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Romans 4:14 – For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless. (NIV)
The children in our church recently put on a Christian musical called "Promise U". It was amazing. They put a lot of practice into their performances, and it was wonderful to watch them sing and act, dance and quote Scripture throughout the entire show. I'm very proud of all of them, and I just love to see them expressing their faith in beautifully creative ways.
I've baptized most of the children in the show, and I feel as though the congregation has fulfilled part of its commitment to bring them up in the faith and encourage them to get to know Jesus. Many people from the church, not just the parents, are involved in the show. Our hope is that our children will learn to love the Lord and pass on their faith to their own children through positive experiences and creative ways.
Not all of the children belong to our church. Indeed, some of them have no church connection at all because their parents are not believers. When we first set up the Creative Expression teams, we felt it was important not to place any barriers upon any children who wanted to take part in the shows. We still feel that way, and this year, for one wee girl in particular, the Sonshine Kids Company has been a godsend. Her family are not church people, but the girl is a friend of one of the children in our church. She came along to a practice one Wednesday night and has been a regular ever since. She now comes to Sunday School and loves being in church. Her folks might never make that kind of commitment, but it seems to me that the Lord really loves that wee unchurched girl.
If our church had been legalistic and cold-hearted, we could have put up a membership boundary that would have prohibited non-church members from attending the practices. But the church belongs to Christ, and He is the One who said, "Let the children come to me." It's amazing how His grace works. Paul is emphasizing this in today's verse from Romans. If we all had to follow the rules to become heirs to the kingdom, then faith, grace, and hope would be replaced by duty, legalism, and perfection. In other words, we would have to earn our way into heaven, and Christ's work of salvation would be totally ignored and never needed. If that wee girl had to earn her way into our children's creative program, she would have been held back by her parents' non-commitment. Thankfully, through the grace and wisdom of God, she has found a place where she can truly belong.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You have paid the price for our sins, our imperfection, and our unworthiness. We could never do enough good things to offset the sins that we continue to commit each day in our lives. Thank You for sacrificing Your life and for going to the cross in order to pardon all of our sins and win us back for God's kingdom. In Your holy name, we gratefully pray. Amen.
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