What an exciting day in our house today! Both of my children prayed a prayer of salvation and proclaimed Jesus as LORD!
In my morning quiet time today (during a run on the trail), my heart was heavy for my children. They have said some of the “right things” but have not shown a real understanding of their need for salvation and what Jesus did for them on the cross. Knowing that we’d be going to the Good Friday and Easter services this weekend, I specifically prayed for their understanding. That the Holy Spirit would work in their heart so that, if not today, soon we could know for certain that they are His. But I prayed specifically for TODAY. I finally gave it to God, knowing that I was struggling with feeling the burden of doing the right things to “save” them myself. But I do not want to question the authenticity of their decision so I want it to be all God, not me.
When I got back, we spent time reading through the first half of the Easter story, from Jesus’ arrest to his death on the cross, and talking a little bit about Jesus’ innocence and man’s sins. They both listened well (about as well as expected!) and we had a good discussion. I have never wanted to force anything so we then enjoyed the rest of the day, with beautiful weather and daddy at home.
That evening, we attended the Good Friday service at Harvest Bible Chapel. It was a type of stations walk-through, with tactile, visual and audio presentation of the death of Jesus. Avery was really into feeling and seeing the displays, especially the nails and the cross. They had some nails there to take, which she asked if she could have one (I didn’t see the sign at first and told her to take one anyway! eep.) It will be a great souvenir of her spiritual birthday! She was a little frightened by the video that showed Jesus being beaten and mocked while carrying his cross, however. We have talked about this in the past. A few days ago, after reading a story in the Bible, she was paging through and brought it to me, showing me a picture of Jesus on the cross. She said, “This scares me.” And it was a good opportunity to talk about the reality of what Jesus did.
After we tucked the kids in for the night, I was watching a rerun of America’s Next Top Model when Avery came down to tell me that she prayed to Jesus. It was a surreal but exciting moment. Charlie came down next and said, “Jesus is Lord!” I gave him a high-five and said “You prayed a prayer to Jesus to ask Him in your heart, too?” He nodded his head. I gave him a big hug, as I had Avery and said the angels were partying right now for him. Then he said, “I can’t go to heaven by myself.” I was a little surprised … And then he followed up with mommy and daddy come too. My husband clarified that they had talked about Jesus dying for each one of us so that we can all go to heaven. I hadn’t even realized that he had gone up to check on Avery who had been calling for him. She finally admitted she was still scared by the video. It opened the door for him to present the gospel to her in a way that she was finally ready. He says explaining the Holy Spirit’s presence in your heart when you invite Him in was what really did it. After he explained how simple it was and whether she wanted to pray, she thought a minute before saying “yeah” and nodding her head. Charlie said “me too!” and so Matt went right from her prayer to Charlie’s!
[Edited to add: We celebrated on Saturday by letting the kids have ice cream for breakfast! Then we went out to lunch at Steak n Shake and I made their favorite dinner: cheese rolls (Matt and I had chicken tacos). We also took them to the game store and they each picked out a new video game for the PS2. Charlie selected a Cars game (a bit too hard for his inexperienced gaming fingers) and Avery wanted Wall-E).]
“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9