April 2, 2008
Last week I experienced one of the greatest joys in life. I had the incredible honor to witness new birth, a man being born again into the family of God. Sometimes I’ve heard it said that we lead people to the Lord, but certainly in this case, it was God that was leading him to Himself. I was just walking along with him, sometimes fumbling as I tried to answer his questions with the truth of Scripture, trying my best to be God’s voice. And then there was the beautiful moment when faith was realized. The cross of Christ made sense, a man confessed Jesus as Lord, and my new friend became my brother. The Scripture teaches that “… there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:7, NIV) Certainly, I am rejoicing too, and passing this on as a HUGE praise to God for his work of salvation! It was a sweet moment on Sunday as I sang, “Our God is Mighty to Save” with a new joy and confidence because again I had seen it with my own eyes. I found myself where I was a year ago, echoing the words of Job. “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” (Job 42:5, NIV) Right now I have an unwavering faith that God can move mountains! I’ve been praying for nearly a year that God would reveal himself in that way not only to me, but also to our church family. Certainly, the miracle of new birth, how God brings a person to himself, is just as much a miracle as God healing a disease or putting a broken marriage back together again. God, I want to see it all! We need to see you at work among us! Unleash your saving and healing power that we may see it and declare our praise to you. And even as we wait, may we turn to you with a childlike faith, trusting, praying, hoping, believing and rejoicing in the waiting.
What’s next for my new brother? He is a follower of Jesus Christ, and now begins the process of transformation as he discovers his new identity as a Child of God and begins to live it out in the family of God. I will help him connect to his new family, hopefully at Trinity Church. I have a deep love for him and told him that I will personally help him to become acquainted more deeply with Jesus and begin to follow his ways. He joins me and all believers in the process of allowing the truth of Scriptures and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives to transform us to be more like Christ. I think the glory and power of God is really seen in that more than anything else. In that sense, the pathway of faith leads a Christ-follower to become a Christ-worshiper, and a worshiper to become an ambassador for Christ.
So I conclude by shouting a joyful, “Welcome to the family!” to my new brother. I have just experienced first hand an adoption into God’s family and it is a beautiful thing. But it is only the beginning. The nurturing and growing of his faith through a genuine connection to the family of God is of utmost importance now.