This past Sunday, our pastor shared in his sermon about knowing and accepting Jesus into your heart. He read aloud and included in his sermon notes for the day, the scripture from John 14:6-"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but through me." He then showed an illustration on the big screen of Jesus knocking on a door and he described how Jesus stands at our heart's door and knocks. It is up to us to answer his call. And I can testify that He is most certainly knocking because my almost 8 year old son, John Owen, took me completely by surprise when he touched my hand as Bro. Chuck began his closing prayer, and he said, "Mommy, I want to be baptized." For a split moment, I didn't know what to say!! I leaned in and whispered, "Do you want to share this with Bro. Chuck or Bro. Cliff?" (You see, Jan and I have always said we want our children to make this decision on their own. Of course, we will try our best to give them guidance in this matter, but we do not want to force our children to accept Christ. We have had a couple of "bedtime discussions" with John Owen over the course of the last 6 months or so, but he has never expressed a desire to be baptized. He said he believed in Jesus and God, and he asked alot of questions. And I have prayed, as I do for all 3 of my children, that God would open his heart to hear and confess Jesus as his Lord and Savior.) So, when he said he wanted to go down to tell Bro. Cliff or Bro. Chuck, I didn't dare want to tell him to wait. I have this idea that so many, and I stand guilty as well, think that that aisle in church is only for those who have a decision to make public. Why is that?
So, I said, "Let's go down and pray with Bro. Chuck, o.k? And we'll see what he says." At the same time the invitation began, we stepped out into the aisle with our son who will turn 8 in 20 days, and made our way to the front. I knew that our good friend, Ella, who recently made a decision for Christ was making her decision public, and I couldn't help but think how ironic it was that Ella's mom, Kate, and I were baptized together, and that today of all days, God chose to speak to my child's heart. He knocked, and I believe John Owen answered Him. I am without words to describe how happy we are! We prayed with Bro. Cliff while Ella talked with Bro. Chuck. Then we shared with Bro. Chuck John Owen's decision, and we agreed to meet with him this week. Later, when we discussed this with John Owen, Jan asked him why he wanted to be baptized, and what made him think about it today? He said, "Well, Bro. Chuck was talking about Jesus knocks on the door of your heart, and you have to answer his knock. I think He's knocking on my heart, and I want to let Him in." :-) Of course, we asked him if he knew his friend had made a decision to be baptized, and he said he didn't. (I hope no one thinks badly of us for asking that, but we wanted to be sure his decision was made for the right reason.) Please say a little prayer for our son as he meets with our pastor this week and as he answers the Lord's knock on his heart's door.
I close with a funny prayer Mary Claire prayed tonight before I put her in bed. (I think it might have been an attempt to keep from having to go to bed so quickly.)
She always says the "Now I lay me down to sleep..." prayer, but I usually lead her in a prayer afterwards, and I'll thank God for her and her brothers, other family, Jesus, etc. Well, she has now started picking up if I slow down with my list of "thank-you's" and here's what she said tonight, plus my thoughts as she prayed :-).
"Thank you for Mommy and Daddy and Mommy and Daddy (o.k., I think God got that one!)
and my animals (??...Then I quickly realized she was looking at some stuffed animals in the basket beside the rocking chair)
and Mommy's music (??... Maybe because she heard the music playing on the CD player...I could sure use that prayer, though, since this laryngitis has kept me from singing for 2 weeks now!)
and for my books (O.k. now she's looking at the bookshelf...)
and for Jesus. (There you go! Good girl. Be thankful for the other things, but this one is most important.)
Amen! (and AMEN!)