18
Aug
10

eternal conversations

Yesterday was Rilyn and I’s annual back to school daddy-daughter date and like last year we headed over to Austin Park n Pizza for some miniature golf, go-karts (Rilyn gets to drive her own car), video games, and tea-cups; I almost let loose on that ride, Rilyn ended up riding again by herself just so she could spin as much as she wanted. We ended the trip at Sonic sharing a blended root beer float.
Chilling at Sonic was our first time in a long time to really get to talk about the upcoming school year and for me to get to listen and share my heart with her. We talked about what to expect in 1st grade from tests to social woes and from what I can tell, she seems ready and excited to get going. She takes after her mom in that arena. Her affinity for organized days filled with achievable tasks fits right in with her Julie-like personality.
While we were there, I wanted to take the chance and talk about more eternal things also. You see, for a while Julie and I have been wrestling with our role and responsibility as it relates to her faith in Jesus Christ. From an early age, God has graced Rilyn with special affinity for God and His Good news. She is fascinated by and attracted to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus; to the point that if you ask her if she believes in Jesus, she says yes. We ask her if she loves Jesus and she says yes. To hear Rilyn say this gives Julie and I great joy.
This joy is in response to our deeply rooted longing for all our kids to love Jesus, to trust Him, to put their faith in Him, and be reconciled with their Heavenly Father, the Creator of the universe. God’s word reveals to us that this reconciliation with our Heavenly Father comes only to those who by grace have faith in Jesus. Romans 10:9-11:
“9 because, 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. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
I discussed this very truth with Rilyn last night and she clearly communicated her love for Jesus, and that she believes He is the Lord of heaven and earth. Does this mean that she is saved? That is the question Julie and I are wrestling with. It is clear that the word of God teaches that salvation comes to those who confess with their mouth AND believe in their heart that Jesus is who the Bible says He is. How can you know what is really going on in her heart?
I tried to assess that on our way back home. My first question was, “Rilyn, who is the giver of all good gifts?”
“Jesus” she replied
Right answer, but I wanted to get to the heart, so I asked, “What if Jesus took all your toys away, would you still love Him?”
“Yes,” she replied
“Why,” I asked.
“Because He was crucified for me,” she responded.
Wow, that was a big word, not one we use very often. I probed a little deeper, “What if Jesus took daddy away, would you still love Him?”
To which she wilted a bit and weakly said, “Yes”
Torn between giving her a hug and pressing on, I asked her, “Why?”
Sniffling a little bit she responded, “Because He loves me.”
Looking at Rilyn I am encouraged and overwhelmed by the grace bestowed on her by our Heavenly Father that at such a young age her words would echo the truth revealed through Paul’s letter to the Philippians chapter 3 verse 8,
“8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ”
Is Rilyn His? I believe so. Only time and a life full of faith in Christ bearing fruit of His spirit will tell. The Bible teaches that those who are born-again will continue trusting in Christ forever. God, by His own power through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, keeps or preserves the believer forever. Praise be to God whose does not sleep or slumber, who will never forsake his children no matter what.
My part to play in all this is not to doubt her words or question her heart but to teach Him & His word and trust His work through the Spirit so that she will put her confidence in Him leading to a life of obedience. There is a great sermon on Our Calling as Parents founded on Psalm 78:1-8.
Listen, O my people, to my instruction; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, 3 which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. 4 We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. 5 For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should teach them to their children, 6 that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, 7 that they should put their confidence in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments, 8 and not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not prepare its heart, and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
In His truth I will put my trust and in His promises I will put my hope.

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1 Response to “eternal conversations”


  1. August 20, 2010 at 10:06 am

    beautiful, james! this brought tears to my eyes…i can only imagine how proud you and julie are of her precious heart & soul.


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