Thursday, July 16, 2009

Let the Angel's Rejoice Along With Us

I am post-poning the topic I was going to cover today because of some wonderful news!!!!

Last night, on July 15th, 2009 our little girl declared she wanted to be a follower of Jesus. We have talked about the Bible to her and with her since the day she was born and she has had lots of training on why we need a Savior and what Jesus did for us. I was secretly hoping that perhaps when the 5 Day Club was going on at our house in June she might express interest to us or to the teachers about how to be forgiven of sin, but I knew that it would happen in God's timing and that I didn't need to push it or force it. She has had a strong interest in reading the story of Jesus' death in her Bible storybook for a couple of months and is deeply moved by hearing it. Because I grew up being taught Child Evangelism curriculum and have taught it for over a decade myself, I have presented the Wordless Book to Ali many times, but in the past she has been goofy, silly, or distracted as I'm explaining it. She is learning doctrine and answers about the Bible and faith in our book, "My First Book of Questions and Answers" and she loves memorizing Scripture. Most nights her Daddy prays with the kids and asks the Lord to help his kids to become followers of Jesus. We talk about sin and our need for a Savior all of the time in daily life. Yet, she still hadn't come to that step of realizing her need to believe and to ask for forgiveness for her own sins.

Last night one of my best friends rode by to drop off a plate of dessert (Yum! These are the best kinds of friends!) and a bag of fresh garden lettuce and she shared the joyous news that her son, one of Ali's best friends, had asked his parents how to show him to believe in Jesus. We were talking about it over supper as a family and thanking God for this good news and Ali declared that she wanted to follow Jesus too. I didn't want it to be a "peer pressure" thing so I told her if she was truly interested she could ask me about it later. As I dressed the boys for bed I prayed that God would lead us in our conversation that evening and in whatever happened. I got the children ready for bed and she begged me to tell her how to become a believer in Jesus and to read the crucifixion and resurrection stories. So, we read through all of the stories in the excellent book "The Jesus Storybook Bible" and I told the Wordless Book very carefully and thoroughly. I admit that I had an incredible feeling that all the previous training I have had in my entire life was leading up to this precious moment of showing my own child the plan of salvation.....
....that of all the times I've shared this message......that of all the times I've prayed with kids......this was the most important thus far. I could barely hold myself together it was such an emotional thing. After hearing the verses and going through the questions, Ali clearly understood everything perfectly and wanted to know how to be saved. I told her to pray on her own and she prayed, "Dear Jesus, please forgive me of my sins. Help me to be a follower of Jesus. Help me to have faith in you." I was blown away by her "big phrases" she used; things she's probably heard us say in the past and remembered!

We then talked over Christian growth and telling on yourself (confessing) to God when we sin. I mentioned that when we truly believe God sends His Holy Spirit to live in us and guide us. Then we prayed again. Ali thanked God for saving her from her sins and said, "Help me to understand who You are. Come and live in my heart." (More big phrases for a four year old, said on her own without Mom's coaching!)

She then said, "I'm a Christian!" She must have heard me say that followers of Jesus are called Christians.

I asked her if she wanted to call grandparents. She was so excited and enthusiastic which was surprising since she often doesn't want to talk on the phone or says a quick hi and then the conversation is over. She kept telling folks on the phone, "I became a Christian! Im a follower of Jesus now!" She told Grammy "Be sure to tell Boppa and Uncle Googoo (Grandpa and Uncle Grant) that I becomed a Christian!" She is very concerned for her uncle as he doesn't follow the Lord and she declared that we should pray for him every night and kept asking me why he doesn't believe in Jesus.

Then I heard her telling Jer, "I became a Christian. You should become one too." Later, he said, "I'm a Cwis-shun too!" He has to copy big sis 'cuz everyone is making a big deal of it! She said this morning, "I asked Jer last night if he wanted Jesus to forgive his sins, and he said yes, so he's a Christian too!" (He's so little, I am not sure he understands much.) Next thing you know, she'll be trying to convert Justus!

Many of the Christian people I know have come to an awareness of their need for God at the age of 4 or 5. It seems to be a ripe age when kids are raised in the church. My hubby was 4, I was 5, etc. And yet, I realize that it is God who regenerates and that "saying a prayer" isn't a magic formula because some kids that pray that prayer whether from parental pressure, or selfish motivation, etc. and yet grow up to live lives apart from God but still think they are okay because someone told them because they prayed a prayer they are going to Heaven. True faith perseveres. Sometimes people don't remember the date or the age but they just know that God has changed them and given them a desire for Him and for spiritual things and they follow Him and that's what matters! No matter how you came to faith, or what God did to open your eyes, what matters is that you worship Him, live for Him, obey Him, and persevere in Him.
I believe only God knows for sure the exact moment of salvation, but the fact that our little girls wants to believe is a sign that God is at work in her and we will continue to pray for her, train her, teach her, and help her to understand this journey she has begun as a Jesus-follower. Something I have come to realize in the last couple of years is that the Gospel (which means Good News) is for every person every day. It's not just for the unsaved/lost/non-Christians and then once they respond to it, they no longer need to hear it and thus move on to Christian growth topics. The Gospel is for believers as much as it is for the lost. We need to continually hear the Gospel, to be reminded of our need for God and what He has done for us. We need that Truth constantly so that it would strengthen us in and through the hardships of life.
Perhaps you are reading this and wondering how a person comes to belief in Jesus. What is the Good News (also known as The Gospel) ? Here is a great online presentation of how to become a believer in Jesus.


Kristin said...

What a wonderful moment that must have been for you, and for Ali as well. Definitely a time to rejoice!

the momma said...

Oh ~ I am so happy for you all!! Congratulations!!! This is so exciting!! Maybe, just maybe, God will use Ali to draw Grant.....

sunshine princess said...

Oh I am so happy for you and Ali!
that is such wonderful news :D can't wait til it's my turn to have a baby decide to follow Jesus :D

Lesley said...

Praise God -- that is wonderful news!!! It's moments like these that make the years of parenting and hard work seem one hundred percent worth it!!! What a wonderful thing for you and Ali to share in together!!!

Momma Bear said...


Thia said...

Congratulations and praise the Lord!

Hannah said...

I just read this post and it was great to hear the whole story. It was definitely sweet when she told me at the Pita Pit that she became a Christian, but sadly enough, I didn't think to ask for the details. I'm so glad I read your blog and learned it all. That had to be one of the best days of your life!

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