After choosing a pumpkin at the farm, our lovies are always eager to carve a silly face on it. And every year their Daddy takes this time to talk about The Gospel with them.
He starts off by talking about what it means to be a Christian. And that immediately leads to teaching them about sin....and the sinful nature we are all born with.
When we grasp what sin really is, and the just punishment that we deserve as sinners...it should make us stop in our tracks, and really think about this life now, and what happens when this life is over.
Lots of people don't like, or even want to think about that, it's too deep and makes them feel uncomfortable whether they admit it or not....God has never said in His Word, that being a believer is supposed to be comfortable....in fact, since I have become a believer He is constantly taking me out of my comfort zone to live a life for Him.
I have seen different responses to sin....here are a few...
Unfortunately, an all to common response....well, I know I'm not perfect, but I'm a good person...and really not coming to terms with the fact that they do indeed sin against a holy God and do need a Savoir, no matter how small they think their sin is, and no matter how hard they try to earn their way to heaven.....you can't earn eternity, it is a gift.
....or some just flat out believe....there is no God and I answer to no one, when your're dead your dead, end of story, and that's just plain scary to me.
There are some people who are convicted by the Holy Spirit and not only recognize their sin, understanding that they were born with a sinful nature, and are sorrowful which leads to repentence, seeking to turn away from leading a life of rebellion. Understanding that they do not have the power within themselves to earn their way to heaven, to have eternal life....no matter how hard one could try....and that the only way to be right with God is to confess their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savoir....believing with their whole heart that God indeed sent His only Son into this world to take on the punishment that we so justly deserve.....clinging to the hope that is in Christ, in His life, death and resurrection, and the forgiveness from our sins that we have through Him.
God extends His beautiful hand of Grace to sinners. When you are trying to help an 8, 6, 2, and 1 yr. old, understand sin....using a visual illustration is sometimes helpful. So as they removed the top of the pumpkin and looked in and saw all of the yucky stuff inside, Jared talked more in detail about the yuckiness that we all have inside of us...and that it is only by God's grace that our hearts are changed, and the yuckiness cleaned out.
Yes...Christians still sin...every day. Having said that, the difference between the believer and unbeliever is where our hope lies and where we will spend eternity. As believers we have confessed our sins, and know that God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. It is by the work of His Holy Spirit that He continues to conform us to the image of His Son...a process called sanctification.
As you can see Nate's face when seeing the yuckiness inside the pumpkin....as believers this should be our response....to be repulsed by our sin, and to prayerfully seek God for strength and wisdom to live this life pleasing and honoring to Him....which I will confess is much easier said than done.
But we must not wallow in our sin....that is where we must cling to Christ. A heart of humility, understanding that it is God who has done a gracious work in our hearts.
If you are still reading this post.....I know this is alot to digest....maybe you gave up reading and are just looking at the cute photos of my lovies.
Or maybe you are still reading....and thinking....and maybe you are feeling a bit uncomfortable that I am talking about this on my blog.
Maybe you are a believer and are nodding as you are reading this....praying for those you love that are not yet saved.
God has entrusted our 4 little lovies into our care. Their lives are an enormous blessing and even greater responsibility to us. At times our hearts are burdened because we are reflecting on the example that we are setting for them, and we recognize our failure in areas....however, God does a mighty work as we raise our lovies. He is humbling us, leading us to rely on Him. We do hold to the truth that it is God who does the changing, and as parents we must be obedient to the calling that God has given to us to raise our children in a Christian home.
So this is our Gospel Pumpkin with it's silly smile.
God provides plenty of daily opportunities for Jared and I to teach our lovies about our amazing Lord. We hope that as they grow and have families of their own, that God would bless the upcoming generations with salvation. And that our lovies would think of their Dad and his message about sin and forgiveness each time they carve a pumpkin with their own little lovies.
God's love is truly amazing....that He would send His only Son to die for sinners.
"...For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,...."
Romans 3 23-24