This Christmas I'm looking around our home at all the manger scenes Maudellen and I have collected. I am, of course, thinking of the baby Jesus and the meaning of Christmas — a Savior is born!
When Jesus was born don't you know that his mother counted every little chubby finger and toe that kicked and punched the air above His manger. Mothers do those things, especially with newborns. They also dream, pray, and hope about their child's future. How could Jesus' mother have ever imagined that those same little fingers would be nailed to a cross as part of God's plan to save lost souls?
After a Wednesday night youth rally a young mother, with tears of joy in her eyes, told this story of her son and "those same little fingers."
"This is my son's second year participating in Student FAITH and this week I saw just how serious he was about being obedient to God's Great Commission. He invited a friend from school to come to Fire by Night (our Wednesday night youth program) and when his friend, whom he knew was not a believer, did not come forward during the invitation he was so burdened for him. Looking across the room I could see the look of disappointment on his face when his unsaved buddy hadn't responded.
Even before the invitation — during the preaching and worship — I could see my boy's head bowed in prayer. I knew he had to be praying for the salvation of his friend. He told me all week long that he had invited his friend and things were looking good. He had tried to get this friend to come with him to church for weeks, and even months, and it finally happened! The only problem was that he didn't get to see what he had been praying for … just his friend gripping the back of the chair in front of him struggling with the Holy Spirit's call in his life.
Here is the great part. On the way home that night, as I sat in the driver's seat, I kept looking in the rearview mirror. To my amazement I saw my son asking his friend the key question of FAITH: 'In your personal opinion, what do you understand it takes for a person to go to heaven?' I then watched as my son confidently led his friend through the FAITH outline using those same little fingers that I remember counting on the day he was born.
What a blessing! I could hardly keep my eyes on the road as he asked his friend to pray the sinner's prayer. The timing was perfect as we pulled up to his house. I could see the look of shear joy and excitement on both of their faces as the friend stepped out of the car. It's an awesome thing to see young people do something that I was always so terrified to try when I was a teenager. With Student FAITH, my child will never have to experience the same fears I had!"
No doubt God has His hand on many of this generation of young people! Every week all across America and in other parts of the world, students just like the fourteen-year-old boy in this story are using their hearts and hands to tell others about the Savior who was born and died that lost souls might be saved.
Did your mother count your chubby little fingers and toes when you were born? Did she have great dreams and hopes for your future? I honestly don't know if my mother did nor not. But I know one thing for certain — our heavenly Father did!
Take a good look at your hands right now. Why not commit "those same little fingers" of yours to reaching the lost for Christ in the year and years ahead? I promise you there is someone near you that desperately needs your help to find the Christ of Christmas!
Merry Christmas and "Keep the FAITH!"