Well it has been a little while since I posted. To be honest I have been a little discouraged for a variety of reasons. Really the only one I can mention here is just I feel I have personally been under attack by Satan. I also feel other staff and church members have been under Satan's attack too. I feel this has been happening because so many great things are taking place where I serve on staff. I really have been challenged over the past two weeks that I have not spent enough time on my knees praying specifically for a hedge of protection around our church and specifically my co-pastors as well as the other ministers I serve alongside with. You know Satan always knows how to attack us too- he knows our weaknesses and what distracts us. I shared with someone recently the only way I know to thwart of his attacks is on my knees and claiming the Victory Jesus has already won!
For the past two weeks I have used a phrase quite a bit- "Let's call it what it is!" If it is petty, call it petty. If it is squabbling, call it squabbling. If it is gossip, call it gossip. I think you get the picture. I became very aware of this two Sunday's ago when my Sunday started off - well just all wrong. It wasn't anything major, it was little things. I allowed it to make me snippy (which is never good and I have to ask for forgiveness). About half way through my morning - midway through our 2nd service (we have 3), I realized why things were going all wrong. You see at 11 a.m. in Kid's Church I was going to be presenting the Gospel and giving kids an opportunity to respond. It hit me! Satan wanted nothing more than me being all tore up, my focus diverted, and he wanted things to be haywire. I just started praying that God would prevail. That He would settle all things down especially me. You see, we don't often give an invitation- since we started Kid's Church two years ago we have only had one invitation. So................
At the invitation I gave the 116 children a chance to say they knew needed to
Admit they were a Sinner and ask God to forgive them
Believe they Jesus was God's Son and He died on the cross for their sins and
Commit their life to Him.
We had 4 boys do just this.
I then asked children who had already accepted Jesus but never had been baptized to raise their hand. I saw a sea of hands- 33 of them as it ended up. I had them go to the back so we could right their name down. I asked them to talk to their mom and dad and I would be following up.
I am not for high pressure on children- I never want anyone especially a child to have a false sense of security pertaining to salvation. I knew some kids were young that came (Kindergarten) and most likely were just wanting to know more.
As I have followed up that has been the case- some are just curious and we have affirmed it is awesome they want to know more about knowing Jesus.
However, quite a few of them have made decisions. In talking with parents it has been exciting that many of them did go home and talk to mom and dad (I still have several to get in touch with). I have left a lot of messages.
At our church we require children to take the I'm A Christian Now class before they can be baptized. I am offering a class this Sunday and I have 19 signed up - I am so excited! Normally my classes are much smaller and I do them on a monthly basis.
Anyway............... in calling one family newer to our church, they asked if I would meet with them and their son. He keeps insisting he has asked Jesus in his life and due to him being a kindergartner they were not sure if he really understood. Well I met with them today. It reminds me there is no magic age in which a child can understand......... He definitely understood but was a little confused on one part. Bless his heart he was asking Jesus in his life a lot because he keeps sinning. I find this is not unusual - we often are not very clear that this is a one time decision and what you should do when you sin after accepting Jesus. Well we got all that straight and I shared he needed to pray one time and when he sinned after that he needed to ask Jesus to forgive him for that specific sin. In asking him if he was ready to pray that one time- he answered yes. I asked him if he wanted to wait until he got home with mom and dad or if he wanted to pray now. He said now. He then proceeded to pray the most precious prayer asking Jesus into his life. It was hard for me to hold back tears and of course his mom and dad were very teary eyed. After all they just witnessed their son make the most important decision he will every make.
I was reminded by the Great Physician that this is what is all about. This is why I do what I do. This is why I need to claim Victory over Satan everyday. Satan wants to prevent God's kingdom from being built as well as rob me of the joy of my salvation!
Oh that childlike faith......................... It will never grow old getting to hear someone utter the most precious words ever to our Heavenly Father!