Friday, April 18, 2014

Having A Child


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a child? Maybe you already have children. Being a parent is both an awesome privilege and huge responsibility.

I was child number five in a family with seven children, yes seven! I was the most mischievous and spiteful of the bunch, and I tested my parent’s concept that having children was indeed a privilege. I poured wet gravel from the aquarium on my friend’s head, painted nail polish in books, shoved my cousin down the stairs, and the list goes on. My rotten behavior did convince my parents that raising children was a huge responsibility! They prayed a lot for me (and for themselves), and God answered them before I had to go to prison. What happened?

I noticed a joy in my older siblings, which I knew came from their relationship with God, and I wanted to experience this myself. Therefore, when I was six years old, I asked God to forgive all of my sins, and trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord.  Even at that young age, I understood that God had changed my heart, which resulted in me loving others. The joy followed; like any relationship I grew over time in understanding how much God loved me and where I needed to change.

Now I am married, and we recently took the crazy leap to parenthood.  And what a sleep-deprived, yet fantastically joyful experience it has been.  I discovered the most amazing revelation was being able to relate to God who also had a son. God the Father allowed His Son to be beaten, bullied, and killed! I’m not sure I could allow my son to go through that….so why would the Creator of the universe allow this? His motive: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)  

The depth of His love has become so much more real to me after the birth of my son. Jesus came to earth knowing that it would cost His life to purchase our salvation. Wow! How do we respond? He is not asking you to do good deeds and try to earn eternal life, because we can’t. "It is by grace (an undeserved gift) that you have been saved through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not as a result of works that no man should boast."  Ephesians 2:8-9 All that is necessary to become God’s child is for you to agree with Him that you are sinful (self-centered), and sincerely ask for His forgiveness, and then invite Him into your life to take control (be your Lord).  That is how you receive His Gift! Would you like to make that decision today?

The fact that I met you today to tell you this amazing news was God trying to tell you how much He loves you!

Stephanie Shirley

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