When I accepted Christ I was a 6yr. old kid, even if it was fully explained to me I don’t think I would have understood the whole of what I was doing. At the time all that I knew was that Christ died so that I could be saved and I not only wanted to be saved but was glad to be so. In my little mind that was all that mattered. Accepting Jesus made sense and was normal, I had no agendas or other motivations to stand in the way of my going forward in Christ. In a very real sense, my limited understanding helped to set the foundation for my belief in Christ today, as a mature man.
From the time that the book of Malachi was written, there existed a 400 years period of silence from God. When considering the subject of Malachi, (a book rebuking the people concerning worship), the events that occurred after that period would bring joy and comfort to all. It is little wonder that the angles proclaimed the birth of Christ, the Messiah, in songs from Heaven itself. God not only spoke, but in such a loud and wondrous way. Here was the redeemer, foretold in the prophets. The fulfillment of a long-awaited promise is indeed “GOOD NEWS.”
The life, death, and resurrection of Christ; (the Gospel) are not only good news but “The Good News.” It marks the single event that does for us all what we could never do for ourselves. Not the law and certainly not any self-imposed righteousness of man. God, once and for all time, has demonstrated the weight and depth of His unchanging love for mankind. There was nothing that we as man did to earn it. Our actions as a people didn’t point to our deserving it. No, our salvation was a gift, and a gift of God’s love. How then could we not accept this gift, and show our love in return?
When I look back to that day that marks my walk with Christ, it’s clear to me the things Jesus said when it came to children. Matthew 18:3 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Just like children, we need to change our view of what matters. There is no other news that could replace the Good News of the gospel.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Children are not hindered by the ambitions and selfish desires of adults, and Jesus gives warning that we are not to be a stumbling block by placing such hindrance before them. Instead we should be living and re-living in the joy of the gospel, setting an example for all children to follow. A close relationship with Christ, a careful examination of the love He showed us with the sacrifice of the cross, and it becomes clear, no, it becomes easy; for me to humbly and gratefully give Him my praise. In closing I leave one other reminder from Jesus:
The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.
But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple area, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.
“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise?”
I trust that God has held you all in His love and grace. These past few weeks have been a demanding, as well as a joyful time for me, as I have been in preparation for the annual convention of the CCDA. In addition to planning for this event, I also have been making arrangements for the TOPS conference as well. Both of these events deal in areas of the ministry that are dear to my heart. I am back in Chicago now after the close of CCDA conference. This year it was held in Philadelphia, PA, and it was a wonderful success. A team of local Philadelphia CCDA members who provided lodgings at the downtown Marriott hosted us. There were guest speakers, praise and worship singers, dancers, exhibitors, over a hundred different workshops, and attendees from all over the country. Some came in from countries abroad. In all there were well over two thousand in attendance. It was a great time for fellowship and networking, not to mention the wealth of knowledge and sharing of experiences that leads to better ministry application. As the name implies, The Christian Community Development Association, is in the business of doing just that. From the looks of things at this year’s convention, God is doing a mighty good work on the effort of the association’s hand. I had a wonderful time in the LORD, as well as a chance to take in some of the history of our country from the perspective of the city of “Brotherly Love.” I look forward to next year’s convention in St. Louis. For more information on the CCDA or the TOPS organization, I have placed links in my Blogroll. For now I will relax and catch my breath in the short time before I leave for Dallas, Texas and the TOPS conference. I will post information on how it turned out as well as some pictures when I get back, until then…