“I Can’t Reach Jesus”

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 Part II of Series (From Innocence to Purity) Running about in the field, Hadassah stopped and stretched her arms up to the sky. Jumping rigorously, she shouted, “I can’t reach Jesus.” “I can’t reach Jesus!” It’s true. She can’t jump high enough to reach Jesus.  No matter how hard she strives, she will not reach Him in her own strength. Yet, she must reach – or attain – Jesus! Not by striving and straining; not by working harder or doing better.  She will only reach Jesus when she responds to Him as He reaches down to scoop her up. I have pondered her statement at length this week.  Despite her childlike innocence, it paints a picture of what older children easily fall prey to thinking, as well as a misconception parents mistakenly teach their children over time;  that the path to gaining a pure heart comes largely by way of one’s own efforts.  How easy is it to preach a message to our kids that their own goodness will be achieved by how high they jump- how hard they try- how well they behave.   The Authors of  Give Them Grace stated that “we must never mistake this training for Christian nurture, or discipline, nor should we mistake their acquiescence to our social mores as true Christian righteousness.” (Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids With the Love of Jesus by Fitzpatrick and Thompson)  If we train our children to focus more over their works rather than on what Jesus worked out on...

From Innocence to Purity

(Essential Principle # 4) Psalm 24: 3 – 10 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?  And who shall stand in his holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart and who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.  He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.  Such is the generation of those who seek Him who seek the face of the God of Jacob. I still remember nestling my three children protectively as newborns. All children come into the world as innocent babies with no concept of the world around them and there is something about a newborn child – their innocence and utter dependence –  that a mom wants to guard and cherish.   Indescribable changes rise up in a woman the day she becomes a mother.  A fiercely protective and abiding love captures her heart while hopes and dreams for the child’s future begin to fill her mind.  While a mother envisions a noble future for her child, she also fights fear that her child will be unable to remains undefiled by the world.  With a youth culture that focuses heavily on sensuality, parents of adolescents today often wonder if it is even possible. Unless a family lives in some remote area completely isolated from media and stores, adolescents are exposed to sensual enticements on a regular basis. The truth of the matter is that you cannot and must not keep your children innocent, because innocence will not protect them. Innocence will shield their hearts but not transform...