Andrew has always had a sweet sensitivity to God, God’s Word, and all things Jesus.
Don’t get me wrong, the boy isn’t an angel. He isn’t perfectly obedient and free of trouble. At all. He is all boy. And he is 7. But. The boy loves Jesus.
He sleeps with his Bible. He asks me to read the Word to him nightly. He listens with attentiveness to Bible at school. Other than lunch, Bible is his favorite part of the day.
Andrew has asked for at least a year to be baptized. We’ve held off because of his young age. We really wanted him to understand that baptism doesn’t grant salvation. We wanted him to understand that baptism is a symbol of him dying to his old life and resurrecting to new life in Christ, a public profession of his faith, but not a seal of salvation.
A couple of weeks ago, we were driving down the road when he said he is so afraid he isn’t really a christian. He went on that he loves God and is so afraid he isn’t going to be with God.
We had the discussion on the level a 7-year-old could understand about how we are saved by faith alone in Jesus Christ. I reminded him of the verses we’ve learned. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved – Acts 16:31. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved- Romans 10:19.
But I thought to myself that any religion other than christianity, there is always this question of “Am I good enough? Have I done enough?”
In christianity, the answer is No. We aren’t good enough, but He loves us with an unimaginable love anyway. We are sinners, saved by grace. This is not of ourself it’s the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8) We couldn’t do enough. It’s why Jesus was born to die for our sins.
Before we accept Jesus as Lord of our life, we have to confess we are a sinner in need of a Savior. My fear for the children of this generation is that they are told so often how good they are. They are praised and esteemed to the point I wonder how they will recognize that they are a sinner in need of a Savior.
Over the last several weeks, Andrew has asked us to pray with him to receive Jesus. Again. We’ve stressed that when we are saved, nothing can pluck us from His hands. He’s afraid he didn’t do something right, say something right. We’ve explained that is religion, not christianity. Christianity is faith. God knows Andrew’s heart.
I’ve shared this before, but I often pray with or over my boys that God would grant them a “different” kind of spirit like He gave Caleb. One that is willing to follow God wholeheartedly. I want to raise wholehearted men who love the Lord more than they love their wives, their children, their life, their anything.
Last night Andrew and I read from The Jesus Storybook Bible (his very favorite). We discussed the story and God’s relentless pursuit of His people. Then we prayed. In the middle of praying, I said, “Lord, I pray you create in Andrew a spirit like Caleb’s, willing to follow you wholeheartedly.”
Andrew’s eyes flew open as he cried out, “Caleb??? Caleb? Oh no, mommy! I’m never going to be with God in Heaven. I can never be as good as Caleb!!”
I looked into his innocent eyes, and ran my fingers over his cheeks. “Andrew, you don’t have to be as good as Caleb. God doesn’t expect you to be “good enough” or like anyone else. He created you to be you.” I continued, “When I pray that, what I’m asking God to do is to make you love Him so much that you will follow Him wherever He leads you.”
He let out a sigh of relief, then he said, “But, mommy, I’m still so worried I’m not really a christian.”
“Andrew, do you love God?”
“Do you believe you are a sinner?”
“Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God sent to die for your sins and He is the only way to God and to Heaven?”
“Did you confess to Jesus that you are a sinner in need of a Savior and ask Him to be the Lord of your life and tell Him that you want to follow Him?”
“God knows your heart. You need to stop worrying. The fact that you even question it shows me that you understand that a life with Jesus is worth making sure you have. And I did the same thing when I became a Christian. I was so worried because it just seemed too easy. There had to be more to it than that. But there isn’t. It’s a gift to us. We didn’t earn it. It’s grace.”
He still didn’t look convinced, so I asked, “Do you want me to lead you in prayer again?”
“Yes, please,” he said sheepishly.
I led him for about the 4th time in prayer asking Jesus to be the Lord of his life.
And for many years to come, I will continue to pray for his faith. That it will be strengthened, matured, and that it will become his own, not merely an extension of our faith.
And this. This is Christmas. Christmas isn’t the season, the day, the gifts, the parties, the food, the decorations. It’s not the Christmas movies by fire with hot cocoa. All fun and wonderful.
Christmas is the most amazing gift we could fathom, given in the humblest of ways. God became a baby to grow up to die for our sins. Willingly. What kind of love is that?
So, I get Andrew. That kind of love is too much to bear, too grand to understand. To receive that kind of love freely? It makes no sense.
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