Thursday, July 22, 2010

Christ and Skin

During this morning's "Bible time" (a.k.a. me dragging everybody's butts out of bed so I can stay motivated enough to get up and be disciplined), I asked the girls, "Do you apply the gospel to your life every day?" "Yes"...yes, of course we do was their reply. At 12 and 14, they're accustomed enough to dad probing for the right answer to questions that may or not make complete sense that they can (almost always) intuitively arrive at the correct "short" response most of the time without knowing what it actually means. Whatever I may be teaching them, I'm pretty sure I'm teaching them to test well on multiple choice-type questions. That was definitely the case for their "yes, of course" because when I asked for more information, "What does that mean?" the blank stares I received were only partially due to the sleep-residual fuzzies.

Now, being able to say "God knows me", and "God gave Himself for me" are absolutely invaluable statements. They're invaluable because the God who is faithful to them is infinite, and the worth of the gift He gives is infinite. We believe in them strongly enough for those to be the central message of our upcoming VBS. If I could apply those simple truths of the gospel and actually live in the full knowledge of just those two things, I'd undoubtedly be farther ahead than I am right now. But in these simple truths, God has richly provides greater depths of understanding so that we might more fully know His love! We deny ourselves the power to know this love by failing to personally grow beyond such high-level statements (much less appropriate them). We deny our children the power to know this love by failing to teach and require such things of them.

So I tried coaching the girls through some sort of recitation of the gospel. No dice. Now, this isn't completely unfamiliar territory. When we were prepping to go to Mexico last month, we talked about giving our testimony, what that meant, etc., and both of the girls prepared well and ministered well when called upon in the field. But they could tell I was after a more specific, semi-codified answer; so, they continued to stare blankly at me.

I (much to their joy, no doubt) went through the following list.
  1. incarnation
  2. sinless life
  3. substitutionary death
  4. resurrection
  5. ascension
  6. imminent return
...more nods and semi-disconnected stares. Right. Then the lights started to come on about what I was digging for. Now, the words are undoubtedly inadequate and the codification incomplete, but this is the list we arrived at together after discussion. I hope to live it out with them daily.
  1. incarnation - Because Christ put-on skin, he knows what it's like in mine
  2. sinless life - Because Christ lived a perfect life, I get a perfect record
  3. substitutionary death - Because Christ willingly gave His life, there's no more punishment for sin
  4. resurrection - Because Christ lives, I'm no longer trapped in the death of sin. I have eternal life.
  5. ascension - Because Christ ascended to the Father, I have an advocate--both before the Father (Christ), and from within me (the Holy Spirit).
  6. imminent return - Because Christ is coming again soon, I have hope and purpose
Do you apply the gospel to your life daily? Does that even make sense? Do you help your children to do the same?

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