Thursday, May 26, 2011
"Come Into My Heart"
Into my heart, into my heart, Come into my heart, Lord Jesus;
Come in today, come in to stay, Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.
In Christ's final week on earth, Jesus quoted from Psalm 8:2 just after driving out the money-changers and healing the blind and lame who came out to him. Jesus said, "Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise" (Matthew 21:16). What is abundantly clear throughout the Gospel narratives is summed up in the words of James 4:6: God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Jesus came on a rescue mission to save sinners, help the hurting, and bind up the broken hearted. He came to reveal the loving heart of a holy God so that the sin-stained hearts of men might be changed.
This morning, after getting the kiddos out of bed and making their breakfast, Gabbie turned to me and said with a huge grin on her face, "Daddy, I asked Jesus to come and live inside my heart last night. I told Jesus that I love him and that I want to live with him forever!" W...O...W...! Needless to say, my heart melted and tears filled up in my eyes, and I gave Gabbie a big hug and told her how much I loved her and how much God loves her. I went over the basics of the gospel message and sure enough she scored a 100%. Just before I had to leave the house she said to me, "Daddy, Luke and I gave Jesus a hug and a kiss last night." How amazing is that?! Gabbie has displayed an understanding of the gospel for some time now, but today, for the first time, I heard in her a budding desire for God.
Apparently last night, Laurie had the wonderful opportunity to talk extendedly with both Luke and Gabbie about God's holiness, man's need, God's provision, and man's responsibility. Gabbie, even at a tender five years-old, recongized God's infinite worth and her own need to be rescued from the penalty of sin. Gabbie wanted to tell me about her encounter with God herself because "she knew it would make me very happy". What a way to start the day!
God is so good, and He is so faithful. He has blessed us with three incredible children and has placed on us a tremendous responsbility to demonstrate the true, faith-walk of a Christian, to teach them about God from His written Word, and to point them to both the reality of their sinfulness and God's provision for their sin. Laurie and I have carefully and intentionally--albeit not perfectly--sought to display and declare God's love to our children.
I remember back to my childhood and to all the times I emotionally called out to God. It can be hard for a child who is blessed by God to be in a loving, "Christian" environment and knows the right thing(s) to do, to have a proper foundation and understanding of the basis of their salvation. It took me many years to realize that it wasn't a magic prayer that "saved me". It wasn't my involvement at church or even my behavior that identified me as a child of God. It took me a while to realize that "feelings" are a part of faith but not the primary evidence of faith. Salvation is the result of God's amazing love extended in Christ colliding with the Spirit-induced conviction of sin in man, his repentance, and acceptance of Christ's sufficient work on the cross. Theologians and Bible scholars have written libraries on this most incredible subject, and yet even the smallest little child can come to simply understand that their Creator loves them and wants to be loved by them in return.
Will Laurie and I do anything differently now that Gabbie has said "the prayer"? Nope. We will continue to include God in as much of the "daily happenings" as possible. We will continue to pray, read, and worship together. We will continue to talk about our need to show and declare God's love to others. We will continue to talk about our need to participate in God's family, the church. Now, we will probably begin to talk about baptism and it's meaning and signficance for those who belong to Christ by faith and realize the importance of publicly identifying with Him. And, in time, we will encourage Gabbie to follow Christ in believer's baptism. Essentially, we will continue to speak the gospel to each other--day in and day out--for the glory of God and for our growth as a family.
Thank you, God, for working in my family and especially in the life of Gabbie. May her life be filled with the fruit of true faith for your glory.