The other day, a friend had mentioned to me that the "anniversary" of the day they came to Christ was fast approaching. I thought it was nice they new the date because although I vividly remember the day, I have no idea what the date was. I was seven years old. It was a late spring or summer Sunday morning in 1968 when I found myself walking up the aisle while other people were being prayed for before Sunday School. No altar call had been given but He called and I found myself at Jesus' feet.
There are those who say children don't know what they're doing. I would like to counteract that idea by saying children are more likely to know what they are doing than adults are. You see, children are much more sensitive to the Holy Spirit than adults are. They don't have the same sort of baggage, their ideas aren't tainted, they're less skeptical and are much more accepting of what God says. Anyone who has done ministry with children will tell you this is true.
I shared with my friend an incident which happened that very afternoon. An incident which reflected that I had indeed, young as I was, become a new creation in Christ Jesus. My friend thought it would make a good blog... and I agree.
There was this family that lived at the other end of the block. I think there were six children... all boys I believe except there was one girl. I'm sad to say none of the other children on the block would play with them. Let's see, there were 17 of us kids who played together. Only two of them lived on the other block across the street so we had a decent number of kids to play with.
Anyway, they lived in this huge rambling tumbled-down old house which we were certain was "haunted". They were a scrappy bunch and... they were "mean". Occasionally they would be approached by some of us, attempting to make friends but you always got punched for your trouble so by this time we pretty much ignored/avoided them whenever possible.
I remember I'd been playing with some of my friends after church that day. We'd been riding our bikes and had stopped to rest under some big cottonwood trees near the corner. Cheryl (she was the same age as me) came by with her little brother in tow and started to taunt us.
Without batting an eyelash I simply began to tell her about what had happened to me that day. I wasn't going to fight with her anymore and I wasn't going to let anyone else do it either. I told her about how Jesus loved her and that meant I did too. I wanted to be her friend. I really did.
I remember her unclenching her fist and starting to cry. Things changed that day and all of us little girls became friends. She never hit any of us again. It wasn't too many weeks before we stood beside her next to a moving van. Her dad had been "transferred". We didn't know what that meant but we understood our friend was leaving. I remember us watching them driving away for that last time. My former "enemy" had become my friend... not just my friend but the friend of others as well.... all because of God's love!
For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 (NIV)
Let us reflect who we are every day. We are a new creation in Christ!
What you shared was very moving, it is always a blessing to me to hear and read about the things children do, I remember what Jesus said about us being as little children. I can remember my son praying to Christ to save him when he was that age as well. A few years later we were at a christian concert where the preacher asked for all who wanted to accept Christ to raise their hand so that one of the counselors could come and pray and talk with them. My son raised his hand and kept it raised for a good 5 or ten minutes until one of the counselors came to him. Later that week he went up at the altar call at church, and was later baptized to publicly declare that call and decision. That was a moving experience for Mom and I to witness. On the other side of that, I remember preaching at a revival service in 1982, in an old country church, a young boy who was around 10 at the time, was about to leave his place and come, but his Dad took hold of his arm to prevent him from coming, I guess thinking he was to young to make such a decision. That was 1982. his Dad died 10 or 15 years later, as far as I know he had never publicly accepted Christ openly. His son that was held back to my knowledge has not to this date done so either, I pray for him often, I hope that all other believers will pray for him as well. Just wanted to share that since this blog was related to these memories of mine. A good verse on the subject, Matt19:13-14. Let the children come, Christ does. In Christ, Billy
I am glad you mentioned what you did about the ability of children to receive the Lord and get saved. I know some people who, maturity wise, are less able to understand and receive the things of God at 30 than many are at 10. After watching many episodes of "Are you smarter than a 5th grader", I am astounded at the maturity and ability to think and reason kids only 9 or 10 years old have. There is no reason why they cannot hear the Gospel and receive it in their hearts. Great moves of God have taken place in Africa and other countries spearheaded by kids in the 7-10 year old bracket (Heidi Baker).
Thanks for sharing this account with us and thank God you not only heard the Word and believed it at such an early age, but have remained faithful to that Word for over 40 years now. Amazing; simply amazing.
So, my little one accepts Christ and gets baptised in the Spirit by the time she is eight. Am I going to argue with God about the reality of the experience or encourage my child to grow? Isn't that what you call a no-brainer?kbird