Friday, July 15, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: New Life

New Life Prevails!
A backup devotional by Kathleen Rouser

Growing up in a devout, religious family and going to church every Sunday, I believed the way to Heaven was through good works. Yet I realized at an early age that I couldn’t keep all the laws, so I gave up trying.

As a rebellious teenager I rationalized my bad behavior. Surely God would understand since He made humans, that I wasn’t perfect. In college, I questioned whether Jesus Christ was really God’s Son and whether there were other paths to Heaven.

In the summer of ’81, at the age of twenty, I met my future husband. Not long before that, after years of agnosticism, he told God if He existed, to leave him alone. He decided to ignore God and live the way he wanted. Revelation 3:16 (NLT) says, “But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”

Jack had gotten off the proverbial fence. God could deal with him. We both had chosen to live in our own selfish way and after a short time together, we found ourselves in a mess with a baby on the way. My boyfriend offered to pay for an abortion, but I had been taught that was wrong, so it wasn’t my go-to solution. Still, I considered it for a short time.

As I struggled with my decision, I returned to college that September. I had a literature class that happened to be in a biological science building! Every time I attended class; I passed a large display of pre-born babies—preserved in jars—at different stages of development. This display case in the center of the hallway piqued my curiosity. Isn’t that like God, to place me in that building so I could see the exact stage of my baby’s growth, how he was knitting Matthew together in my womb?

I still marvel when I think of God’s goodness to me then. Psalm 139:13-14 (ESV) states, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

Once I made the decision to keep our baby, Jack proposed to me, and we married in December. We soon learned what opposite personalities we had. We needed Someone bigger than ourselves to help us keep our commitment to one another. God gently drew us to Himself. We began listening to Bible teaching on the radio, which happened to include end-time prophecies.

Such teaching struck a fear of God into me. Though one time I had walked down a church aisle as a teen and thought I’d committed myself to the Lord, I had also walked away from Him and lived a sinful life since then.

Near Easter time that year, I listened to a different Bible teacher on the radio who said if a person believed that Jesus was God’s Son, that He had died to take away all their sins, that He’d been resurrected by God after death, and if they were trusting in Jesus for forgiveness then their sins were taken away and they received salvation. He then read from John 10:28 (ESV) which says, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

I had a “lightbulb moment” in my mind and a burden rolled off my heart. I finally understood. I had done nothing to deserve salvation from my sin. It wasn’t my good behavior that saved me or kept me saved. Christ had completed the work and He would never let me go!

Here I was, a new life in Jesus Christ and a little over a month later, I gave birth to Matthew, whose name means “gift from God”. This beautiful chubby infant was a great blessing to both Jack and me. God used this “unplanned” child in my womb to make us consider where our lives were headed and to bring us to new life in Himself. Forty years later, Jack and I are still together, by God’s grace! We seek to serve Jesus every day.

Friend, there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38). There is no sin too great for Him to forgive, no path you can veer onto that Jesus, the Good Shepherd can’t bring you back from to His straight and narrow one. Will you trust that His sacrifice is enough to take away your sins once for all? Or that if you’ve gotten off the path, He longs to bring you back?

Let’s Pray: Jesus, thank You for dying in my place so that I could be forgiven, have hope and new life in You. Forgive me for the times I have doubted you and gone my own way. Thank You for leaving the 99 sheep to come and rescue the one who went astray and was lost (in this case, me, a sinner). Help me to live wholly for you from this day forward. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “You Never Let Go” by AJ Michalka ft. James Denton. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Kathleen Rouser is the award-winning author of Rumors and Promises, her first novel about the people of fictional Stone Creek, Michigan, and a multi-published author of historical Christian romance. She is a longtime member in good standing of American Christian Fiction Writers. 

Kathleen has loved making up stories since she was a little girl and wanted to be a writer before she could even read. She’s in the grip of God’s grace and is a fan of the three Cs—cats, coffee, and chocolate.

The mother of three, who is a former homeschool instructor, mild-mannered dental assistant, and current Community Bible Study kids’ teacher, lives in Michigan with her hero and husband of thirty-some years, and two sweet cats who found a home in their empty nest.

She’s represented by Linda S. Glaz of the Hartline Literary Agency.

Connect with Kathy:
Facebook Author page:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.