Going Beyond Color

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For those with the gift of sight, color is the richness of life. God has splashed His creation canvas with color distinction. We see it in the rising and setting of the sun, in fields of grain and flowers, in painted walls and dyed fabrics, and in deep water and heavenly blue skies. In each of these mediums color tantalizes our senses and causes us to reflect on the beauty of the earth.

Color also serves to define the races. In the people of the earth we see rich skin tones as only God could paint. Sadly and all too often, however, skin colors expose the true color of our hearts and define our attitudes. Over thirty years ago I attended a skin color class. The class was held at my local Red Cross. I went to donate blood, but I left with a newly defined heart for all people groups. The nurse positioned me on the table with my head at the feet of another blood donor. As my own blood, steadily dripped into the collection bag, I glanced at the bag of the person who was at angle to me. Though I had only seen his shoes, I knew that he had come to the Red Cross that day with the same intention as my own—to give blood for the life of another. For some reason, I took note of the color of his blood. It was deep red just like my own. When my blood bag was filled the nurse helped me sit up on the side of the table. At that moment, my color lesson was complete. The man with the deep red blood had deep brown skin. Suddenly, I realized that Jesus viewed both of us the same. Life is in the blood. We are defined in Jesus’ eyes by the color of our blood, not by the color of our skin. And what is more, Jesus shed His life blood for all skin colors. On His trip to the Wooden Cross he gave His blood gift of eternal life to all peoples of the world without respect or consideration of flesh tone. Lesson learned and cemented in my heart!

One of the most God-honoring lessons that we can teach our children is that Jesus showed no discrimination when he died for the sins of the world (John 3:16). This crucial family lesson is learned best through our own example. Words alone will not suffice. Take your next generation beyond the color of skin to the beautiful deep red blood that is pumped through the heart of every one of God’s created human beings.

The question is not, “What color is your skin?” The question is, “What color do you bleed?” The only race that should concern us is the race toward unity with all of those for whom Christ died. Now is the time for all of us to go beyond color! Now is the time to pray for the gift of sight! AMEN!…may it be so to God’s glory and delight.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7

OPP (opportunity for action): In my church this week we sang the familiar children’s song of faith: Jesus Loves the Little Children. Do you recall the words? Jesus loves the little children of the the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world. Regardless of your color, make this song your song. Sing it for yourself and to your children. I encourage you to find an opportunity this week to communicate with or help someone whose color is different from your own. Make sure your children are in full sight of your words and actions.  Chip away at the barriers and build layers of the Color Red…the deep beautiful color of the blood that was shed universally for the forgiveness of sins.

Next Blog Post: A Grace Face

A Robe for Samuel

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With great joy I share the following excerpt from Faith Feedings: 12 Principles to nurture your child’s spiritual development (Release Date: June 18, 2015). (Faith Feeding 1. Ideal Mother)

“In time, the Lord answered Hannah’s prayer. She named her son Samuel, which sounds like the Hebrew word for heard of God. After Samuel was weaned from his mother’s milk, Hannah kept her promise. She took Samuel to Eli the priest in Shiloh and left him there to grow in the Lord’s service.
Can you imagine Hannah’s days and nights of anguish over her son? Was he safe? Was he being fed properly? What would he be like when she saw him again? Such thoughts about her son prompted Hannah to make a special gift. But Samuel was ministering before the LORD–a boy wearing a linen ephod.  Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. (1 Samuel 2:18-19).
Ponder that robe. As women, we know it gave Hannah hope. She wasn’t through the city gate before she began planning next year’s robe. Her thoughts took away the sting of parting from Samuel year after year. The biggest question Hannah had to answer each year was the size of the next robe. She had to evaluate her son’s present stature and estimate a year’s growth. Hannah knew the robe she was making was not an ordinary garment. She understood the spiritual significance of a linen ephod. God himself had fashioned the priestly robes, and it was for God himself that Samuel was being raised to serve. The annual robe was a statement of faith that Samuel had, indeed, been a gift from God. The robe changed as Hannah’s faith grew. No doubt there was a prayer with every stitch that young Samuel would grow to be a man of godly character and purpose. Hannah’s handiwork framed Samuel’s physical, spiritual and emotional growth in his early childhood. The yearly Growing Robes were markers of Hannah’s hopes and dreams for her son.”

Hannah’s hopes and dreams for her son ring true for all mothers.  I believe that every mother wants to do what is best and right for their child (And grandparent, aunt, uncle, and father).  Let’s take a nudge from Hannah.  Consider how you would fashion a robe for your child–a robe for him or her to grow into in the next twelve months.

Begin by sketching a robe on a piece of paper. Thoughtfully and prayerfully, list on the robe two tendancies that you see in your child now.  Identify two godly character traits you would like to instill in your “Samuel” and list them as well.  You have begun making a Growing Robe! Let the faith wardrobe begin.  Get the hangers ready!

OPP: (an App in action)  In the comment space below share with me one godly character trait you would like to develop in your child.  In turn, I will respond (to the best of my ability) with a Bible verse to add to your Robe.  Example: Honesty–“The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.” Proverbs 12:22  I look forward to partnering with you for the faith of your precious next generation.

Next Bog Post: His Presence in the Present