Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Words of Wisdom

For Reals?
Posted by Selma 

But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “ Hosanna to the Son of David! ” they were indignant and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?” 
 -  Matthew 21:15-16 (NKJV)

Children are so precious! I love spending time with them. One in particular comes to my mind - she is my adopted grandchild. One day I babysat for this very spunky, bright, four-year-old and the moment she arrived, I enjoyed how eager she was to dive into her day and enjoy life. I think the thing I love most is her love for Jesus. She shares about Him effortlessly as she slowly recites John 3:16, “For- God- soo- loved-the- world…’’ to anyone she comes in contact with.

I watch her play while walking wobbly in pretend high heels and wearing a bedazzled tiara, humming a tune from a children’s praise song. It really brought a smile to my face and it reminded me about when I once heard a pastor say that if you can share about Christ with a child and they can understand, you can share Christ with anyone. So I thought I would give it a try that day. 

I called the little hazel eyed princess over and started building a bridge with a simple story about a man that was sick who didn’t know Jesus as his Savior. This little one is always accustomed to me telling her stories about Jesus and I just so happened to have recently shared the gospel with my friend who was very ill and dying of a rare disease. So this story was fresh on my mind (note to self you can use bible stories but you can also share everyday life stories that honor God).

She listened attentively and gazed at me as I told her that everybody needs Jesus in their life. I also told her that He loves us so much that He (God the Father) sent Jesus (His only Son) to die on the cross so we could be with Him forever. Then I asked her, “Do you have Jesus in your heart? ’’ She said, “Nooo” nonchalantly.

I told her that I asked the man in my story if he would like to pray with me and ask Jesus into his heart and he said yes! I began to start to explain to this pre-schooler that Jesus says if you “believe’’ Jesus will come into your heart. Then we can one day live with Jesus in heaven forever.

I told the four-year-old, “Remember when Jesus died on the cross?” I told her that Jesus died for all the bad things she had ever did. I told her He did that for her and if she said she was sorry for those bad things, He would erase them and make them all go away.

I told her that when we say no to Jesus that makes Him sad because you can’t go to heaven. She replied, “For reals?’’ with a look of concern. She put her toys down and said to me. “I want to pray with you.’’ I could see she really grasped what I had conveyed to her. I wrapped my arms around her and told her how special it was to ask Jesus into her heart. Excited, we held hands together and she prayed that afternoon for Jesus to come into her life. The smile on her face said everything. She was so happy and so was I!

Now you may say she didn’t understand but what matters is the motive of her heart and I believe she was saved. Now to all who say, “I’m not qualified to share with someone the gospel,” “I’m too shy,” “I don’t know scripture,” “what if they tell me something and I don’t have the answer,” and “I’m not a good speaker” -
God wants to use you if you are willing to step out. The Holy Spirit will give you the words to say at the very moment you need them.

Remember its Jesus who does the work and saves, not us. We are just His tools used for His glory (meaning we are Gods mouthpiece but Jesus Christ is the Teacher - He’s the one in control and the One who is able to save, not us).

This is a challenge to all of you who say it’s too hard to share with someone about Jesus. My suggestion to get your feet wet is to try sharing the gospel with a child. Many of us have opportunities to share Christ when we come in contact with children in our families, circle of friends, or neighbors. Another idea is that you can help out and volunteer at your church in the children’s ministry.

Children are simple and not complicated. They love hearing a good story and that’s how we need to be when we share with adults. The Lord will honor it and you can ask the Lord to help give you the courage and ability to share with others the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

Most of all, the children will be blessed!

Here’s a song dedicated to my little 4-year-old’s journey with Jesus…it’s her favorite song:

Where is the Reset Button?

Where is the Reset Button?
Posted by Michelle  

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
   - Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)

Have you ever wished that life were more like a video game? Growing up I would try to keep up with my brother by playing with the cool video games that he enjoyed. Without fail, though, at some pint in the game, I would get stuck. The boss monster would be too strong, I’d fumble a jump, or I’d just get lost. Luckily, I had two comforts. Number one, I could always reset the game and try again, or, two, I’d get my brother to help me out of the rough patch. 

In my life, there have been many times that I wished I lived in a video game. It sounds odd, I know, but the thought of starting over whenever I made mistake or went down the wrong path in real life was so appealing. 

Perhaps you have experienced something like that too. One day you suddenly realize that you are exactly in the situation that you never thought you would be drawn to. Maybe you said something that couldn’t be unsaid, or maybe you are just lost in a world where you can’t decide what is right or wrong. 

I’m sure all of us have felt the sting of regret. The thing about regret, though, is that sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking that feeling regret means that there is no hope of fixing things. So, we try to justify our choices, rather than feel the regret, and keep going. Once we hit rock bottom, though, that regret quickly turns into despair when we can’t see any hope of changing or undoing our mistakes. 

But there is always hope. We don’t realize it, but there actually is a reset button in real life too, and there is always Someone ready to help us navigate the rough patches of life. God is always ready to press the reset button when we come to Him with our regrets and mistakes. We mess up, hurt ourselves and others, but God is able to wipe us clean and connect with us as if it never happened. Can we navigate this crazy life and all the ups and downs brought on by people’s free will? I certainly can’t - not without becoming collateral damage. It is such a relief to have a God who can forgive those regrets that we stumble into, and, even greater than that, a God who then shows us how to avoid those traps and mistakes in life that would eventually become regrets in the future. 

So, where are you right now? Are you stuck in a pattern of running from the feeling of regret by justifying the things that are ultimately damaging you and others? Are you tired of always taking the wrong turn in life, over and over again? Press the reset button by giving up your regrets to God. “His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning,” (Lamentations 3:22-23, ESV). I am so glad that they are, because I need his mercy every day. At any moment you can turn your day, your year, or your life around by giving up your regrets and mistakes to God. He knows how video games work.