This morning I am sitting out in my garden, enjoying the cool breeze, listening to a rooster crow, and just thinking about some things. Sitting here enjoying the peace of a pre-dawn morning, when no one else is awake but me, gives me time to do some serious thinking. Unfortunately, I have some serious things to think about right now.
This morning, two young adults will wake up to deal with the loss of their parents. In a pretty closely knit family, both parents were tragically taken home to be with God yesterday afternoon in a horrific traffic accident. They were on a motorcycle, struck by an SUV. I don’t know who hit who, but the end result is that two people with many close friends, loving children and grandchildren, are no longer on this earth. When you hear of something like that, it makes you stop and think about your own life, your own relationship with God as well as with family and friends, or at least it should!
I have a good relationship with my God. Jesus Christ died on a cross, rose again on the third day, taking on all of the punishment that was due to me, you, and everyone else, just so that we could live with Him in eternity one day! Could you do that?
Could you agree to the torture that Jesus was put through if you knew it would save one of your children, two of them, all of YOUR children? What about if it wasn’t for your own children, but the neighbors, if the child you were saving was the child of someone who had hurt you in the past and never apologized for it? What if the child you were saving was an 18 year old kid who had been driving the vehicle in which your child was a passenger when the vehicle swerved off the road, flipped a few times an your child was ejected from the vehicle, dying instantly? Could you do it then? Could you allow yourself to suffer horrible pain, just so the very person that caused your child to no longer be with you, could live? I don’t think I could. I would be way too angry I’m afraid. Could I be that forgiving? God tells me to, but can I do it?
Every day we are asked to do something that makes us uncomfortable, something that we just don’t believe we can do. Sometimes we manage it, most of the time we don’t. Every day you pass someone, somewhere, that does not know Jesus. Do you take the time to tell them about Him, about our Lord and Savior? Do you take the time to let that person know that you care about them and their eternal soul? Do you spend the extra few minutes praying for them, with them? Typically the answer for all those questions is no.
We decide we just don’t have the time, or we believe it is inappropriate, wrong time, wrong place. Often times we feel like it’s not our place to talk to this person because perhaps they are older than us and we feel like we should be soaking in their wisdom rather than trying to “convert” them.
Perhaps the individual is a friend of your child’s. Whether 6 or 16 we should be taking the time to talk about Jesus to everyone, especially the children.
When you do, make sure you are being truthful and accurate about what you are telling them. Be sure you are sticking with what the Bible, God’s own word, says. Tell them how God so loved his one and only Son, who had been born of a virgin and lived a sinless life, to be tortured and killed on a cross, to take on the sins of man, not just one man, but ALL mankind, and not just men but women as well!! Tell them how Jesus taught us all to love God with all our heart, and soul, and mind. Tell them how wonderful things will be when we all, those of us who have accepted Jesus as our savior, meet again in heaven.
Then tell them about Jesus’ death. How He was beaten and flogged. If they are old enough to understand, explain flogging to them. Explain that He wasn’t just beaten with a whip, but that whip had several ‘tails’ to it, and at the end of each ‘tail’ was an additional weapon designed to inflict more pain, more injury, more suffering. Tell them how this flogging would rip the flesh right off Jesus’ back, or wherever it happened to hit Him
Be sure to also tell them about how Jesus had to carry the very cross that He was to be hung on, a pretty long distance, after the beating and flogging. Jesus barely had the energy or strength to breathe, yet He was what was happening to the man who claimed to be the Son of God. Don’t leave out the fact that the public had been given a choice of prisoner to be released as was the custom on the Passover. Explain how the public chose a man who was a convicted murderer, a very bad man, over Jesus. Tell how Jesus was being hung between two thieves on their respective crosses, and how one of the thieves mocked Jesus, telling Him that if He was indeed the Son of God, the Holy One, that He should save himself and get down from that cross. Meanwhile, the second thief, believed in Jesus, and begged forgiveness even as He hung on the cross, dying. Tell them how Jesus assured this man that he would be with Jesus in heaven before the end of the day!
Then continue with your story explaining how Jesus died, and was placed in a tomb, sealed closed. Yet on the third day after His crucifixion, Jesus was found to not be in the tomb! He had arisen!! Don’t let your story stop there.
Explain how, as Jesus hung on that cross, as He was being beaten, He was taking on the sins of ALL mankind, including those that had already been born, as well as those yet to be born, like you and I.
Be sure to take every opportunity that you are given, even if only for a couple minutes, to talk to someone about Jesus. You never know. You may be the last person that individual has a conversation with and wouldn’t it be comforting to know that the last conversation you had with someone, was a conversation about Jesus?