February 2nd is a special day at our house. It is Colton's spiritual birthday, because on this day, two years ago, Colton understood God's free gift of salvation and chose to receive it.
(**Click here to see read the story and see a video of little Colton!**)
We are studying the book of John in BSF this year, and in chapter 3 of John's Gospel it says,
"Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again."
Because we were all born into sinful world, we all are tarnished by sin and cannot have fellowship with our Creator. We were born sinful. And we can't do ANYTHING about it...on our own.
God wanted to restore the broken fellowship, however, so he sent Jesus Christ, his only Son, to come down from heaven, be born as a baby, and die the sinners' death, taking all of our sins on him and being our punishment for him. Because he was the only sinless person born on earth, he alone could be a perfect sacrifice for our sins. When he rose from the dead 3 days later, he conquered death, and became the Way to God. Through Jesus, God gives the free gift of salvation - being saved from sin - but only to those who receive the gift, admit their sin, and trust in Christ as their Savior. It is an easy, yet humbling (for prideful man) way to come to God...and it is the only way.
My biggest prayer both before my kids were born and even now is that each of my three kids would recognize this truth, believe it, and own it. October 19th (click here to read about Summer's spiritual birthday) and February 2nd (Colton's spiritual birthday) are, to me, the best days of my parenting life, watching my kids choose to follow Jesus. As a parent I can talk, read, teach, and encourage my kids to follow Christ, but I cannot choose for them. Only the Holy Spirit can draw their hearts to him. And I am so grateful that He did and I continually pray that they would stay strong in Him, grow in Him, and share their faith with others. I cling to Jude 1:24-25 as I pray for them;
"To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!"
Part of our celebration for spiritual birthdays includes the kids getting to serve the family by choosing and making the family dinner. The kids look forward to this night and talk about it months in advance! This year, Colton chose to make Macaroni and Cheese, and fruit/veggie smoothies, and icecream cake. He did almost everything by himself this year!
A second part of our celebration for spiritual birthdays includes a gift that will encourage their spiritual growth in Christ. This year, we chose the Jesus Storybook Bible, as I have read great things about the focus on the Bible as one story all about Jesus! Colton and I read his Bible each afternoon while Larkyn is napping and I am excited to start this one together tomorrow (actually we were so excited we started it tonight ;) ). I chose the Bible that comes with the CD's so he can read it on his own and also so we can play them in the van as we drive around. My kids learn so much that way!
A third part of our celebration for spiritual birthdays includes re-reading the kids' "story". Recounting his/her spiritual journey to this point. For us, because I keep our family history blogger style, we go back and read the blog posts/watch the videos of when the kids made the choice to follow Christ. The Bible is full of times when God's people are encouraged to build/do something to remember how God has been faithful. These days in our kids' lives are worth talking about and remembering!
Finally, I take a video of each kid on their spiritual birthday with them explaining what a spiritual birthday is and doing a little interview about their current understanding of God's gift of salvation. IT was funny this year to hear Colton chuckle about his understanding in a past video about being able to take a rocket to heaven ;). Each year the kids' understanding grows and deepens. Here is Colton's this year:
Happy 2nd spiritual birthday, Colton! I pray that God continues to grow you in his understanding and ways and that you are a light for Him wherever you go. I am so proud of you and love you so much! Lord please protect Colton physically and spiritually and help him to stay on your straight and narrow path. Please bless him with godly friends, teachers, and someday spouse and help him to bring glory to your name and others into your kingdom. I pray you would use him for your glory. Thank you for our little blessing and thank you for the work you are doing in his life. Amen.