Photo courtesy of LoveSingapore
How can a man be born again?
Jesus didn’t answer the question directly. But Peter does. We are born again through the Living Word of God. Life begets life.
God’s Word is alive. There’s a vast difference between the Living Word of God and the dead words of those who peddle the precepts of men in the name of the Gospel (Mark 7:7).
Peter preached the Living Word on the Day of Pentecost, and 3,000 were born again. Are you born again?
When sown into a receptive human heart, God’s Word creates a new and unending life.
God’s Word is powerful. The same Word that created heaven and earth before time began has entered time and space through the life and teaching of Jesus. When sown into a receptive human heart, this Living Word creates a new and unending life.
Peter was the first disciple to recognise this: Lord, You have the words of eternal life (John 6:68).
God’s Word is permanent. Human nature withers like grass. Human glory fades like flowers. But God’s Word abides forever.
Peter got this from Isaiah. But also from Jesus: Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away (Mark 13:30). The only thing in this world that will last is the Word of God. You can stake your life on it.
And this Word is the Gospel (Mark 13:25). Peter was the first to preach this Gospel after Pentecost. He was the first to announce it to the Gentiles. And the Early Church remembers Peter as the one who mentored the man who wrote the Gospel of Mark.
After a brief missionary career with Paul and Barnabas, John Mark became an interpreter for Peter, who affectionately calls him my son (1 Peter 5:13). What Mark learned about Jesus from Peter, he turned into a Gospel.
Although Mark appears second in the New Testament, it was the first Gospel ever written. Matthew and Luke copied so much from Mark that you could tear the whole Gospel of Mark right out of your Bible and still have it, except for a few lines.
Without Peter, therefore, our Bible could well be short of three Gospels. The confidence Jesus placed in Peter at their first meeting and at their last was not misplaced:
You shall be called Rock. Feed my sheep.
- Hungry for the Living Word? A city watchman shared this dream: It’s midday. I’m downtown in this little bakery with a cozy cafe. I smell freshly baked bread. I see shelves overflowing with yummies of all shapes and sizes. Impressive. What a wholesome spread! I look around. One lone customer, a young urban professional, sits in the corner. He looks bored. Disinterested. He nibbles at his morsel. I get the feeling that he’s there, but he’s not there.
Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church: In this city, spiritual manna is available in abundance. Fresh, rich, nourishing. But we’ve taken this great blessing for granted. We mindlessly nibble. We’re big consumers of junk food. We’ve lost our taste for what we need most – the Living Word of God which has the power to nourish our soul, renew our mind, and sanctify our life.
Pray: Lord, forgive me. I’m guilty as charged. Restore my interest in Your Word. Revive me with a zeal to discover Your Word, a hunger to devour Your Word (Jeremiah 15:16).
- Think Family, the basic building block of society. Think early childhood education.
Pray that parents will immerse their children early in the Living Word: And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).
Believe for a mighty spillover into the public square, saturating every space with Truth. Especially Education and School, Communications and Media, Government and Leadership.
Pray that every generation will sink roots deeper and deeper into the Eternal Word.
- No country is too hard, too poor, too filled with crime, too divided by war, or too spiritually dark to be changed. God has given us basic principles that are keys to every problem we face in the 21st Century. The answers lie between the covers of one book – the Bible (Loren Cunningham).
For Singapore to fulfil her Antioch call, we must present the timeless Word of God to all the peoples of the earth. Only the Word can transform the world.
Pray that the Word of God will become the foundation of all that we do. Ask God to open new doors for a new generation of pioneers to sow His Word deep and wide among the unreached peoples of Asia.
Pray for effective discipling in the Word. Ask God to send out God-fearing principals and teachers on a school-planting mission that will mould the future of nations by moulding the people who will determine the future of nations (MOE Singapore, adapted).
Pray for an explosion of Bible schools to raise up indigenous preachers, teachers, scholars, and translators. To know the Word of God, to live the Word of God, to preach the Word, to teach the Word, is the sum of all wisdom, the heart of all Christian service (Charles E Fuller).
Read the devotional from Day 35, August 4: Living hope here.