Read His Words Before Ours!
I don’t remember when I heard this story and I don’t even remember where I heard this story. But, I heard a story once, a true story, about a little girl who stood up on a stage and said, “I just love Jesus, and I want everyone to know it!”
Although my surroundings were insignificant to me, that story impacted me greatly, as I have found myself thinking of that little girl many times over the years.
“I just love Jesus, and I want everyone to know it!”
Jesus invites us to become as little children.
Like the children who boldly gathered around Him, sat on His lap, and let Him love on them.
Or, like the children who dance while they worship, singing loudly of God’s love without caring what others think of their voice.
When I was just a little girl, I had a dream. I wanted to preach to hundreds of people and help them see Jesus in a way that made Him even more real. I wanted people to know that Jesus loves them, He forgives them, and has an amazing plan for their lives!
“God sent His only Son, Jesus, to come to earth and die for our sins!
But He rose from the dead! And because of Jesus, we can live forever in Heaven!”
I passionately shouted phrases similar to this to cars that passed before my house and anyone else that would take a moment to listen (even if it was only a passing hummingbird or a stray cat).
I had learned the gospel from an early age, and I was so excited, that I couldn’t help but share this good news!
The gospel was so precious to me.
Like many Christ-followers, my life became busy and my heart became crowded.
The Lord gave me passion and deep joy in doing many different things, but over time,
those things slowly became more important to me than sharing the gospel, or even treasuring my Savior.
That crowded heart is something I still battle. When I was in high school, dance, theater, academics, and even service projects, would often give sharing the gospel the boot. These days, it’s my family, work, volunteering, and friendships, that often find their way to the top of my “list”, with talking about Jesus coming second.
In Luke, we read that Jesus was invited to dine with a Pharisee named Simon. Somehow, news traveled that he would be in Simon’s home and a woman frantically grabbed her alabaster container of ointment and ran to Simon’s home, determined to see this Jesus she had heard so much about. She quietly snuck in, trying to get a glimpse of Jesus. He lounged before her on a couch, leaning on His arm with His legs stretched out to His side. The woman couldn’t see His face, but she knew it was Him. She crept closer, and the closer she got the more she became overwhelmed with her great sin compared to the sin-less-ness of this Man before her. We don’t know what her sins were, but we know they caused her great shame. This woman became broken; she couldn’t stop her tears from spilling over and onto the feet of Jesus. Ashamed, she quickly stooped down to wipe the salty tears from His feet with the only towel she had at hand: her long hair. The tears kept coming, and so, she picked up the alabaster jar she had set down when she knelt to wipe his feet, and began pouring the ointment on Jesus’ feet. She was anointing the feet of the only Man who could offer her forgiveness for the sin that consumed her.
Jesus was so precious to her.
This woman knew she wasn’t worthy.
She knew He was.
She knew she needed His grace and forgiveness.
Which He freely gave her.
That is the good news!
That is the Gospel!
We need forgiveness because we are great sinners.
And Jesus has forgiven us, because that is who He is.
As I remember this woman’s story, and as I think about the way children hold the Gospel so dear to their hearts, I long for that passion to return in my life.
But there is no room for it when my heart is crowded with everything else I try to hold dear.
Space for the gospel to change me, everyday, and as it does, the passion to share it with others becomes intensely pressing.
Clearing space is tough, but precious treasures are worth it.
Join me, won’t you? Take the time to daily preach the gospel to yourself, allow its truths to wrap you up and press your arms outward to love others with the voice of the precious good news.
“I just love Jesus, and I want everyone to know it!”
This Bible Study first appeared on GracefullyTruthful.com and is property of Gracefully Truthful. Visit the website for more studies like this one!
Read His Words Before Ours!
