Saturday, May 25, 2013

J.T. Turns 11

It just seems like yesterday that we were bringing our second son home from the hospital. But today is J.T.'s 11th birthday. I cannot believe how fast it has gone. If you are a parent, I am sure you can resonate with that thought. The older we get, time seems to go faster than the day before. There are times in which I wish I could slow it down to cherish the size, humor, and personality of my children. But then each new phase of life brings about a new set of things I love about them. 

Since I started blogging, I have tried to write about my children. In many way, it is a digital memory of my life with them. The past few years I have shared many thoughts about J.T. In 2011, I shared 15 reasons I love my youngest son and some thoughts for his 9th birthday. All of those are just as real today as they were then. Last year I shared a special prayer for Him. I still echo that prayer as much today as I did then.

We spent most of the day shopping and hanging out with J.T. As I have been watching his life and spending time with him today, my mind kept racing back to Psalm 119. I eagerly want him to love the Word of God. And so, this is my challenge for him as he continues to grow, not in his physical life, but his spiritual life.

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"Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!" (119:1-2)
Son, you are going to be tempted with many things in this life that you think are going to bring you blessings. Right now, you think sports, video games, and playing with your friends is what brings you ultimate blessing. And truly, they do bring excitement and joy to your life. But they are only a picture of something greater. The greatest sort of blessing is to see everything in your life as a window to your relationship with God. It is to view everything through the lens of obedience to Jesus. I know that obedience is a hard thing to grasp. It implies that there is someone greater than you. It means that you are not the authority of your life. But if you are able to come to this realization, there is a ocean of blessing from the Lord. There is peace knowing that you are walking with Him. There is joy unlike anything you have ever experienced.
"How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." (119:9-11)
Son, you are about to enter a time in life when your passions are going to be strongest. And in these times, there is one place you can run to in order to keep yourself pure from the things of the world. Believe it or not, the Word of God is a refuge. It is not just a book that you read on Sundays or during the week. There is great reward in reading and seeking it, and there is great pleasures in storing it in your heart. God says that it will keep you from sin.
"I hate the double-minded, but I love your law. You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. Depart from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commandments of my God." (119:113-115)
Son, I desire for you to love God and others. I want your heart to break over your friends that run away from God. I want you to pursue them and share the love of Jesus with them. But I desire that your greatest friends in the world are those that seek a heart after God's Word like you do. They will help you as you seek to find your place of comfort in the Lord.

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I could keep going throughout this entire Psalm. My heart is that he love God through spending time with Him in His Word. God speaks through His Word and I want my son to listen more intently this next year than he ever has.

I love you buddy!

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