As we head into February there are a host of things on my mind that I want to share with you, and probably should share with you, but truth be told I’m rather distracted these days… ‘cause there is one thing in particular that’s foremost on my mind. You see Karen and are going to be grandparents. Sometime near the end of August we will add another little Smith to our family. Now, I know that this might seem shamelessly self-centered to use this forum to make this announcement. But even though I would admit to a certain self-centeredness in sharing this news at the same time I think there is something about this news that may be of value to our community.
As I look to the day when we will hold that little peanut in our hands and pray over that child, we will be filled with a deep longing. We will be praying for God’s blessing upon Baby Smith. We will be praying he or she will be grown in noble adulthood and become a person of character and grace and love and so much more. But our greatest desire for our granddaughter or son will be that they respond to the grace of God and receive by faith the glorious gift of salvation and know Christ in His fullness! In the end we care very little for what this world will hold for this beloved child because the world is passing away. On the other hand, we care a great deal about seeing this child face to face in eternity where we’ll share in glorious fellowship and worship to the praise of God.
This feeling of longing puts me in mind of Pauls’ words in Romans chapter nine. Paul knows that God has greatly blessed his people, but he also recognizes that they are in need of something so much greater. He says, “I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, 4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises.” Paul’s love for his people was so great… his longing for them to know Christ so overwhelming, that he dramatically described his willingness to give up his own salvation and be cursed for their sake – just as Jesus was cursed for his! What passion.
This is a passion that has been re-awakened in me at the thought of welcoming a grandbaby into the fold and It is the same passion that I want to have for the lost. Dear ones, there are all around us countless people who are the recipients of God’s general blessing, and grace… but they still lack the greatest gift of all; the promise of forgiveness and eternal life that comes only by faith in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. My grandbaby will most certainly be a priority for me… and I trust this child’s parents will give their best to the training and instruction of that little one, but for me the child will be a regular reminder to remain centered on the call to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
May we as a church family find ourselves passionate in our desire to see the kingdom of God extended, and the blessing and wonder of his salvation offered to all that we might bring glory and praise to God.
Here’s looking forward to the coming months.
In Christ, Wes
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