1 Peter 1:1-8
The floor creaked as I walked towards the bedroom and slowly turned the doorknob. Before me was the perfect little girl’s bedroom; pink and green walls, dolls and stuffed animals, and a closet full of little clothes. If I didn’t know better, it appeared she had just gone to school for the day, and would return soon. “Miss Kendra!”My thoughts were interrupted by her big sister’s call, and I headed back downstairs.
I began nannying for the Rechtien family when their oldest daughter was 10.
Their youngest daughter, Annie, had passed away almost two years before.
I didn’t know what to expect the first time I met them. Openly, the Rechtiens talked about Annie, showing me her bedroom as we toured the house and telling me about Mary Cate, their oldest girl. Through our conversation, there was nothing but peace and steady joy.
I learned a lot about Annie while I nannied. She was a bubbly girl who followed the rules and loved giving hugs. I watched videos of Annie in her preschool performances and singing about going to heaven one day. I heard Mary Cate tell me that she missed her sister, and watched as she ever-so-sweetly chose a Christmas ornament for her parents in memory of Annie. I rejoiced with the Rechtien family as they adopted first a baby boy, followed by a baby girl. I saw Mary Cate’s big sister arms filled with a little sibling to love and hold again.
Throughout all of this, there was peace and steady, deep joy.
One morning while Kathleen was reading her Bible, she shared the verse that had anchored her despite her grief.
“Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be moved,
but abides forever.”
She had memorized it as a little girl, never knowing that these words would carry her as her own little girl fought brain cancer.
Every morning I found Kathleen, coffee in hand and Bible before her. The family’s evenings were filled with church small groups, gymnastics, and Wednesday night services. They weren’t just going through the spiritual motions. No.
Praise was constant on their lips and in their hearts.
Peace was always there and joy was always steady.
Annie got sick at just five years old and Kathleen and her husband had a choice to make. Abandon the faith they’d grown up with or choose to trust God even when.
Annie passed away ten months after her battle began. She was at home, with her family surrounding her and her big sister laying next to her. As Annie took her last breath on earth and her first in Heaven, Kathleen knew that there was no going back. Her baby girl was gone.
They buried Annie that week, and went to church the day after, because that’s who they are. Before this moment came, they had already decided to trust God even now in the darkest storm.
Kathleen stated at Annie’s funeral that they were shaking.
They ached to hold their little girl.
Their world had changed overnight.
They were shaking, but their faith was not.
When life was easy, Robert and Kathleen had made Jesus their cornerstone,
so their foundation was set when tragedy came.
They could praise God, even when everything was crumbling,
because their foundation was the only thing not crumbling.
Loss comes in many different shapes and sizes.
To me, loss looks like losing my Papa.
You may have lost your marriage, a baby,
a relationship, a job, your home, or something else.
Loss will come to all of us, but we can choose now to build a foundation
that will allow praise in the tragic.
Robert and Kathleen never would have chosen this road.
But with joy,
not a bubbling over dancing kind of joy,
but a steady, deep joy,
they can say the Lord has used Annie’s life in incredible ways.
Praise might not look like standing with widespread arms.
Praise may look like ugly tears before God.
Praise may look like a choice to love, to welcome, to extend grace even now when your heart breaks.
Praise, just like loss, comes in many shapes and forms.
The Rechtiens still grieve.
They still miss their precious girl,
but because they chose to hide away in the shelter of Jesus,
praise, peace, and joy are theirs even now.
And because of their choice,
they remain unshaken, even now.
“How would you look at eleven
If God hadn’t called you to heaven?
Tall like your sister, or short like me?
Soccer, gymnastics, or cheerleading?
Your classmates all grow and change every year,
But you are my forever kindergartner in your uniform so dear.
Our family of four, now a family of six
A brother, a sister, I think you helped pick!
Six years was our gift, how we wish we had more!
Happy Birthday, sweet Annie, on the day you were born.”
This Bible Study first appeared on Gracefully Truthful and is property of Gracefully Truthful, as well! For more studies like this one, visit Gracefully Truthful's website!
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