Happy Thanksgiving to you! I don't know about yours, but my house is all a-flutter about the holiday season. Maybe it was the first significant snow fall that sparked this new state of excitement. Or maybe it's the fact that school let out early this week for Thanksgiving . Maybe it's all of the commercials for the special Christmas editions of their favorite cartoons - not to mention the annual cartoon specials that they "MUST NOT MISS, MOM!". And how can you ignore the five different advertising leaflets in your free paper for the must have toys and gadgets this Christmas (yes, my husband counted 5 different inserts for the same store).
My oldest daughter likes to create things and be in charge of people who are creating things. Over the weekend she assumed the foreman roll during the annual Christmas list writing. The rest of the kids (3 more) dictate to her what they would like on their list and she writes it down for them, all perfectly cursive and absolutely no misspellings. She then hands them their paper and they all make works of art out of their lists. They use markers, stickers, crayons, glitter glue and even whip out the stencils and stamp pads - these lists are worthy of a frame by the time they are done.
As they were busy creating their masterpieces, I was busy preparing dinner. My son said, "Mom, I wish we could bring stuff to heaven". Now, mind you, I thought he was still working on his list and was referring to the toys he was hoping to receive and how he didn't want leave them. I tell him with as much patience as I could muster while trying not to show my disdain, "Buddy, it's going to be so great in heaven that we aren't going to miss anything that we have here on earth". He looks at me a bit quizzically and then says, "I know. I drew this picture for Jesus and I want to bring it to Him when I go to heaven".
Melt. My. Heart.
This conversation has been playing over and over in my head since we've had it. And I have no doubt that Jesus is using my son to teach me a lesson, as He has SO MANY TIMES before.
I cannot bring a picture that I draw to Jesus, but I can play a role in drawing people to Jesus with the picture I paint with my life.
Let's get a few things straight here:
- The Holy Spirit does all of the "drawing"
Titus 3:5-6 He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,
- My life is a witnessing tool. Jesus can use my life to help people be drawn to Him
Matthew 5:13-16 You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let you light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
- Jesus is not dependent on my active participation in His will for me and my life. Anything that I do to glorify God is the Spirit acting in me, but there are times that I don't even know that He is using me to fulfill His purpose. It's not as if I get to choose when to be the hands and feet of Jesus and when to be the hands and feet of Kelly. My life, because of Jesus, is His life. He may choose to show me the fruits of my labor, or I may never know how my life impacts another. But I do know that when I get to heaven, I want to hear my Father say:
Matthew 25:23a ...Well done good and faithful servant!
- Nothing I do here will earn me heaven. What I do here is my thank offering to Jesus.
Ephesians 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ask yourself today what kind of picture will your life paint that you can bring to Jesus when you get to see Him in all His glory in heaven?