Your Child’s Response to Eternity-Changing Truth

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This is the tragic and wonderful, horrific and beautiful story of Good Friday:

For while we were still helpless,
at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
For one will hardly die for a righteous man;
though perhaps for the good man
someone would dare even to die.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us,
in that while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.
Romans 5:6-8

Tomb in Israel, c. 1943. Courtesy Library of Congress.

As mothers we send our children on many errands.

“Go get me a rag to clean up this mess.”

“Run downstairs and see if my phone is in the kitchen.”

And, when they are older, “Would you please pick up some lettuce on your way home?”

My friend Edith, who is in heaven now, once told her son to chop some wood while she was away from home. In a shocking accident, he injured his eye while doing that chore for his mama. His vision in one eye was never the same again.

We would never knowingly ask our child to do something for us that we knew would cause him harm. Yet God loves us so much that “while we were yet sinners,” He sent His Son to die for us. That is the tragic and wonderful, horrific and beautiful story of Good Friday.

How do we respond to that eternity-changing truth? A blog reader, who has been serving one elderly family member after another for many months now, recently shared a quote with me from Rediscovering Holiness, by J. I. Packer. Packer quotes a saying which he calls “a little verse once taught to teenagers.”

I do not work my soul to save,
That work my Lord hath done.
But I will work like any slave,
For love of God’s dear Son.

Ralph E. Hudson wrote his thoughts about how to respond in his 1882 hymn, “I’ll Live for Him.” Imagine that your child is graduating from your homeschool high school. Imagine planning a graduation ceremony in your home so your child will be surrounded by extended family and friends. Imagine your child rising early on graduation day and kneeling by his or her bedside to give God a valedictory prayer before the ceremony:

My life, my love, I give to Thee,
Thou Lamb of God who died for me;
Oh, may I ever faithful be,
My Savior and my God!

I now believe Thou dost receive,
For Thou hast died that I might live;
And now henceforth I’ll trust to Thee,
My Savior and my God!

Oh, Thou who died on Calvary,
To save my soul and make me free;
I’ll consecrate my life to Thee,
My Savior and my God!

Then, imagine your child repeating the refrain, as his graduation commitment to himself and to you.

I’ll live for Him who died for me,
How happy then my life shall be!
I’ll live for Him who died for me,
My Savior and my God!

The Bible says it this way:

For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this,
that one died for all, therefore all died;
and He died for all, so that they who live
might no longer live for themselves,
but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15


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