Some are leaders and some are followers. We need both.
Even leaders choose who they will follow, and the person with a follower-type personality will often be required to be a leader at some point in their life.
One of the greatest roles and responsibilities we have is to lead and influence those littles that God places in our care.
I don’t often feel like a leader, but I do know that my job as wife/mom/nana comes with an influence that cannot and should not be ignored.
These little ones that we are blessed with bring us more joy than we could have ever imagined, and praying for them is not just a responsibility, but a privilege.
While we are still praying passionately for the foster children in our family to become ours, we do not take lightly the day-to-day opportunity that we have to be a positive influence in their young lives.
Taking care of physical needs is only part of the responsibility of a care-giver. Of course, it can go without saying that the emotional needs and spiritual needs all go hand in hand. Sadly, many parents and grandparents take far too lightly this responsibility of spiritual training. To miss this–how tragic it would be if we met their basic needs and neglected the deepest need–a heart tender to the things of God and His plan for their life.
This week has been an emotional one for us. While praying for the outcome of an upcoming custody hearing for our foster children, God answered another prayer–one more in our lineage of faith has committed his life to following Jesus!
What an awesome reminder for us of the urgency in praying for our grandchildren.
Just a few days ago, I was praying with another minister’s wife and she mentioned that she had been praying for God to raise up spiritual warriors, and right then we began to pray for our men and boys. By name. We prayed for every man on our staff, every son and every grandson.
And this week my grandson gave his life to Jesus!
It’s a story worth telling, because this good news is for everyone. Young and old. Rich and poor. From the streets of America to the villages of Africa, God desires that all to come to know Him.
They were riding in the van on the way home from having dinner at Nana and Pappy’s. Momma had on the Christian radio station, and Nolan spoke up.
“I need to follow Jesus!”
Though I’m sure her heart started racing, his momma calmly responded by saying they would talk about it the minute they got home…
But he couldn’t wait.
He said, “No, mamma. I need to do it, NOW.” And he started praying.
That sweet boy knew exactly what he needed to do. He confessed that he was a sinner. He asked God to forgive him of his sin, recognizing that Jesus had died for that sin. That He took his place. That he did it for HIM. He committed his life to follow Jesus right then. Right there in that van.
And you know what? Jesus saved him. He saved my sweet grandson and forgave his sin and gave him life eternal!
He can do the same for you and your family.
We have nine grandchildren including two foster children and we pray constantly for their young hearts to be tender and open to the truths that they are hearing at church–and at home. That’s where it starts. They are smart little creatures, and they are listening and learning from you every.single.day. They see your faith (or lack thereof!) and are watching to see if you really believe what you say. They want to see if your faith really makes a difference in how you talk, act, think and respond.
Faith changes your heart–and it will change your home if you let it.
You can have a loving family without the Lord, but you can’t love like Jesus loves until you know Him. His love was unconditional, sacrificial, eternal. Knowing Him means that you want to follow Him–just as our sweet Nolan said.
It is always a huge compliment when a child or grandchild mimics you or says they want to be like you–but there is nothing that we desire more than for them to want to be like Jesus. To follow Him with all their heart.
There is no greater joy than when new life is born–not just in this world, but in the kingdom to come.
And His Word is KEY. Not just knowing it, but
“…rise and tell your children, so that they might put their confidence in God.”
This heritage of faith continues, and the angels in heaven are rejoicing with us!
“If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. Now the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on Him will not be put to shame, for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9-13