Tuesday’s with Madeline…

Madeline’s 11th Birthday

Romans 5:1-2 and an ink pen are very similar.

“What?”  Yeah that’s right. “How?” you are probably wondering.

Every other Tuesday I take my daughter Madeline to breakfast; it’s time spent with my girls that I absolutely cherish.  One week is Madeline and one week is Grace.  When Lydia is old enough she will be added to the rotation, although we are a few years away.

Madeline is my loud daughter.  She has a sign in her room “live life out loud” and it fits her personality well.  She is very funny and can always get the family laughing at her antics.

My primary responsibility is to share the gospel with Madeline and attempt to show her the need for a Savior.  I’m hopeful in the time we spend together and I trust in the Lord as I faithfully deliver His message as often as I have opportunity.

Tuesday breakfast gives me a wonderful occasion to search Madeline’s heart, to get to know her, to shepherd her, and to be the loving father God has called me to be.  Grace’s conversion this year has had a big impact on Madeline’s life and she can see the difference in her sister.  I continue to hope that these vital years God will use to draw her to Himself.

Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

If you just read this verse I’d like to ask you to read it again, slowly…  I really want you to marinade in these words.  Can we begin to grasp the magnitude of this statement?  If you are a born again follower of Jesus Christ you have “peace with God”.  This is no small deal.  What if you don’t have peace with God?  You are condemned.  You only have punishment to look forward to.  I don’t write this to shock anyone.  This is reality and this is the truth.

You have been justified by faith.  You are “just” in the eyes of God, no longer guilty for your sins, because you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ.  This is also an incredible truth.

Here’s where the ink pen comes in.  As Madeline and I discussed these verses I held up my pen and asked her if she had faith this was a pen?  She said “Yes Dad.”  I said “what if this pen doesn’t write would it still be a pen?”  “Well yes, it’s still a pen but it’s worthless.”

Exactly right, and a pen that won’t write should be thrown out; kind of like faith without works is dead (James 2:17).

If I say I have faith in Christ but my life doesn’t reflect my profession, I don’t really have faith and I’ll be thrown into the fire and burned ( Matthew 13:42).  Our lives must be a living sacrifice to God, holy and pleasing to Him or they are built on a false faith.

To perfection you might ask?  No, not to perfection but recognition of your sin does something completely different to you than it ever did before.

It’s an analogy that resonated with Madeline and it resonated with me as I consider it this week.  Jesus also used analogies.  He called them parables.


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