A conversation with Elliott usually goes something like this: You begin a topic and start conversing. Elliott stops you to ask what a word means. You explain it in a whole paragraph. There is one word in that paragraph that he doesn't understand. You explain that word, etc. Before you know it, you are 5 miles downstream around the bend and down a giant waterfall before you even know what hit you.
Today was just another such day conversing with (what seems to be) the most intense six year old on the planet; And he didn't disappoint.
We were talking about redemption and, of course, he didn't understand the word redemption. So we launched into discussing errors and penalties and justice. He didn't understand penalty. So we talked about robbery (fitting?). We talked about how according to the law, if you rob, you can't just give back what you took, but you must also pay a penalty, or give above what you took to "pay" for not holding up to what the law requires of you (not to steal). And how we as sinners have not lived up to what is required of us and so there is a penalty for rebelling against God.
The paying back more on top of what you took got his attention. He asked me if I would like that. "Would I like what?" I asked. He wanted know if I would want that to happen to me so I could be payed back a bunch of extra. (Which I thought was funny considering the recent events: see post about our new home) So I reigned him back in and got back on topic.
"So," I told him, "God could exact the payment that He is owed from us, but He decided to pay it Himself. Instead of making us pay Him, it was like He payed us! [He pays our debt and makes us part of His family and gives us a good inheritance!]"
Elliott responded immediately, "because He loves us so much..." He was blown away. "I want to pay Him back! He was so nice to me and I want to be nice back."
"You can't pay Him back. All you can do is just give Him your life."
"What do you mean, 'give Him my life.'?"
"That you no longer live for yourself and what you want, but instead you give Him your life, to let Him use you however He wants."
"I want to do that right now! Can you just do that right now? Like whenever you want? Like just today or tomorrow or in a couple of hours?"
"I just did it, Mom. I gave Jesus my life. I'm so excited to see what He will do. I'm so excited to get to see Him. I can't wait to see what He is like. Do you think he has hands and feet like us?"
And so the conversation continued. But I am excited, too, to see what Jesus will do with Elliott's little life that he so joyfully surrendered in response to the preciousness and awesomeness of the Gospel. I am so encouraged and blessed talking to my son about the Lord. I am sharpened and spurred on and encouraged by my son who is (amazingly enough) also my brother is Christ!
*edit: This was so impactful and beautiful because, for Elliott, it was a very heartfelt response to the Gospel. But it wasn't the first time he responded to the it, and my prayer for him is that it will not be the last. You see, the gospel is something that always requires a response from us and should be applied to every part of our lives. Dave and I try to share the gospel with the kids and to each other constantly. Elliott had already made the decision to accept salvation from the Lord at a much younger age, but this day was beautiful in that as he heard the gospel again, he was prompted to go much deeper in his understanding of what Jesus' sacrifice for us means, and much deeper in his love and appreciation for Him. His response was to let go of his own desires and plans for his life and surrender them to the Lord in gratitude. Beautiful. May we all continually be amazed by the gospel and prompted to respond to God's amazing love for us daily.
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