Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Today’s Topic: God’s Forgiveness
Today’s Text: Luke 15:10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
It was their first night. They enthusiastically joined sixty-five other children between the ages of four and fifth grade at the County Fair. Not a real fair, but real enough to all of them – complete with farmers and fruit and animal noises. There was singing and games and crafts and of course stories, as the children were taught how to harvest the fruit of the Spirit in their lives. I am referring to the Son Harvest County Fair at our church for our Vacation Bible School.
Last night the class of first-graders that my wife and I are teaching was a little smaller. On Monday we had fifteen of them. Last night we had twelve, and two of them were there for the first time. Both of them listened intently as Mrs. Van told them the stories of the lost coin and the lost sheep. They could relate to losing things. They knew how to rejoice when Mrs. Van found the candy and the coin she had lost.
When she was done it was my turn to talk to the class. I asked them if they had ever been lost. Several said they had, but that someone had come looking for them. It was perfectly planned by the Holy Spirit. I told them how they were lost from God, and that God loved them so much that He sent someone to look for them. They knew His name – Jesus. They listened intently. God was at work in their hearts.
Then came the time to ask them if there were any of them that would like to come with me to another room and talk some more about what Jesus did to find them. Several said yes. Both first-timers were in the group that followed me and two assistants to a rare location in our church – an empty room. We sat with legs crossed on the floor. I needed help to get up when we were done. I didn’t care how much it hurt because there were children hungry to hear how to be found by Jesus.
When the time came I asked each of them personally whether they were sinners. Each one said yes. I asked each one individually if they had ever asked Jesus to forgive them for their sin. Two of them said they had. I rejoiced with them for a moment and explained that they were permanently the children of God. They smiled. I was bursting inside. There were three that said they had never talked to God about forgiveness. One by one I asked each of them if they wanted Jesus to find them tonight and be forgiven for their sin. They all said yes! Two of them were the two first-timers.
Hallelujah! Can you hear the angels?
We prayed, and they repeated the prayer. One little girl really impacted my heart, because she prayed with such enthusiasm and meaning. It was the new girl to the class. It was possibly her first time ever exposed to the gospel, and she responded to God’s incredible offer of forgiveness.
I hope I never ever ever get bored or tired with the presentation of forgiveness that is available through Jesus Christ! I pray that more often than not I get to be a part of the heavenly rejoicing that takes place when one sinner repents and receives God’s forgiveness in Christ the Lord. I hope there is no amount of discomfort or inconvenience that would ever keep me from doing what Jesus did – seeking the lost so that they might be saved.
I sure hope the same is true of you.
I pray that you know the forgiveness of God. If not, I want you to know Jesus is looking for you, and He has set up a connecting point to meet you. Just go to cross. He’s waiting there to show you His love.