November 29, 2010

Out of The Mouths of Babes

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” II Cor. 5:17(NASB)

Words can be haunting, especially when they’re your own - coming back to bite you. Words from the preacher can be haunting, convicting your heart. Words from your friends can be haunting, giving you cause for deep reflection. However, some of the words that give me the most delightful moments of my life and haunt my soul (usually in a good way) are from children.

We all know that children can be the most amusingly simple and yet the most enchantingly complex creatures on earth. Their innocent quips defy logic and thrill the imagination. They can be theological without having a clue what theology evens means.

Here is my most recent case in point. Our 8-year-old granddaughter, Kylie, asked Jesus to live in her heart the week before Halloween. Shortly thereafter, she went “forward” in church to tell the staff of her decision and make herself available for baptism. Then the entire family trekked over to our house for Sunday dinner.

We enjoyed a grand time of talking and of course, eating. Afterwards, I realized I had not asked Kylie about her church experience of “going forward.” But it wasn’t too long before I got the opportunity to rectify that omission.

A few days later, we had the occasion to be riding together in the car. I looked over at her and said, “Kylie, Nana forgot to ask you the other day about you sharing your decision to accept Jesus with the preacher.” An instant smile lit up her face. “So, what they ask you and what did you say?”

“Well, they asked me what sin was and I told them,” she informed me. Her smile morphed into a quizzical expression and she continued, “Nana, they told me that when I asked Jesus into my heart, I became a new person.”

I beamed, “Yes darling that is correct.” Then she popped a question I never expected to hear.

“Nana, if I am a new Kylie – where did the old Kylie go? They said she was dead. Did she get buried? Is she in heaven?”

Lord, help me answer this one! In her child-like faith and innocent, she had no problem believing she was a new creation in Jesus, but her natural curiosity couldn’t figure out the logistic of what happened to the old self. Therefore, I began a conversation about internal natures on my best 2nd grade level.

Still, the question haunts my mind. Unfortunately, my problem is the opposite. I know exactly where my old self is – often lurking too close to the surface of my life. I let the junk of living overwhelm me and some days I wonder, where did my new self go?

Can anyone relate?

While we are eating turkey leftovers, thankful for all the blessings God has provided over the years, we begin preparations for another season of celebration. A birthday for a Savior. Jesus Christ.

Steppenwolf (a 1970’s rock group) proclaimed they were “Born to be Wild.” Bruce Springsteen “The Boss” declared he was “Born to Run.” However, Christ the Redeemer was born to die. He was born to die on a cross only to rise again on the 3rd day.

Why? The birth and atoning death, validated through the supernatural resurrection of our Savior and King makes it possible to become a new creation. I have a new self and that she is never too far away.

Simply put - the old self is defeated and allows a new self to emerge for each one of us. Christ allows us to live an abundant life here on earth and afterwards in heaven where the old self disappears from existence and all earthly struggles will be over. Final answer.

As we head into a season where the old self can become a formidable force in the midst of holiday commotion and deals of the century, let’s remember to crucify ourselves (our old self) daily and let the new self rejoice and live for the glory of God.

Keeping in touch with my new self,

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