It has been some time since I blogged personally. As usual, I have a very good excuse. Actually, several, not the least of which is that now that I am working on a masters degree in theology, I have increased my workload substantially. I’m doing lots of reading and writing a paper or two each week. On top of some really exciting things that are happening with the Holy Enthusiasm book (more info. soon), I’ve been working like crazy.
Many of you who read my blog are also on my newsletter mailing list. I’ll be getting that out this week too. Whew!
Here’s my grace lesson for the week…
A couple of weeks ago our youngest son accepted Jesus as his Savior. Sniff. It was very emotional and I know a serious celebration was going on among the angels that night! As a parent, you can’t help but wonder if your child’s decision for Christ is real or not, especially with a young child. Caleb is five. This week we were granted a glimpse of fruit.
Late in the week the boys were getting ready for bed and they were fighting. This is typical in a household with boys, I understand. This mommy was fed up with it and I not-so-gently let them know that they needed to get their tushies in their beds. When I went in to pray with the boys and kiss them good-night, Caleb was holding his head and exclaiming, “The sin is in! The sin is in!” I couldn’t imagine what he was talking about. When I asked he explained, “Ben and I were making bad choices all day and now the sin is back in and Jesus must not be in our hearts any more.”
Gulp. Talk about a mommy heart breaking in two! Caleb (and Ben) and I had a long talk about the fact that Jesus will never leave him nor forsake him. We also covered the fact that when Jesus lives in our hearts we need to listen to that little voice (the Holy Spirit) that tells us how to live God’s way. It was a very precious bedtime prayer we shared that night, let me tell you! And I am so grateful that God allowed me to see my young son experiencing the conviction of the Holy Spirit in his life.
That could be the end of the grace lessons, but it’s not.
In the last week, I both witnessed and was the recipient of some pretty un-Christlike behavior from adults. In both cases, professing believers treated other believers with unparalleled rudeness, causing shame and humiliation. I can attest to the fact that the recipients were left in tears in both cases. I couldn’t help but wonder if Caleb was right…”The sin is in! The sin is in!” But, no. I know that Jesus has not left the hearts of these women. However, I was reminded that as believers we must hold ourselves in check. Are we exercising the Fruit of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)? Are we demonstrating Christ’s love to others? Are we growing in our relationship with Jesus and letting others enjoy the fragrance of that fruit? Are we discerning the voice of God in our daily lives?
I leave you with these questions and this final thought that summarizes my grace lesson…
“People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.”
~ D.A. Carson, For the Love of God