Today, May 30, 2009, Malia said that she wanted to talk more about becoming a Christian. I was happy to stop what I was doing and talk with her, so I had her climb up and sit with me in my chair.
I was immediately aware of my own great need for grace, and for the Holy Spirit’s help in what to say to her. I began by praying for both of us, and asked that the Holy Spirit would give me words to say and the Spirit would make Malia’s heart soft and receptive, and grant her the understanding she’d need as a four year old. I also confessed my faith in the Lord to bring her to salvation when she is ready, and resisted the urge to try and make her salvation a product of my own effort by coaxing her to repeat my own words in a sinner’s prayer.
After praying with her, I had the great privilege to have her listen attentively while I got to explain the entire Gospel from creation, the fall, to the promise of a savior, to Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection. I went on to explain Jesus’ great love for us, and his purpose in restoring Christians to a loving relationship with God the Father. I asked her if she loved her daddy and mommy, and she said of course she did. I responded by saying that she loves us because we loved her first, which is exactly why Christians love God through Jesus’ work on our behalf.
I also told Malia that Christians place their trust in Jesus and his work on the cross to fix our broken relationship with the Father, but that many people sadly try to rely on their own plans and effort and that they can never be saved that way.
After Malia had no more questions, I prayed for us again – that her spirit is or would be regenerated, and that God would continue to give Keisha and I grace to lead Malia well in following Jesus. It was a very encouraging talk, and it was a great honor to declare the Gospel to myself and Keisha all over again while sharing it with my oldest daughter.
Update: Drew Goodmanson from Kaleo church in San Diego has a great post on his blog about preaching the Gospel to yourself