I am 41, married, and have three children, ages 13, 10, and 7. I am a Christian. I am ready for Jesus to come today. I am ready not because I am perfect, but because I have obeyed the gospel according to the grace of God. I am also ready because I will admit I have some safety about it in my mind. You see, my wife is a Christian, my oldest son is a Christian, and my two youngest are still sinless and therefore safe. The 10 year-old is heading to the place where innocence will soon be lost. But for now, I have the selfish confidence of knowing that according to God’s promises my family will live in heaven eternally.
After I was diagnosed with cancer, I began to almost beg for Jesus to come back. I did not like the prospects of dying and leaving my family without a husband and father. I knew that if He were to return, everything would be solved. This is my human side. I know that in reality, for every Christian, whether Jesus comes today or 10,000 years from now – the minute He comes everything will be better.
But I would like to share with you a thought I have had for years now concerning my kids. In their younger years they have no worries about anything spiritually because they have no sin. What a comfort for a parent to know that all of their children are going to heaven! It is easy for me to pray for Christ to come right now when my children cannot be lost!
However, there is one thing I think I want my children to know that I now know. It’s called “Grace.” I love God now more than I ever have before because of grace. I know I am wretched and worthless, and my lacking state of righteousness is like a filthy rag in the presence of the holy and perfect God of heaven. But knowing just how sinful and weak I am helps me to understand the power of God’s love that can only be felt by the incomprehensible nature of His matchless grace.
Until one has sinned, one cannot understand grace. I would love my children to remain innocent forever. But God foresaw in creating mankind that man would be blessed by His grace. This doesn’t mean God wanted man to fall. It hurts God every time we sin. But God makes good things from bad. It is never right to sin. And yet the grace of God has the power to turn my worst mistake into my greatest victory. Through grace God has revealed more about Himself than we could have known had we remained perfect.
I want my children to know that even though they sin, God loves them anyway. I want my children to know that even though they don’t like themselves sometimes, God loves them anyway. I want my children to know that even though they don’t deserve to live in heaven, God loves them anyway. I want my children to know that even though they are less than what they want to be, and sometimes they are ready to completely give up, and even in a time when they have turned their backs on God and left Him completely, God loves them anyway. Because when they figure out what grace is all about, they will have the capacity to love and be loved like never before. And God is calling all of us to that kind of love and He is doing so only through grace.
It would still be best if Jesus would come back in the next ten seconds. But if God chooses to wait another 2,000 years, then I want my children’s children to know everything there is to know about God’s grace. Because to this point, I know of nothing more amazing.
“…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
– Ephesians 3:16-19
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