Saturday, April 27, 2013

New Birth

I am so grateful to the Lord for the safe birth of my second grandchild. Holding little Tabitha Ruth for the first time was truly a joyous moment. So too was my grandson's birth, and the birth of my children. But – not to diminish these births for a second – an even greater joy … an even more emotional moment … took place as I baptized my two children into Christ.

Currently my grandchildren – Jonah and Tabitha – are beyond the reach of Satan (Romans 7:9). They are protected by their innocence. But a day is coming when they will learn the difference between right and wrong. They will – at some point in the future – choose to sin, and in that moment stand in need of a Savior.

I am grateful though that there are at least five of us – Christian parents, Christian grandparents, and a Christian uncle – who stand ready to teach and instruct these two little ones. We stand together – warriors ready for the conflict – prepared to fight for their souls.

Recently, evolutionary biologist and renowned atheist Richard Dawkins spoke to a large crowd of people gathered for a literary festival. In his speech, Dawkins stated that what Christians teach their children – the “indoctrination of religion” – should be labeled as “child abuse.” “We must not indoctrinate our children,” he says.

You see? Already the fight with the devil for their souls has begun. This is exactly why we must indoctrinate them. We must tell them “the old, old story of Jesus and His love.” We must teach them of a God and His “amazing grace.” We must warn them of the enemy who wants to destroy them.

I will never forget the first song I sang in public at the age of three. “Mommy told me something a little boy should know, and it's all about the devil and I've learned to hate him so. She said he causes trouble when you let him in the room. He will never, never leave you if your heart is filled with gloom. So let the sunshine in, face it with a grin! Smilers never lose, and frowners never win! So let the sunshine in, face it with a grin! Open up your heart and let the SON shine in!”

My mother taught me that song – and so many others. My parents read me the Bible stories. They taught me the difference between right and wrong, according to God's standard. Eventually, my father baptized me. I baptized my children. I look forward to seeing Joshua baptize his children.

This is why the Bible is so important … from the earliest age. God's word was delivered “so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged” (Deuteronomy 6:2).

Yes, the life of a newborn child is reason to celebrate. But a greater celebration is coming! “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). We may not have to worry about that yet … but if the Lord continues to tarry, the day is coming when we will, because “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

Regardless of what the atheists say, God has declared, “Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). Therefore, we have a duty to our children … to indoctrinate them … to protect them … to prepare them … to “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

Thank you, Lord, for a new birth! And I mean that both physically and spiritually.

“How sweet to hold a newborn baby, and feel the pride and joy he gives. But greater still the calm assurance this child can face uncertain days because He lives!”

Andrea! Josh! Barak! Lee Anne! It's not too early. Let's get started. The fight starts here and now. If we don't draw a line in the sand, Satan will come and kick it in our face. Our preparation has a purpose … “whatever is born of God overcomes the world” (1 John 5:4) … and those two little souls are worth far more than a mere existence on this earth.

Don't get me wrong … I look forward to spending time with my grandchildren. I want to play with them, go fishing and camping with them, pray with them, sing with them. I want to see them grow up and become superior citizens … of the kingdom of God.

I'm glad I was there for their physical birth. I hope I'm still around to see their rebirth. And while I am grateful for time spent with them in this world, I hope even more for an eternity with them in heaven.

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