Monday Devotional: April 29, 2024



Bible Reading: 1 John 5:1-6 (NRSVUE)

1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, 4 for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. 5 Who is it who conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth.

A birth, while a hopeful experience, raises serious questions. Will this child sleep restlessly or peacefully? How will he or she respond to family love? Will the baby be fun to spend time?

Our passage raises the matter of a birth from God. Birth -spiritual birth- is not uncommon theme in the New Testament. Jesus discusses with the questioning Nicodemus (John 3) the possibility of a spiritual birth after a physical birth. Peter mentions “new birth” (1 Peter 1:3). God is giving birth to new life, new expectations. Faith can give us the chance for a restart. And that is why a spiritual or second birth is so appealing.

Some of us are looking for dramatic – even radical- departures from our past. We may be expecting too much, but there is also significant evidence that people can be transformed. It’s as though they have experienced a new birth. The lives of Jesus’ disciples were completely reoriented by following him. The expectation of this letter is not only that we believe but that we “love one another” (1 John 3:23). That type of love is engendered through a new birth- which could be called a spiritual birth. It is a birth in which God is present as both midwife and the source of new life- especially a new capacity to love and obey God. Jesus believed in transformation. The early church believed in change – radical change. Why not us? The transformation could be sudden or lengthy. As humans we are given the capacity to change. I know I am not where I want to be yet, but God isn’t finished engineering my life. This is our hope- the hope of continuing birth from God, which brings with it new life evidenced in a new and growing ability to love and obey.


Lord, birth can be sudden, but it usually involves a period of time. Help me to realize that you are always trying to bring something new alive in me. Amen.

By William Turpie, The Upper Room Disciplines 2015, page 139.

Bible Study

God’s New Ways

Bible Readings: Psalm 98:1-8, 1 John 5:1-6

ZOOM Session

Monday, April 29, 2024, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
For Zoom Link, send email to [email protected]


Wednesday, May 1, 2024, 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Conference Room, McGee Building