and Death Part 2 by Pastor Dave
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”
James 1: 17-18
James 1: 13-18
The Bad News is that I spilt coffee on my keyboard! The Good News is that it’s all under control (as in the key in the bottom right corner)! How do we respond to good and bad news? Do we hear only the bad or in denial focus only on the good? We will all differ. On Monday we unpacked the bad news of sin which gives birth to death as we considered the issues of temptation and deception. We ended on hope though. This hope is the Good News of today’s focus and it is the truth of a second birth that brings new life!
This Good news is rock solid and utterly dependable because it comes from our Almighty Father. In the verses recorded above we see three reasons that confirm the reliability of this Good News: our Eternal Father is the creator of all things (heavenly lights) and so is utterly Sovereign; He does not change, nor is He fickle (shifting shadows), so we can completely trust Him; and He is so gracious, He ‘chose’ to give us this new life.
As we marvel at this Good News James clarifies how we may receive this New Life and its purpose. To add to my last point, this new life is a gift of grace, we can do nothing to earn it or justify its receipt. It comes to us through the word of truth. Jesus is that word of truth (John 14: 6) wrapped up in the Gospel message of reconciliation. We need to repent (turn our lives to God) and receive this new life in faith. If sin gives birth to death this birth brings about the firstfruits of God’s new creation in those who have turned back to Him (1 Corinthians 15: 2-23). We become children of God, destined for eternal life but with a purpose on this earth which we will begin to understand on Friday.
So, in our times of trial and temptation let us be aware of the ‘Bad News’ so as not to be deceived but let our faith point us towards the ‘Good News’ of Jesus Christ. God is Sovereign over everything, He is completely trustworthy and Gracious. Let us grow in Him and produce fruit for His Glory (John 15: 8).
To Ponder: What is your natural disposition; do you tend to focus on the bad or in denial focus on the good? How might meditating on and believing in the ‘word of truth’ change your thinking and transform your life?
Pray: Merciful God, sovereign, eternal and trustworthy, teach us to be faithful in change and uncertainty, that trusting in your word of truth and obeying your will we may enter new life and the unfailing joy of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Praise: Amazing Grace by Darlene Zschech
Grace by Laura Story
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.