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Friday, October 26, 2012

Sometimes I Go With Grandma

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 2 Tim 1:5-6 NIV

You would be surprised at how many times I hear, “Sometimes I go with Grandma.” Most recently, I heard it on the University of North Florida’s college campus. On college campuses, I introduce myself and ask where they are from. I follow up with asking if they have a church back home. Most college students I meet do not have a church back home but many have a grandma who occasionally takes them to church.

“What is the name of the church your grandmother goes to?” I ask. They seldom know. “What flavor is it?” I ask. They always laugh. They know what I mean. They usually don’t even know the denomination or religion. My night at University of North Florida’s campus was no different. All that college sophomore knew was that Grandma’s church was some kind of “Christian” church. When I mentioned church, she instantly thought of Grandma.

When I asked this lovely co-ed and her friend where they would spend eternity, they answered that they “hoped” heaven. They had tried to be "good." Good – “but not perfect."

“Heaven sure beats the alternative,” I quipped. They agreed. I asked, “Do you believe in Jesus?”

“I do,” the sophomore nodded. Her friend agreed. If young people have been to church with Grandma and listened to Grandma’s Jesus’ stories, they probably have some kind of belief in Jesus and “hope” they are going to heaven. Thanks to Grandma, it was easy to lead that UNF sophomore and her best friend into a “relationship” with Jesus. Two salvations happened in under 10 minutes because of the faithfulness of one grandma.

“I can feel it,” one said with surprise when we finished praying.

“That is the Holy Spirit,” I said, knowing that it was the Holy Spirit she was missing. “Please call your grandma and tell her you prayed to receive Jesus,” I encouraged. “Your grandma has probably been praying for you.”

“Oh, she has. She is always talking to me about Jesus. It worries her that Mom doesn’t take us to church.” I wondered of “Mom” had ever met Jesus personally.

I believed her when she said her grandma was worried. Today’s Christian grandmas do a lot praying and worrying. If their grandchildren don’t go to church, they make a point of working “Jesus” stories into bedtimes, mealtimes, and long car rides. They pray and have others praying as well. They take these grandchildren to church at any opportunity.

While I’m grateful for the foundation that modern day Christian grandmas lay, I often wonder why so many grandmas talk so much “about” Jesus but don’t take that final step and tell their precious beloved grandchild “how” to meet Jesus. I wonder the same thing about the churches these grandmas take their grandchildren to. Why didn’t the churches tell their grandchildren “how” to meet Jesus personally?

Yes, I am aware that this is a bit of a rant but my heart is broken for all the worried Christian grandmas of lost grandchildren. These grandmas fret about why their children don’t take their grandchildren to church and blame themselves. They teach their grandchildren about Jesus, but many never get up the courage to give the simple Gospel and invite their grandchildren to meet Jesus.

My heart also breaks for all of the children who cycle through churches and Christian homes, listening to lessons “about” Jesus, but never meet him personally. They leave church or home without experiencing the peace that passes all understanding. They hear about a God who moves mountains but never meet him. They are told to be “good” but never receive the power that enables them to do all things through Christ who strengthens them.

If you are a grandma reading this and fretting about your grandchildren, certainly keep praying. Teach them Bible stories. Take them to church. But - also talk to them about sin. After all, all have sinned and fallen short. These children already know they make mistakes. Help them admit it. Tell them the truth – that the wages of sin is death. Let them know eternal life is a gift from God and cannot be earned by “being good.” Give them the best news you could ever give – that ALL who call on the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved. Invite them to pray with you. Lead them in a prayer where they confess belief in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Help them admit that they are a sinner and ask Jesus to forgive them. Lead them in a prayer that calls on the name of Jesus – asking Jesus into their lives to be the Lord – the boss – the leader – the Savior of their lives.

Christian grandmas - take a deep breath and just do it. You know you want to. Yes, I know it is hard – but do it anyway. Yes, I know their parents might object but do it anyway. It is the most important thing you could do for your grandchild.

P.S. If you are not sure your own children ever met Jesus personally, if they are still here on earth, it is not too late. I know that this may be even harder but apologize if you didn't make the "how" clear, share the gospel, and invite them to meet Jesus.

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