It's been a pretty exciting week for us. Our son, Alden, turned six last week. He's our oldest.
One of my fears as a pastor is "brainwashing" fake Christianity into my kids. If you don't know what I mean, I think there are too many kids being told that if they don't want to go to hell, then they need to pray a certain prayer so that they can be saved. If you don't know the Bible, that's completely opposite of what Jesus says. Lots of people pray, but lots of people aren't saved.
Jesus' message was MUCH harder than that. In fact, Jesus said that anyone who wanted to follow Him would have to deny themselves, take up their cross (execution device, makes for a great flannel graph), and follow Him (Mark 8:34), not just pray a prayer. Jesus was NEVER about the easy road. In fact, He said that there is one easy road, but it leads to hell (Matthew 7:13-14). Isn't this an encouraging blog... read on... it gets better. God is very good.
So, my prayer for all my boys has been that God would do what ONLY God can do. That He would open their eyes to see and understand that He is the greatest treasure they could ever have (Matthew 13:44). He's greater than their dad, their mom, their brothers, their future girlfriends, their future wives, their future kids, everything.
The Bible is very clear, (please sit down, things might get bumpy ahead) that we don't choose God, he chooses us (Ephesians 1:5, 11; 1 Peter 1:1-3; Revelation 13:8). So my prayer has been 2 Corinthians 4:4, 6, "... the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God... For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." For those who struggle with God's sovereignty, especially when it comes to salvation, please wrestle with these verses. They speak loudly that God, not us, makes the decision. We've got to start giving Him the glory for it, not ourselves. He spoke light into my heart!!!! I'm so thankful that He didn't leave it to me to try to find Him.
I pray those words for my boys every day. "God, please speak light into their hearts, so that they see how wonderful Jesus is."
So Sunday was a good day. Shawna was driving the boys to church and was playing the new Tim Hughes worship CD. There is a song called, "The Highest and Greatest" on the CD. It's about what life is about, giving God glory in all things. We were created for that. Well, Alden was singing so loud and at the end of the song burst out: "I WANT TO GO TO HEAVEN. Maybe Jesus is coming back today. He sure is taking a long time."
So my mind is thinking and praying, "Did you do it, Lord? Did you open his eyes? Is he starting to get it?"
Then came Tuesday. Shawna and the boys were having lunch when Alden, with no prompting, said, "I'm not going to get baptized, I'm just going to believe in God." Shawna replied, "Well, Alden, the Bible says that when you follow Jesus, first you repent of your sins, then you get baptized (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21)." Alden: "Well, the last time someone put my head under water, I choked." Shawna: "We can work on that Alden. We can teach you to hold your breath better. Do you want to get baptized Alden?" Alden: "Yes." Shawna: "Why? Why would you want to get baptized? Why does a person get baptized?" Alden: "Because, they want to give their lives to the Lord."
This conversation was followed by a call to me to share the news of Alden's words. Then Shawna went back to Alden for more talk.
Shawna: "Alden, I'm so happy that you would want to give your life to the Lord. I'm happy that you would want to get baptized." Alden: "Can kids get baptized?" Shawna: "Yes. As long as they believe in Jesus. Alden, are there other kids that you know that are wanting to live for God?" Alden: "No, I just want to do it myself."
When God spoke into the darkness thousands of years ago and there was instantly light, he said, "It is very good." I continue to pray for my little boy that God will continue opening his eyes to Jesus, but it seems that on Tuesday, April 17, God once again spoke light into a dark place... it was very good.