Yesterday

 skyYesterday 18 kids at Woodbury Community Church’s Sky Vacation Bible School program made a first-time commitment to Jesus Christ. This means that they heard the Gospel, understood what they heard, and prayed a prayer to God that acknowledged that they were sinners in need of God’s grace. They asked God for His forgiveness. They admitted that they believed that Jesus is who Jesus says that He is, and invited Him to rule their lives as Savior and Lord.
18 kids were rescued by the God of the universe, who in His great love and mercy sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross so that we might have the opportunity to be reconciled to Him.18 kids, who likely have so much life ahead of them made the most important decision of their lives.18 kids were justified by the Lord of the Universe. At the moment of salvation all of their sin was forgiven and they were seen as pure before God.18 kids began the process of sanctification. It is a process that will not be completed until they are in heaven someday. They began the process of being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ.

18 kids began to walk as disciples of Jesus. And, like the original disciples those 18 kids will have moments of doubt, failure, frustration, disillusionment, and despair. They will also see the faithful hand of God on their lives.

Will all 18 kids continue walking with Christ? I sure hope so. But, none of us know. I do know that the work of God began in their life long before yesterday, and it will continue long after tomorrow. So, I rejoice!

Do you realize how cool yesterday was?!

It was so cool that God rejoiced!

Luke 15:10 says, “10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

I used to think that verse meant that the angels were having a party in heaven. But, when read in it’s context it hints that the one rejoicing is God, Himself!

There will be some who will say, “You’re fooling yourselves. The majority of those kids will not stay faithful to the decision that they made yesterday.” Instead of asking how they can get involved in the continuing discipleship process of new followers of Christ, they will criticize.

Others will criticize and say, “It was never their decision to make. God chose them and what happened yesterday has nothing to do with them.” In their theological dogmatism they will miss out on the joy of what God has done and what He will continue to do in the lives of these kids.

Others will say, “Kids were manipulated into making emotional decisions for Christ through slick programming, emotionally charged lessons, and lots of fun.” These folks will probably always have issues with any method we use to join Christ on His mission of making disciples. As I write these words I’m listening to close to 100 kids singing their hearts out on the last day of Vacation Bible School. The words they are singing? “Anything is possible with God . . . Nothing is impossible . . . We will fly . . . We will soar . . . Trusting God and leaving our fears behind . . . We will fly.” Vacation Bible School isn’t manipulation, it is telling the truth of Jesus Christ in a culturally sensitive manner to a generation of kids. The Gospel is always culturally relevant. Vacation Bible School gives us a way to bring that message to kids who otherwise wouldn’t hear. This year 8 in 10 of the kids at Vacation Bible School are not from Woodbury Community Church. That excites me!

Some will say, “Kids can’t make important decisions. Their brains haven’t learned to think critically yet. They see everything in black and white.” It was as a four-year-old boy that I made the most important decision of my life. It was on Easter Sunday, 1974 that I trusted Jesus as my Savior. Were there days of doubt? You bet! Were there days of despair? Sure. Were there days of rebellion? There are still way too many of those. But, God has been with me every step of the way.

Yesterday, 18 kids trusted in God’s grace, receiving the gift of salvation offered to them through Christ Jesus!

It seems to me that much of what is written in the blogosphere today as it relates to the Bride of Christ is cynical. There are enough cynical people in the world today. Take some time today to rejoice at what God did in these kids. Take some time to rejoice in the fact that the story of God isn’t through yet! Take some time to rejoice that all over the world people today placed their faith in Jesus! And, ask yourself what part you are playing in the discipleship process of the next generation. Those 18 kids crossed the starting line yesterday, not the finish line. They will need our guidance as they walk through life.

God is growing his church around the world. I rejoice that He has chosen to allow Woodbury Community Church to experience His growth in recent years. There is no growth that brings more joy to my heart than the birth of new believers! May God continue to bless the spiritual nursery of His kingdom! And, may we all get involved in the mission of honoring God by making more disciples for Jesus Christ!