February 18

In 1983, our second child was born. It was a great day! The pain of child-birth, quickly fades as that new little life is placed in your hands. I don’t know how it happened with you, but my wife and I took each of our four children, after the doctor handed them to us, and prayed to surrender their lives to Him. What a joy it is to see what God has allowed us to enjoy because of our love for each other.

There are tears of incredible joy on my part. Tears of incredible relief and joy on my wife’s part. In either case, we were both amazed that God had trusted us to care for this new little person. On the day Monica was born, she made a major change in our family. We already had a daughter who had just turned eighteen months old when Monica entered the picture. From that day until today, these two girls have been the best of friends. Our family has been blessed for the past thirty-five years.

Even though I revel in that day, thirty-five years ago, I am even more grateful for the March 30, 1991 when Monica trusted Jesus Christ to remove her sin and give her a home in Heaven. My wife and I had something to do with Monica’s original birthday, but we could not do anything to give her the new birth that God gave her on March 30. Today I read, “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures” (James 1:18).

What an incredible thought this verse gives us! Many of us would like to think that we had something to do with coming to Christ for salvation. The truth is that it is “his own will” that brought us the new life we have in Christ. If God had decided on the day that Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, that he wanted to wipe out the human race and be done with it, we would all be in trouble. However, in an amazing turn of events, God did the exact opposite.

Rather than God wiping out humans, He voluntarily offered His Son to become a human, to redeem us from our own sins. Our sins that are an incredibly insulting affront to God’s holy character! He gave us His only Son, and then He provided us with the “word of truth” that would allow us to become the “firstfruits of his creatures.” Sometimes we read these verses just to say that we have read our Bible. This is a verse that deserves some time for pondering. This is an incredible thought! There is something about the birth of a new baby. There is something absolutely amazing about the new birth that comes at salvation! Praise God for salvation.

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