Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Jax and heaven
This is one of my favorite pictures of Jax. I tried looking for a semi-serious picture of him, but there just aren't many. He's so fun!
I am overjoyed to share the news of Jax's salvation!!!
We knew that Jax was getting nearer to accepting Christ. He has known the facts for sometime now. Being around Emma helps! AWANA verses every morning really helps! He has memorized so many verses about salvation in two years of Cubbies and this year as a Spark, it's awesome! We talk about the verses, and what they mean each morning. He understands. He came to the point where he grasped his sinfulness and need for a Savior. But we were waiting for it to reach his heart. Well suddenly, it did! There was no stopping him! As much as we wanted to slow him down to be sure, he was adament that he would have Jesus in his heart! Today! I think I knew for sure when he overcame his long-term fear of baptism. Baptism has just freaked him out. But suddenly, he wanted to be baptized! (He's not one who likes to be the center of attention, so to say this, without fear spoke volumes!) Praise the Lord that Jax's eternity is secured in his accepting the gift of salvation that Jesus offers us! I am praying boldly for his life to reflect holiness and purity, and that God would do unimaginable things through him! My heart burns with a desire to see my kids passionately serve Him with all of their days. The Holy Spirit has come in and taken residence in his life. His prayers already sound different to me. After all, the Bible says we are NEW creations! This happenned right before church on Sunday night, so when we got there and started singing songs about forgiveness and salvation, I just wept! My sweet little boy now knows that salvation!
After Jax prayed a sweet prayer with Rusty and I, he then promptly asked when we were going to heaven! I love that!
In fact, just earlier in the day, Emma asked me the same thing. Her little friend Suki the fish died. She was of course, devastated, knowing Emma and her overwhelming love for all animals. (At least this time Justus didn't murder her fish. That was bad. Remember that post?) She was in my lap, crying her eyes out, and asked if Suki would be with her in heaven. I said I thought so. And she said "Mom, when are we going to heaven??? I've been waiting SO LONG!!!" How precious that my children already long for their real home. Do we ache for heaven like this? Or are we too busy loving this world? That got me thinking.
Then at Sunday night church we studied Romans 5, which talks about our hope that we have, in sharing in God's glory, and persevering through trials by clinging to this hope.
That directed me over to one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, Colossians 3. These words have always pricked me heart, but I don't think I'd given them their due thought process in my mind.
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God's right hand in the place of honor and power. 2 Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth. 3 For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
Most other versions say set your mind on things above. The King James Version says "set your affections on things above."
So what does it mean to set our mind, heart, and affections on things above? On heaven? On the eternal?
I like part of this commentary I read by Matthew Henry.
(v. 2): Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. Observe, To seek heavenly things is to set our affections upon them, to love them and let our desires be towards them. Upon the wings of affection the heart soars upwards, and is carried forth towards spiritual and divine objects. We must acquaint ourselves with them, esteem them above all other things, and lay out ourselves in preparation for the enjoyment of them. David gave this proof of his loving the house of God, that he diligently sought after it, and prepared for it, Ps 27:4. This is to be spiritually minded (Rom 8:6), and to seek and desire a better country, that is, a heavenly, Heb 11:14,16. Things on earth are here set in opposition to things above. We must not dote upon them, nor expect too much from them, that we may set our affections on heaven; for heaven and earth are contrary one to the other, and a supreme regard to both is inconsistent; and the prevalence of our affection to one will proportionably weaken and abate our affection to the other.
I especially like that he says things here on earth are set in opposition to things above. We can't love both. As Jesus said, we can't serve two masters. The more we love God and the things that have eternal value, the less we love this world and the things that are fleeting.
So being the practical girl that I am, decided to make a list in my journal of the things in my day, my life, that are eternal and that are temporal. When am I pouring my energies into something that is wasted? More than anything, I want my kids to spend their lives on the eternal; to be passionate about the things of God. That means I have to set ALL my affections on those things now.
This has been challenging for me. I am still asking the Lord what it looks like to let heaven fill my thoughts, and to set my affections on things above. I think He might still have a lot more to say to me about it. Rusty has read the book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn, and recommends it. I hope to read that soon. I read his book "Safely Home" and it totally changed the way I thought of heaven, and definitely about missions and awakened me to persection of the church today in other countries.
I hope heaven and eternal things will fill your thoughts and consume your affections today! Mine too!