Anne’s Devotion
Wendy Pope

“Nicodemus said, 'But if a person is already old, how can he be born again?'” John 3:4 (NCV)

If there was ever a woman who fully displayed the hope of Jesus, it was my dear friend Anne Belk. Anne was a beautiful wife, caring mother, and gifted woman in ministry. Around Proverbs 31 Ministries, she was not only a beloved board member but she was also an inspiration to us all. Earlier this year, Anne received the fulfillment of her promise of eternal life. She went to be with Jesus after a painful battle with cancer. This month Anne would be celebrating her 46th birthday.

Even through her illness, Anne spent her life living with an eternal point of view. She did not focus solely on her own promise of eternal life. Anne longed for others to receive the gift of eternal life too and celebrate their own spiritual birthday. Her ways of sharing her faith were quiet and gentle, yet powerful and significant. Her influence carries on. It is the reason for this devotion, to celebrate Anne’s devotion to her Savior. Anne had the hope she carried because she was born again.

Like Nicodemus in today’s key verse, perhaps you are asking, "How can a person be born again?" Being born again simply means you experience a spiritual rebirth. Maybe you are making it more personal, "How can I, a woman with my past, be born again?” Maybe you believe the guilt of your past is too much. Or, that the Lord won’t welcome you because of sin in your life. Friend, these are lies.

It is because of God’s grace we can be born again. Grace is the unmerited kindness of God. This free gift was demonstrated on the cross, when God gave His only Son Jesus as a sacrifice for your sin. He paid the ultimate sacrifice so that you might live free from the bondage of your past sin, the stronghold of present sin, and the allure of future sin. Later in today's key passage Jesus tells Nicodemus this, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16, NLT).

Eternal life is our spiritual birthday gift from God when we are born again. How do we receive this gift? By following what God tells us in His Word: confess and believe. His Word says "if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9, NIV).

As we celebrate our dear friend Anne today, we’d like to share a part of her eternal point of view,
"I woke up in the middle of the night Wednesday singing, ‘This little light of
mine, I’m gonna let it shine.’ I had not heard that song in a month or two so I
know it was God reminding me of it. It is so important for us to recognize
God’s power. It is so important for us to recognize the Holy Spirit. That
Holy Spirit is the light shining within us. When we allow the Holy Spirit
to direct us that light can be seen by others. They see it in the deeds we
do…in our attitudes… in the way we share the gospel…in our care of others…. in
the truths we speak…in our longing to be closer to Christ…in our desire to do
His will. And the wonderful thing about letting our own light shine is
that it encourages others to do the same."
(Excerpted from Anne's journal, used with permission.)

Anne would have no greater joy than knowing that our celebration of her physical birthday led to the celebration of your spiritual birthday. Today is your day! Will you confess with your mouth "Jesus is Lord" and believe in your heart He came to save you?

Dear Lord, Thank You for the promise of a future full of peace and contentment and free of pain and suffering. That You would sacrifice Your only Son for me takes my breath away. It is my desire to live my life allowing Your light to shine through me so that all may be drawn to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do you know Him?

Application Steps:
We would love to celebrate this day with you. Please follow this link to share with us your decision to be born again, or to recommit your life to Christ.

Perhaps you already have the light Anne spoke of but you know someone who does not. Would you consider shining your light by forwarding this email to them? Like Anne, you can let your light shine and share the gospel.

How do I let the light of the Lord shine through me?

What can I do to show my devotion to God?

Power Verses:
Acts 13:38, “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.” (NIV)

Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (NIV)

© 2008 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful devotion for today! Can you explain more in detail with examples how the ways Anne shared "her faith were quiet and gentle, yet powerful and significant"? I'm striving for more confidence in that area. Thanks! May God bless you today.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the story of Nicodemus in John that you used as the foundation of your devotion today, Jesus answers Nicodemus' question of how he can enter his mother's womb a second time with this statement about how he can be "born again":

"Jesus answered, 'I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the spirit.'" (John3:5)

According to Jesus being "born again" is being baptized with water. Why would anyone leave out this crucial part of the story? Being baptized (immersed) into Christ for the remission of sins is the only way of us to be "born again" and to be granted eternal life with Him in Heaven.

Blogger Lysa TerKeurst said...

Thank you Wendy for such a beautiful tribute to both Anne and our amazing Savior, Jesus.

I pray many people click on the Do you Know Him button and start a new life today.

I know there are not supposed to be tears in heaven, but I can't help but think maybe a tear or two of joy might leak from Anne's eyes today~

Love you friend!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Wendy. I have a relationship with Jesus and am
born again. I enjoyed praying your
written prayer. My heart throbs
with joy that Jesus came to dwell among us. God with us. He gave himself that I might have life and life abundant!

Carole Sprague


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to the second comment offered today about baptism - I just would like to offer some loving clarification on this passage, as I understand it in context and in relation to other New Testament scriptures on salvation and baptism...

Jesus' response to Nicodemus in John 3:5 "Jesus answered, 'I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the spirit.'" (John3:5) is speaking of two births. 1) born of water = your physical birth, and 2) born of spirit = being born again, accepting Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord of your life! (Romans 10:9-10). Jesus goes on in this very chapter and says that "God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16). Thus, I just want to point out the context - salvation comes from BELIEVING!

Baptism, on the other hand, is an act or sign of obedience, not a means to eternal life or salvation. All references to baptism in scripture follow the following formula of hearing the gospel, believing, repenting, and being baptized. Immersion is the method of baptism as it symbolically represents Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. Thus, as a believer who is being baptized you are making a proclamation of your faith in Christ alone for salvation and identifying with His finished work on the cross. Praise the Lord for his never-ending mercy and grace!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to the last comment on baptism, I would like to respectfully disagree when looking at other New Tesatment scripture regarding baptism.

Mark 16:15:

"Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes AND IS BAPTIZED will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."

Also 1 Peter 3:21:

...and this water symbolizes baptism that NOW SAVES YOU..."

I cannot believe that the bible does not mean what it says when it tells us that baptism it what saves us from our sin, and that belief alone is not enough. In fact James 2:19 tells us:

"You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that -and shudder."

James is telling us that even demons, who are clearly not saved or children of God, believe in him to the point that they shudder.

I wholeheartedly agree that the formula laid out in the bible is hearing the gospel, believing, repenting, and baptism,(there is also the confessing of sins.) And I agree, as you said, that "Immersion is the method of baptism as it symbolically represents Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. Thus, as a believer who is being baptized you are making a proclamation of your faith in Christ alone for salvation and identifying with His finished work on the cross." But I believe that ALL of these steps that are laid out in this formula that the Bible clearly gives us are necessary to obtain eternal salvation with Jesus...including the step of baptism.

Blogger Wendy Pope said...

Anne exuded Jesus. She didn’t bully anyone into listening to her. She simply lived her life for Him. She was an example of someone who was completely filled with the Holy Spirit. Love oozed from her pores. She was kind, patient, gentle, humble, and filled with joy, love, peace, etc. Her acts of kindness, in Jesus’ name, spoke so much more than any words could have.

Hope this helps, Anonymous.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding baptism....Was the thief on the cross baptized? No, but Jesus told him that He would see him in paradise! Baptism is not necessary for salvation.

In response to your interpretation of Mark 16:15, it clearly says that "whoever does not believe will be condemned"....not whoever does not believe and is not baptized. Context is very important and the scriptures overwhelmingly assert that salvation comes from faith in Christ alone.

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