Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Desire of My Heart ♥


Pilgrim's Progress -- Christian's burden of sin falls off at the cross of Christ.


Many years ago, before we had any children, I was talking to the Lord one day about the family Gary and I might have someday. I told him that day that I couldn't imagine a worse thing than to bring kids into the world only for them to grow up and die and go to hell.  Realizing this meant he might take my babies from the womb early or even as children, I told God I didn't want him to give me any children who would not trust his Son and be eternally saved.  

Four of my babies died and went to heaven before we had Alison, and two others after we had Amy.  Miscarriage is heartbreaking, but not as heartbreaking as it would be to hear God say to your own precious children, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire."  I mourned, but God gave grace to believe he knew our future and theirs, and to trust him in the midst of our circumstances.

At that time I was young in the Lord.  We were new in the ministry. I might have thought then that children born to preachers were practically guaranteed a home in heaven, for they must grow up knowing all the right answers.  "Of course Jesus is the Son of God and he died for my sins.  Everyone knows that."  But it is not knowing the right answers that makes a heart right with God.  The acknowledgement and understanding of one's own sins and an humble, heart-felt desire to be rid of them is what draws the Lord to a sinner. A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Psalm 51:17; God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble, 1 Peter 5:5.  And THAT can be a hard place to come to when you grow up in a home where you have been trained to put on a good outward appearance.

It can be difficult for pastor's kids to understand their own need for salvation.  We do all the things that would seem to guarantee our girls an advantage over others in spiritual matters. We are in church every time the doors are open, we pray with our kids and for our kids, we have family devotions, we practice daily Bible reading. We teach our girls to serve others and to be kind to each other. Together we live a blessed life unmarred by many sins of the flesh which cause many other families hardships and heartaches. We have heard many testimonies of men and women who were saved from alcoholism or immorality or rage or violence, but our life doesn't look like that.  A child in this home might not be able to name her sins.  "Uh... disobeying? Being impatient?"  These look like such small things in comparison, not sinful exactly, not like adultery or murder!  But yes, these are sins, too.

The problem is that our actions are not what make us sinners.  No, our sinful acts prove that we were already sinners at heart.  It is because we were born sinners that we do sinful things, whether those actions seem to us to be a big deal to God or not.  It is the sin nature that we were born with that makes us unfit for heaven without the work of Jesus Christ.  Our children need to understand that they are capable of the most wicked sin they can think of.  They were born just as sinful as the most notorious criminal on earth, and they need to have a new nature given them. Without that new nature, that new birth, they are eternally lost.  It doesn't matter that they have been protected from the outside world and kept from bad influences. The worst influence my "good" little girls have, one they can't escape or be protected from, is their own sinful heart!

Several weeks ago that realization came to Amy and Betsy.  Both of them had made professions of faith at a young age, but  they had no understanding of their hearts' own wickedness at that time.  I am sure the Lord knew those sweet little girls loved Jesus and wanted to be saved and go to heaven when they die; he was faithful. But they had to come face to face with their sins before they could be rid of them.  It is the goodness of God that leads a soul to repentance (Romans 2:4), and how very good he was that day (as he always is)!  Amy trusted Christ early one morning after a guilty, fitful night, and Betz realized the same evening that it was HER sins that required Jesus' death on the cross.  Both girls absolutely glowed with the relief of that burden lifted!

And I am rejoicing over God's faithfulness and for answered prayer! It is such a joy to me to know that God heard me so many years ago. The girls presented themselves for baptism and church membership at church this morning, and now that they've been saved already, they'll be baptized the Bible way, in a public place as a testimony of their identification with Christ, and where there is "much water" (John 3:23).  I am so blessed!!!  Thank you, Lord!

Each soul must make his/her own choice where Christ is concerned. Pilate asked, "What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?"  Each of us must ask ourselves that question. Was Jesus the payment for your sins, or was he just a good man? No one is born and raised a Christian. If you think you are a Christian because you grew up going to church, you need to be saved. You are still carrying a burden of sin that is growing day by day.

If you have been the same your whole life, having the same affections, enjoying the same entertainment, holding the same outlook on life, and keeping the same company, you have not been saved. When Jesus saves a soul, he changes the person!  If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. If you can not think of a time in your life when you knew you were LOST, you have not been saved.

I have a heaviness in my heart for religious people who are sincere but sincerely wrong.  There are so many really nice people who are lost!  I was one.  Thank God I am no longer religious, thinking I had gained God's favor by my loyalty to a church or a creed.  Jesus saved me. He did it all.  There was nothing good in me, but everything good in Christ!  I have true Bible salvation. Forever!  I got it God's way, by his grace.  And so did my two girls. :)  Praise the Lord, he is SO good!!!


For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son, 
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

I have no greater joy than to know my children walk in truth.
3 John 1:4




4 comments:

  1. Praise God for such a wonderful testimony for both girls! I am so blessed by them each and every day, and am so excited to watch them grow in the Lord!

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  2. Wha-hooo!!! :) God is so good and so faithful! I love it that He is at work in your lives & I am so grateful we get to watch them grow! You are all such a blessing to me.

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  3. I'm sorry for the loss of your babies before you really got know them. I'm sure that pain will stay with you for a long time. I'm happy that God has blessed you with the girls you have now and the blessing they give you.

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  4. What a good perspective and one I have never heard before from someone who has lost 6 precious little ones. We can rejoice with you that your daughters are walking with Him, too.

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