Psalm 127:3-5 – Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
So the other day I was looking through my old pictures, reminiscing about the past 43 years of my life. I’ve had some really good times in there and some really bad ones as well. When people think about their past, they usually categorize it into a few different segments: childhood, young adult, married life, parenthood, midlife, and old age. Some people have experienced all of those stages and others only some of those. Ultimately, this life is not defined by your life stage, but by the relationships you carry through those stages.
For me, being a Christian goes way beyond my age, employment, or place of residence. By the world’s standards, I am a middle-aged retailer who lives in Maryland. By God’s standards, I am simply achild of the Most High God.
As I looked at these pictures, I started realizing that when most of those pictures were taken, I wasn’t thinking about my relationship with Christ. I was simply thinking either how fun this picture (or how not fun it was, lol).
So I’d like to share a few of these pictures with you and then I will end with 3 pictures that have come to define me and turn me into the person you “see” or read today.
This first picture means a lot to me. It was the first trip my kids and I took together after my marriage ended. You see, the kids and I were having relationship issues so I wanted to take them to a place where they could enjoy themselves. During the time before we left, they weren’t getting along and this was the first time that I had seen them work together to enjoy themselves and learn something since my marriage failed.
This picture helps me to understand the inner workings of my kids’ souls. I took this picture in Gettysburg, PA. The kids were tired and wanted to rest. We had just finished a tour of the battlefields where they had taken in a lot of information about the amount of people who died, the reasons behind the battle, and just what the impact on America was. I noticed that they were a little reflective and were staring out onto the battlefield, not saying a word to each other and just taking in everything they had just seen and heard. It was the first time I realized that my kids are much more than just fun-loving bundles of energy. They are introspective, understanding souls.
This is Family Force 5. They are not only my kids’ favorite band, they have turned into one of mine as well. Not only are these guys just cool to talk to after a show, they put on a VERY fun show. At this concert, we took one of my daughter’s friends and she immediately became a fan of a Christian band.
Apart from telling my kids that 15 minutes early is on time, on time is late, and late in unacceptable, I also tell them that they need to enjoy the rare moments in life that God gives us where we can just soak in the glory of Him. We were in Shenandoah State Park on one of their trails and it involved a lot of climbing. On the way up, everyone was complaining and there were a lot of tears. But once we got to the top and were able to look for miles to both the east and west of the mountains, the kids realized just how big this world is. Of course, this has another significance for me as it was about 10 minutes later that I slipped and really hurt my leg and the kids had to help me down the mountain.
I love these pictures.
They really bring back significant memories throughout my life.
But there are three more pictures that are actually those which define me.
Proverbs 4:19 – The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
This first picture is simply a black shape. This picture designates my heart before Christ. Every sin that filled my heart before Christ built up and pulled me away from Him who created me. Black is the absence of light. When Christ is not in your life, your heart has no light in it. Christ is the light of the world.
John 8:12 – When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
The next image is that of pure white.
While black is the absence of all light, white is the opposite in that it is radiance of all light. When Christ came into my life, the black heart that once existed ceased to exist. Christ’s light came in and radiated throughout my heart.
This is the same that can happen for you. If you accept Christ into your heart, he will fill it with light.
But the question remains. How can someone go from a black heart of sin to a heart filled with light and love?
That comes up with the final picture.
1 Peter 1:18-19 – For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
In order for there to be sanctification, there needs to be a sacrifice. In the days before Christ, that sacrifice was living a brutally difficult life of the Law. The Law has not been abolished, but upheld by Christ who came to fulfill it for each and every one of us. His death on the cross provided the blood that is necessary for the sacrifice for our redemption.
If you feel that your heart is filled with the black evil of sin and you desire the clean slate, then believe in the sanctifying power in the blood of Christ. Call out to Him today.
If you are making this decision today, I would love to hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.