November 15, 2007
1 Peter 1: 3b-5 (God) he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
This devotion is being written at my home office. With Pamie in Texas, I am wearing my old, gray shorts, and my knit black shirt, which has large holes in it. If Pamie were here, I would not be wearing my old, gray shorts and the black knit shirt that has holes in it. It’s as simple as that.
In truth, Pamie has repeatedly thrown these articles of apparel away. As many times as she has tossed them in the garbage, I have fished them out. That’s because these clothes are perfectly good, wonderfully comfortable, and as far as I am concerned, they have another 30 or 40 years of wear left in them.
Most wives say their husbands have similar favorite articles of apparel. The husband wants to keep them; the wives want to send them off to be recycled into rags, paper, ballast on an oil tanker, whatever. And that is the smoothest transition I could come up with into the subject of this devotion: recycling.
Recycling. It’s a good idea. For example, did you know that you could go to any Niketown or Nike Factory store and drop off your old tennis shoes? It doesn’t make any difference what brand your shoes are; Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program will take them. Surprised? Me, too. Just as I was surprised to find out Staples and the nonprofit company CollectiveGood will recycle your old cell phones, pagers, and PDAs.
It seems everything can be recycled nowadays, including us.
You may never have thought about it that way before, but Jesus has recycled us. Without the Savior, when we were unsaved and still covered with sin, our holy Lord found us to be pretty undesirable. Do you remember how Pamie feels about my gray shorts and holey shirt? Well, multiply that feeling by infinity, and you will begin to get an idea of how the Lord used to feel about us.
But things are different now. Jesus has come and offered Himself as the sacrifice that has changed us – recycled us. That’s what Peter was saying in the text above. He wanted to let God’s people know they had been, because of Jesus’ resurrection, born again, recycled. Once we were spiritual orphans, now we have been adopted into the family of faith; once we were lost, now we’re found; once we were sick, now we’re healed. Once we were damned and in despair, now we are redeemed and have been recycled.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, by Your innocent suffering, death, and resurrection from the dead, I have been given salvation. This day may I, Your recycled servant, be a useful instrument in Your hands. In Your Name I pray it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries