A Child’s Witness

A child’s unrestrained unction will test an adults perception of their own boldness. What do I consider bold? I’m a grown man now, and I sometimes think myself bold for sharing my faith in public. My oldest son Abe, who is now 4, is challenging me on this issue. I try to teach my children about God’s character, not just some of them but all of the characteristics of God revealed in scripture. His Holiness, perfection, law, mercy, patience, grace and love, etc. I teach them that Christ came to save sinners from hell and gives the only true hope for eternal life. I have tracts around the house that I bought from Ray Comfort’s Living Waters ministry that challenge people to consider if they think they are good when compared to God’s law. Abe is fascinated with these tracts and asks me to read them to him often. 

Abe talks loudly.  Sometimes he asks questions about the fear of God, death, sin, the unseen and a whole litany of other subjects because we constantly talk about them. My younger boy is starting to do the same, he is about to turn 3. Sometimes these discussions will erupt in public places, recently one did at the local diner. I have to be honest, there is an impulse of the flesh that wants to silence a loud child who is talking of any uncommon subject in public, especially when the subject is about God. Most grown people honestly just don’t want God in their thinking. A lesson I’m learning is that a child who is taught of God will not hesitate to talk about Him aloud, anywhere. As Christ reminds the believer in the scriptures, let the little children come to me. Holy Spirit subdue this flesh that strives to remain passive along with the rest of culture. 

So I find myself asking the question, is this phenomenon a coincidence? Is this not an exceptionally well timed testing of my faith? Here is the reality, my child’s faith challenges me to always be ready to talk to my neighbor about the hope that is in me; I can see this child will not hesitate to bring Him up in public discourse at anytime and in any place. Will I brush my boys’ comments to the side and choose to talk about the whether or will I use them as an opportunity to witness to Christ, teach them in public and proclaim the forgiveness of sins to this world? Lord have mercy, for if I’m honest I’ve probably elected to do the former 9 times out of 10. Not necessarily due to unbelief but most likely due to my own laziness. 

Abe has been invited by a friend from his nursery school to a birthday party. Of his friends from school, this will be Abe’s very first party he attends and he is super excited. He wants to give his pal those gospel tracts as part of his gift. He is super enthusiastic about giving these tracts to his friend because he considers the message contained in there to be good news. Abe has told me that I might need to read them to his friend because he can’t read yet. So my teaching my boy is producing fruit and now opportunity is presenting itself to me in that I have been given an objective witness to my son’s friend’s parents. I am encouraging him to give the tracts and am now praying for boldness to share the gospel at this birthday party when I go with him. I do sense the flesh wanting to object at so many points here, but it must be slayed at every one of them and I will not even give rise to its arguments. God willing, these parents of Abe’s friend will get the gospel through my son’s witness, through me and through those tracts. 

As I reflect on a child’s faith, which both Abe and Caleb are starting to display more and more, they are not quick to hesitate to have God in their thinking or on their lips like most adults are. They are coming to Christ and I can see that Christ doesn’t turn the little ones away. I know this world will certainly challenge them to be silent as it does me, but I better not do such a thing. Just the other day Caleb pointed to the moon when we got out of the car and shouted, “look daddy, God put that there!” I am thankful to see that my children hear me when I speak and understand what I say in the privacy of our home. The duty given to me now is to continue the discussion whenever and wherever we find ourselves, inviting whoever into it. They aren’t afraid to ask questions in my house or in public and I intend to keep it that way. The easy thing to do would be not to give real answers but to silence their inquiries and avoid the work of finding real responses. To hush their excitement. 

As a Christian father, I now see parenting partially designed to help parents grow in the area of witnessing. Will we have faith like a child? Will we be excited to talk about God wherever the opportunity arises? I pray that me and my wife will be enabled to do so by God’s grace, for in this work is wisdom, joy and blessing. 

Written for Certainty’s Sake

Our minds are to be renewed by what is written, not by the whims of our hearts.

I saw a preacher recently, addressing an entire congregation as believers by default, actually lift up the bible and say,”this is not enough” in reference to the daily Christian’s walk. The context was that the believer needs to be led by the Spirit who can give additional words/promises/purpose. Granted, there was a disclaimer that these words will never contradict what is written…so I ask myself, why distract away from what is written (while holding it in the air!) then?!

The Word of God is set in stone, unchanging, and not subject to the convictions of men’s hearts but laid in a firm foundation for the sake of the believers’ assurance and certainty. Those men who say that the written Word is not enough for the believer (please note that I’m talking of professed believers here, the written Word for the unbeliever is like a light we must shine, it is the seed we need to sow, only God can make the new life appear), that the believer needs also a mystical, existential word or promise, these men fail to see or believe that what is written is actually existentially active and eternally relevant. Can it be so? Does not the Holy Spirit cover the entire earth and indwell every true believer? We know He brings the written Word to remembrance, discerning the innermost depths of our existence. The believer is taught by God. To be full of the Spirit is to be bold in the proclamation of the very Words of God…these Words are not vague and uncertain, but are written for our knowing and certainty, for our education and edification, and for rebuking and correcting.

To know salvation is to rest in its assurance. He loves us that much that He had it written so we can know it. Do you know it? We can know for certain what He has done for those who believe in Him, and even what He will do! We even know how people come to believe in Him, God is gracious…it is His gift to give. Proclaim His unadulterated Word to the brethren. Encourage them. Challenge them to reform their thinking to what is written. Our minds are to be renewed by what is written, not by the whims of our hearts.