Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Letter to My Youngest Grandson

December 6, 2011

Dear Asher,

This past Sunday was one of the most special days of all my 60 years on the planet. It was my joy to have the privilege to baptize you, my youngest grandson.

Many people wonder if it is appropriate for a young boy like you to be baptized. After all, you are still very young. You don’t know all the doctrinal jargon that we Christians throw around so easily. You are clueless regarding church and denominational politics. You don’t know a Southern Baptist from an American Baptist, from a Free Will Baptist, from a United Methodist. You have no personal position on the Calvinist vs. Arminian debate.

You haven’t studied theology, but you have grasped the greatest theological truth that is possible to understand. That is that, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

Jesus said “Suffer the little children and forbid them not to come unto me, for such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

I am thankful that you have come to Jesus at such a young age. You have come while your heart is tender and open to the love of Jesus. You don’t carry the baggage of the years of the effect of the human sin nature, which many folks have to forsake when they come to Christ. You may not be able to recite the definitions of such spiritual terms as redemption, adoption, grace, and faith, but you (and all other children) most certainly live each day under the basic concept of faith. After all, you know what it is to totally depend on someone else to provide you with food, clothing, shelter, and protection.

That’s the way it is with God. We must depend wholly upon Him for all our daily material and physical needs – and for the spiritual and eternal needs as well. You have wisely made the decision to come to Him. Are you old enough to understand the total impact of the magnanimity of your decision? I will let the theologians debate that point. But there are some things about your decision that I do know to be true.

I know that you were blessed to be born into a Christian home. Your mother and father both know Jesus as their Savior, and they have told you and your brother that story since you were born. They have also sought to live their faith as role models for both of you. They have made sure that you have been in church all your life. In that setting you have been exposed to the Gospel message thorough your home life as well as the church setting. You have had dedicated teachers and children’s ministers who have also taught you about Jesus, reinforcing what you have been taught at home.

All four of your grandparents, and all of your living great grandparents are also people of faith. Having a godly heritage does not translate into spiritual virtue for you, but it does give you a tremendous opportunity to hear the Good News of Jesus, and to see Christian values modeled in the lives of the people you know and love. You have been taught the value of the Bible as God’s word to us, and you have learned many Bible verses by memory from Sunday School, Upward Basketball and Soccer, and AWANA. Since “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”, I was not terribly surprised when you responded to the invitation to come to Jesus when it was given at the crusade back in October.

Your parents were not there that evening. Your brother did not try to influence you, neither did your Mamaw or me. (you were not even sitting with us at the time) I have to believe that the Holy Spirit moved you to respond, and I am so glad you did!

In the past few weeks, your parents, your Sunday School teacher, and your children’s minister have talked to you and questioned you about it. All are satisfied that you have the basic understanding of the Gospel message necessary to accept Christ as your Savior.
So, since baptism is the first step of obedience to Christ, and it is the true public profession of faith in Jesus, your baptism was scheduled.

What a wonderful night it was! All four grandparents were there to see you publicly follow Jesus in baptism. Your brother, Will, was there too. Mom and Dad were there with their cameras to record the moment. Your whole church family was there and all the AWANA kids came into the sanctuary to see you be baptized.

In my 40 years in the ministry I have experienced the joy of baptizing several hundred new believers in Christ. Being able to baptize my youngest grandson was one of the most special times at all.

So now you are a follower of Jesus. You are the third of our four grandsons who have made that step of faith. Each of you are now being taught what it means to follow Jesus.
Listen closely to your parents, your teachers, and your pastor as they share the word of God with you. Always be faithful to study your Bible and pray, and gather into God’s house for fellowship with other believers, and to learn the principles of discipleship.

You will probably make some mistakes along the way. But you have made the right start. Just know that Jesus is all you need. He has saved you from the penalty of sin, his is presently saving you from the power of sin in your life, and one day He will save you from the very presence of sin. Listen to what He says to you through His word, and follow where he leads you through His Holy Spirit. When you do that, you will not go wrong!

I very proud of you, and I am thankful that one day we will be together in heaven – forever.

Love always,Papaw


Pastor Jim said...

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Mike Osborne said...

Great letter, C.J. Especially touching for me as I look forward to my grandson, Micah, being baptized on Dec. 19th.