This is so late in the new year but Happy New Year! I hope that everyone's new year was wonderfully blessed, that you ended 2012 with gratitude for everything the Lord did in your lives and began 2013 with a heart eager to know Him more and excited to see how He will work in this new year. I pray that any resolutions that came out of a heart longing to glorify Him will be held close and thought of daily and not forgotten as the busyness wears on us.
As we look to the new things God is already starting in our marriage, family, and church I really feel like I need to make time to pretty much journal here about it. I don't know how God can use this in anyone else but I know that its something He uses in my life to remind me of the history He is building with me of His faithfulness.
I was listening to the podcast from our Sunday service today (I was in the back with the awesome 2nd and 3rd graders) and Pastor was preaching out of Acts 24, its titled The Fallacy of the Fence. Here is the link if you want to listen, http://www.legacychurchyuma.org/media.php?pageID=5 The scripture really caught my heart and rang a very familiar bell when it comes to our children and the purpose in my parenting and evangelizing.
Paul, given the opportunity to defend himself, instead shares the gospel (vs. 10-16). He will not waste any opportunity to let a lost world know that they are in need of Jesus or allow for someone to continue in sin but treat them as Christians so that they won't feel offended or for the sake of his popularity (vs. 22-26).
See, technically, I know that my kids need Jesus. I know that they are sinners in need of God's mercy and grace, but sometimes I don't realize the urgency of that knowledge. They are sinning today, they need Jesus today, today when they are 7 and 5 and almost 4. They need Him as much today as they will when they are 12, 18, 24 and 102 because we don't have any guarantee of those. Its my job to teach them today that the things we do are a reflection of a heart that is sinful and then lead them to the knowledge of our Hope.
The other day we had some candy bags in the house and the kids usually ask me if they can have one before they get it. I had told them that they would have one after dinner. Later I heard whispering in the area that the bags were and I asked my girls what they were doing and Bunni completely threw Tati under the bus saying she was trying to get candy. Bunni is usually the sneaky one so I was going to just talk to her about it but then I saw the look of guilt on Tati's face and I knew that she totally knew what she was doing was really wrong so I talked to her.
Its my job to seize these moments and realize they are about more than candy, this was her will wanting to do things her own way to satisfy her desire and at the moment it mattered more to her than showing her respect for Mama's authority and ultimately God's. We talked about our sinful hearts and how Jesus died to bring us back to God so that He could give us new hearts and how my greatest desire for her would be for her to know God and love His ways and run to Jesus when temptation comes. We talked about how the bible says that temptation is crouching at the door and wants to come in to kill and destroy what God paid for on the cross. Messing up is hard but thank God that He gives us hope and repentance is so beautiful and good and sweet. We sat on the floor in the kitchen and my little girl prayed a prayer of deep repentance that her heart understood, the whole time I cried with her. A heart issue (hers and mine) revealed by a little piece of candy.
There have been times when I have let those moments go, especially with all I feel I need to accomplish but I can promise you that all that day my heart was rejoicing the way a list with everything checked off would never spur.
I am to evangelize, daily. I'm supposed to show them what loving God means by living it in front of them, loving my bible, loving their daddy, loving them, loving our church and community. Their little eyes are watching how I handle a bad mood or sickness or hardship, the piece of trash we could walk by. There is only one way to do this and its total surrender to God. To them we are windows of Almighty God and that is scary stuff!
The truth is the world watches much the same way, help me Jesus...
Christmas Day: Bunni 5, Tati 7, and AJ 3