Making it personal!
Today’s Devotional Tidbit – January 10, 2005
One night my four year old son wanted me to read him a story from his children’s Bible. In my usually inpatient way, I tried to pick it out for him since he was taking a long time. Finally I gave in and I am thankful I did so.
He finally picked a page with text and the facing page had a picture of Jesus on the cross with the thieves on either side of Him. I asked my son Ezekiel why he chose that story. He told me, “Cause that’s my favorite story.” One question that arose from the telling of Jesus’ crucifixion was why Jesus had to die for our sins. I was left a bit baffled in trying to explain this to my son but I did the best I could.
I spent a few more minutes with Zeke before leaving his room. He then laughed and told me that I couldn’t go to bed because he had made a mess on my bed and he didn’t clean it up. I began to tell him that I was his father and that I’d clean up his mess. Then it struck me, maybe I could relate this in some way to Jesus on the cross. I tried to think as quickly as I could and this is what came out of my mouth. Whether I could have done better is anyone’s guess.
I said to my son, “I’ll clean up your mess Zeke, cause I’m your father and I love you.” I continued, “That’s sort of like what God, our father in heaven did for us. People make messes all the time and God knew we needed some way for us to have our messes cleaned up because we can’t do it by ourselves. That’s why he let his son Jesus die on the cross. It was the only way to clean up the mess that people make.”
Hopefully a little bit of that will get into his mind and eventually his heart. Hopefully I will remember that every day of my life. I need to better remember that everlasting and merciful love of God. It is hard to believe that he gave up his son to die for me. It’s a bit easier to think of God giving up his son to die for the whole world, but we need to personalize Jesus’ death more. Make Jesus’ death more relevant to yourself. Try saying the phrase, “God gave up his son to die on the cross for me, for my life, even with all the wrong things I’ve done in my life! Jesus died for ME!!!”
When we personalize Jesus’ death, maybe we will take more serious our responsibility of living Christian lives. We are already bought with a price, let us act like it. I speak mostly for myself, but maybe a few people reading this might have needed such a kick in the pants like I sometimes need.
I thank my son for wanting to read his favorite Bible story, the true story of Jesus on the cross.
Yours in Christ,