When it comes to witnessing and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to young children, say as young as the age of eight, it can often seem a daunting task. The attention span of a child that young is short, often very, very short. One can easily ‘tell the story’ but if a child is not interested, it becomes simply a rehearsal of words. It’s important to seize upon those all too infrequent times where they truly want to know what it’s about. Today was such a day and an answer to prayer.
My husband and I were blessed to be asked to watch our grandson overnight. I love the times I get with the grandchildren. They are such a blessing. We’ve been keeping each and every one of them in prayer with particular emphasis on their salvation. I got up early today so as to attend early church service with my grandson while my husband had praise team practice for the later service. During the early hours of pre-dawn, I was praying earnestly that my grandson might happen upon one of those times of interest during hearing the Word preached at church. Little did I know, God had another moment in the Word in mind.
During our drive to church my grandson had my husband’s Bible on his lap. He noticed that the Bible had a metal cross attached to the zipper on the case. My grandson asks, “Why is there a plus sign on PapPap’s Bible?” I looked at him and he was smiling that sneaky grin he often gets. I said, “You know that’s a cross, right?” He laughed and said yes, that he often calls it a plus sign by mistake. We then got into a bit of a discussion on the difference between a cross and a plus sign. To better emphasize the point, I began to explain how they nailed Jesus to a cross and that they placed his arms open wide and nailed each hand to each part of the cross bar, then they nailed his feet together at the bottom. He looked at me and said, “Why did they do that?” There it is folks!!! That perfect opportunity dropped in the lap … a child sincerely wanting to know the answer to his question. It was then that I could begin to explain why Jesus died on the cross … why there needed to be payment for our sins and that only He could do that for us. He listened intently, truly taking in what I was explaining.
I then shared the best part of the Good News … that three days later God raised Him from the dead. He again looked at me and said, “How did he do that?!” My heart leapt with joy as I then knew he would hear and understand when I explained about the power of God, the only One who could raise Him from the dead. AND, that that same power that raised Jesus from the dead raises us from the dead and gives us new life in heaven. I knew he understood and was taking this quite seriously because he interrupted and said, “Not everyone.” It was then that I could share with him the salvation message. I could share with him what it means to be born again, to come before God with a heart that is sorry for ones sins … to say with your mouth that you believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead.
We were only minutes away from church by now so I took the remaining time to explain to him about thinking about these things seriously. That when he has come to a point of believing in his heart all these things– to go before God in prayer and tell Him all those things from his heart. It is at that time that God will forgive his sins, will assure him of his inheritance in heaven, will give him His Holy Spirit to live in him—guiding and directing him the rest of his life.
He understood, he really, really understood. In that short drive to church he heard the Gospel … all because of a small cross attached to a Bible. I am confident that one day I will hear the testimony of my grandson. My part today was planting a seed. Someone else will water and nurture until that day when fruit pours forth. It was a glorious Lord’s Day. I thank my heavenly Father for having prepared this young boy’s heart to hear the Good News that saves!