April is a beautiful month of rebirth. Outside my window I can see the white snowflake-like blossoms appearing on the pear trees. In north Texas along the interstates, dainty bluebonnets accented by orange Indian paintbrush buds are bursting into their full bouquets. How marvelous it is that we observe the renewed life of nature alongside our celebration of our Savior’s resurrection. His restoration to life assures each believer of their own new life. His power over death reminds us of our own eternal hope. Indeed, April is an amazing month of rebirth.
One of the most marvelous things about our own new birth in Christ is that it only happens once. As Jesus revealed to Nicodemus in John 3, just as we are born in the flesh one time, we are born in the Spirit one time. And that new birth is only possible because of the gift and grace of God. Like our physical birth, our spiritual birth happens not due to our efforts nor any right thing we have done.
I find such peace in that truth. However, more than 1.5 billion people worldwide are not able to rest in the confidence of eternal life through the resurrection of Christ because they believe in cyclical rebirth. For example, Hinduism teaches that karma, a system of reward or punishment for one’s actions (good or bad), determines the quality of future lifetimes. Those consequences are meted out through “samsara” or lifetimes of reincarnation. The path of the Hindu is to escape the cycle of reincarnation and find salvation, or “moksha,” as the soul eschews its individuality and merges with the singular god-ness of Brahman.
This ever-working, ever-wondering, ever-worrying belief system robs its followers of peace and rest. But God, whose grace grants our once-forever new life in Christ, is bringing the hope of Easter to Hindus around the world.
I think of Hindu villages on small Southeast Asian islands where God has brought community development workers to train local people in irrigation methods and has also opened doors for Bible studies. In one of the villages a man who had built a Hindu temple on his own property came to faith in Christ. Recognizing the eternal life he now has, he tore down the temple and built, in its place, a prayer room where believers can gather. Now he and his family are pillars in the growing local fellowship.
Once his only hope was in living a good-enough life now to gain a better life in his reincarnation. But God revealed that his eternal life has already been provided through the death and resurrection of Christ. Now his testimony is bringing hope, rest and peace to others as they learn how they can be born again, forever.
Enjoying the Treasure,
Dr. Steve Coffey, Director of Christar U.S., began work with Christar in 1989. He and his wife, Beth, initially served among North African immigrants in France. In 2001, they returned to the U.S. for Steve to lead the Christar Church Planting Division. In 2005 he became Director of Christar. Before serving with Christar, the Coffeys worked for a year in a humanitarian project in the Red Sea hills of Sudan among the Beja people. Dr. Coffey’s education includes an undergraduate degree in history education from Liberty University, a Master of Divinity from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Strategic Leadership from Regent University. The Coffeys have three children and four grandchildren.