I once heard a preacher preach an entire message on the word “but.” The one line from that pastor’s sermon that has stuck with me through the years is this: The word “but” changes times and circumstances. Here’s a simple example: I used to watch violent movies, but I learned that God hates violence (Ps. 11:5) so now I don’t.
In the above example, the word “but” broke the timeline. It created a “before” and a “now”. “Now” is a new beginning!
Speaking of new beginnings, I was reading 1 Peter and I came to 1 Peter 1: 23-25. I meditated on those words for a while, then I started looking up that passage in different translations, including the Common Jewish Bible and Young’s Literal Translation. I felt I had a good grasp of what God was saying until I read this passage in “The Message” Bible. Here is how it reads:
Conceived by God
Peter 1:23-25 The Message (MSG)
Now that you’ve cleaned up your lives by following the truth, love one another as if your lives depended on it. Your new life is not like your old life. Your old birth came from mortal sperm; your new birth comes from God’s living Word. Just think: a life conceived by God himself! That’s why the prophet said,
The old life is a grass life,
its beauty as short-lived as wildflowers;
Grass dries up, flowers droop,
God’s Word goes on and on forever.
This is the Word that conceived the new life in you.
As I connected the dots I thought of the pictures we have all seen of people that were famous back in the 1970s and 80s. They may have possessed great beauty or extraordinary handsomeness. Now, however, their mortality is apparent to everyone.
Dry and Droop
For all of us, our mortal bodies dry up and droop as time goes by. But, for those that are conceived by God’s living Word, we have a new life. In our spirit we grow stronger, healthier, and more useful for “‘In him we live and move and have our being…’ (Acts17:28)
In our newness, let us not forget that we are to “love one another as if your lives depended on it.” We are to love with a love like God showed when He conceived us.
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