Monday, March 28, 2011

Born of God

We have such wonderful, wonderful news!! God gave John David new life through Jesus Christ! We are just ever-thrilled at the grace of our kind Lord and Master! It was such a sweet afternoon this past Wednesday, March 23! John David came to me weeping and confessing a sin that he had just done. He told me that he really needed Jesus. We sat down on the couch and just talked and talked. God has given John David such a smart mind. He had told us several times previously that he had been thinking about giving his life to Jesus, but he wasn’t sure yet. He had a couple of times told us that he wanted to, but he wanted to so he could be with daddy and mama in heaven- through our conversations he never had a focus on his need of a Savior. He knew the gospel story. We had explained that he needed Jesus countless times. He knew he was sinful and done bad things. We told him about the holiness of God. He had memorized verses from the Bible that explained salvation. We told him about the impossibility that we could get to God by ourselves. We had explained repentance. He knew all these things and he could explain them to us. But his eyes were not yet open and his heart and mind were not yet to the place of a saving knowledge and understanding. This past Wednesday, March 23 2011, things were different. God was doing a miracle and the Holy Spirit was moving. God opened the eyes of our precious oldest son! Oh what JOY!! John David repented of his sins, called out to Jesus to forgive him, believed in Jesus’ name to save him, and gave his life to God. In John 1:12, God says, “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, he gave the right to become children of God- children born not of natural descent nor of human will but born of God.” Another miracle! Another second birth! Another person brought out of the kingdom of darkness and brought into the kingdom of the Son whom God loves, the Son in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Oh what glorious story! Oh what divine God! Born not of our wills, but born of GOD! John David was reborn on that Wednesday afternoon, by the Will of God- because God took delight in bringing him to redemption, bringing John David back to Himself. After J prayed, he was so happy! He quickly called David and was soon dancing and jumping all over the kitchen! It was a beautiful miracle to be able to see. Another person given new, miraculous life in Jesus Christ. And it was our son! What pure joy!! Our prayer is that he would grow deeper and deeper in the knowledge of who God truly is. That John David would understand more and more who he is in himself- the utter sin he is without Christ. Then in return that the worth of Jesus Christ would fall so deep into his heart and innermost being that he lives a life that is completely soaked with the preciousness of Christ! That Jesus Christ would be his treasure all the days of his life! This life goes by so fast- that John David would live for nothing less than for the glory of our God! That Wednesday evening I was able to get a couple of moments alone with the Lord, the first moments alone I had since John David gave his life to Christ. I was driving and worshipping, just praising God for what he had done and is doing all around us. I was praising Him specifically for what He had done in John David’s heart that afternoon. I am just overwhelmed by His goodness. I was so happy, giddy, so just outright cheerful that it was like I just wanted to jump right up in God’s lap and tell him so. I wanted to, like any little girl in a daddy’s lap, jump right up on Him with giddy laughter and just enjoy who He is. The goodness of a Father. Enjoying His presence. But, then at the same time I realized the power, the holiness of God, the all surpassing gloriousness and grandeour of God- his Righteousness and splendor. The picture of the throne of our Holy God in Revelation four and five. And at that point it was like I couldn’t breathe, I froze- my innermost being seemed frozen. I didn’t know how to respond. I didn’t know what to do. This happens in the most precious times of worship and adoration, times that make everything worth doing and living- times when you come into, perhaps just the very edge of His divine presence. Times that take your breath away- times when you are smiling but your heart and soul seemed frozen with awe and wonder and overwhelming gratitude. This was one of those times. And oh how sweet it was! I was feeling this overwhelming emotion of who God truly is- His power, righteousness, Holiness, gloriousness. It was such a sweet moment where Jesus showed me such a vivid picture of His beautiful salvation. Oh yes, the Father is going to be feared- His Holiness and splendor. No one will see Him in all His glory and dare to lift an eye. No one will dare to open his or her mouth with a question. We will all stand or fall in utter fear and terror. We will be frozen. Speechless. We will not know what to do. But, oh how His beloved children will want to run up to His lap and cry out “Thank you”, with giddy laughter snuggle in His chest and enjoy His presence. But, how, oh How is this possible?- that’s salvation. It’s Jesus! He is there too, and He is telling me, telling us, “Go, Go jump in His lap, I have made the way, Go! Be giddy with Him, snuggle up to Him, enjoy His presence! Go!! It’s what you were created for- Go! I made the way.” Oh what precious Jesus! He did make the way! Oh what a God that He would care for us and be mindful of us! That He, in all His splendor and glory tells us, His beloved children, “Fear not”. God is described in Revelation as jasper and carnelian- a rainbow encircling His throne, surrounded by other thrones and creatures- creatures with eyes all over them. Creatures that we have never seen before, creatures that we cannot fully imagine. From the throne comes flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder. Blazing lamps, a crystal clear sea like glass, creatures flying all around with a never ending speech of “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” We will think we will be consumed. There was one time in my life that I felt sheer terror. I felt like I was dying. I remember crying out to God, “please not yet.” I felt like I was being consumed in “something” that I had absolutely no control over. I can’t help but to wonder what our feelings will be before the throne of God. A consuming power that we have absolutely no control over. A consuming power that is so huge, so awesome, so glorious and holy that we fall to the ground and perhaps weep. And then we, as God’s loved children, see something else. We see a Lamb, looking as if it has been slain. We see Him, the Lamb, approaching the Throne. We see the arms of God opening. We begin to feel the warmth of His embrace. Oh, Lamb, how precious you are! You are worthy, we cry! We are now exactly where we were created to be- in the arms of our God. Our loving God who spreads His arms out wide and speaks tenderly to us, “Fear not.” Our beloved Master seeks not to kill and destroy- He seeks to give LIFE and life to the fullest measure. Oh that His Holy Spirit would open up the floodgates on our lives and soak us with a measure of Love that we have never known or realized before. That we would “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” I have been given a beautiful gift in the life of my parents. John David has been given a gift in the heritage of his family that love and follow Christ. David and I both know the blessing of our earthly parents- we have been eternally blessed because of them. But, it is the same God who works in each of us, His children. We are given the same Father. The same God who works in me is the same God who works in you, if you are a child of God. The same God who now is at work within John David is the same God that is at work within “our guys” who have never known an earthly father. The same God that was at work within Elijah is the same God that is at work within men and women, guys and girls with no parental example of how to live the Christ life. May God give us each, no matter the circumstances of this present life, a spirit of discernment and wisdom to realize the Worth and preciousness of our Savior, Jesus Christ. May we each grow in knowledge and understanding of who God is. May we each grow in the love, joy, and knowledge of the Word. May the Spirit guide us through His Word in every way. George Mueller wrote this:
“I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the word of God, and to meditation on it. . . . What is the food of the inner man? Not prayer, but the word of God; and . . . not the simple reading of the word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts.”

George Mueller was not carelessly tossing prayer to the side. Prayer was the very means by which thousands of orphans were cared for under his supervision and leadership. I believe Mueller was saying that the foundation of everything is the Word of God. Prayers should flow from the fountain of His Word. Relationships should flow from the mouth of God. Love should burst forth from the pages of His Word. This story that I just wrote is founded because and on the Word of God; its springs up from the precious Scriptures. May He “fan into flame” our love, joy, and obedience to God’s Holy Word. May it mark each of us so deeply that we would be beautiful carriers of the name of Jesus. That we would know the love that surpasses knowledge and be carried forth by His Guiding Spirit.