Wednesday, January 30, 2013

From the Mouth of a Child...

Have you ever been to a chapel service at Bethany? If you haven’t had the opportunity, I would strongly urge you to come and participate in one of our Wednesday morning chapel services.

Since joining the team at Bethany Christian School, one of my very favorite surprises came at my first chapel service. There is nothing so wonderful as hearing our students — both young and old — excitedly singing and praising the Lord.

Prior to coming to Bethany, I had the privilege of teaching many wonderful middle and high school classes. I have been to more than one-hundred chapel services. But I have never seen a chapel service that reaches the level of enthusiasm like the one that I witnessed at my first Wednesday chapel at Bethany! While I loved to see the students’ excitement in worship, I was even more excited to know that my two sons were being exposed to this passion for worship.

My Son Caleb
On the evening after our first chapel service, I asked my four-year-old son Caleb to tell me his favorite thing about God. He responded, “I love God, because God will never tell me, ‘You’re not my friend.’” As a dad who knows how hard life can be, I am thrilled to know that my son is learning such precious truths at Bethany Christian School.

To the best of our ability, Laura and I are training our two boys to choose the right path, yet we realize our boys will never reach perfection — as their teachers can verify. But we are so grateful that our school is training up our boys to live in the confidence of the gospel. With this confidence, we know that no matter how far they fall… no matter how much they stumble… no matter how far they may stray from the right path… our boys will know that the Lord will never turn His back on them. Jesus has promised that He takes delight when His wayward sheep are brought back into the fold of God.

Jesus said, “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost” (Matthew 18:12-14).

I am so grateful that our God loves my children far more than I could ever love them, and He can do so because His wellspring of love is infinite in measure. Bethany is training up our boys to know that our God is a Good Shepherd who will never give up on His wayward sheep. And this is good news for all of us. As the prophet Isaiah proclaimed, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).

At times, life in this world can be absolutely wonderful and blessed. In other seasons, life can seem difficult and lonely. No matter where you might find yourself today, take comfort in the truth grasped by my son — “Jesus will NEVER say, ‘You’re not my friend.’”