When we raise up Christ and introduce him to our children, talking about him and pointing out where he touches every part of their lives, we demonstrate our hope that their desire will be to see themselves as “friends of Jesus.” By coming to identify themselves in the context of who Jesus is, what he’s done for them, how he helps them make decisions, how he comforts them in times of trouble, they move out of the center willingly and beam with delight when he gets the glory—“That’s my friend, Jesus!” And if it doesn’t seem to be happening willingly, remember how stubborn your heart was before it was redeemed, and don’t give up. Pray to this end out loud and in front of them to show them that you rely on Jesus’s centrality in your life.
Persevere, moms, “as the snail to the ark.” (Charles Spurgeon) The ark is ahead. That great deliverance beyond the flood is ours, sealed by the trustworthiness of the Holy Spirit, and we inch forward according to the pace God sets for us. I’m praying for you.
The vineyard owner could have chosen not to return to the market square. He could have chosen to go to a different market. He could have chosen not to hire anyone. Just as God could have chosen not to give mercy to anyone, he instead chose to give it to a few despite our absence of merit.
And in no way does this trample upon our rights.
Saying yes is dying to self. I say yes when the carefully charted (and idolized) plans for the perfect life crumble around me and I submit the unknown to a trustworthy God, knowing that His more perfect plan has been crafted for my good and His glory.