About a month ago, Beth made the best decision she will ever make in her life, an eternal decision. In Sunday school, the teacher asked anyone to raise their hand if they needed to make this decision, and she did. Her heart has been tender to it for a while, knowing that she loved Jesus. It took her asking Jesus to live in her heart to assure that she'll spend eternity in heaven.
For the next few days, out of nowhere, Beth would start singing "I'm saved!" My heart just swelled with pride. She understood it, she meant it with her whole heart, she'd be in heaven one day. How awesome! The first step in obedience to Christ, in her salvation, is to be baptized, to show others that she'd made that decision to be a new person with Jesus in her heart.
On Father's Day weekend, it was her turn. She was a little nervous, but Bro Jim talked her through it. The water was warm, and she got to hold her nose. After church, lots of people told her congratulations, and she liked that. We're so proud of her, with her tender heart, asking Jesus to save her.
Yes, she'll still sin and make choices that don't please God. But what a wonderful God we serve, that He will forgive her. I hope her heart is always tender to listen to God's teachings, to grow in a relationship with Him, to see Him as a friend and wonderful heavenly father. Regardless, I love knowing that when we die, I will see her in heaven, as we praise Jesus together!
The age of accountability, different for every child (or person), is reaching the point where heart and head match, knowing it's more than just saying you love Jesus and singing songs about Him. It's making a choice to follow Him. It doesn't matter how kind or obedient or loving you are to people. God wants us to make the choice to invite Him into our hearts. He's in charge of heaven, and without his permission you don't get in. You can dress and act the part, but you have to be a member. Sounds simple, right? It is! If you want assured membership into heaven, here's what you have to do:
1. Know that God loves you. Above all else, no matter what you've done, no matter what you'll do. He's a Father that knows no bounds of his love. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16. Could you imagine letting your own child die, just to save others? Me either. But, that's how much God loves us.
2. Admit you are a sinner, you've made bad choices. It doesn't mean a criminal, it just means your human-ness is there. "For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23 Tell God you know you're a sinner. Talk to him like you would a friend.
3. Realize that sin has a price. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23. Our choices, our sins, will come payment-due. Thing is, Jesus paid for them, for OUR sins, with his life. It was a gift, and all we have to do is accept that gift. It's not a strings attached deal. It's ours, for free! "God commandeth his love toward us, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
4. Just ask! Ask Jesus to be your savior, believing that he forgives you, that you will have eternal life! "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13. Tell him that you know you're a sinner and should pay the price for it. Tell him thank you for loving you and for paying the price for those sins. Tell him you choose to have him live in your heart and change your life for eternity.
If you have more questions about this, please send me a message. I'd be happy to talk to you about it!