As I turn out the lights, sing the final song of the day, and tuck the covers under the chin of my five year old son Mason, one last thought passes through my lips to his ear.
Did you know, Mason that Jesus loves you very much?
Yes, is his sleepy reply.
That's so wonderful sweetie. Do you also know that there is another 5 year old little boy in the world somewhere, probably named Mason too, who has never ever heard the name of Jesus?
His eyes open and he turns over on his pillow to look at me.
Never? he asks, surprised and a little more awake now.
No sweetie, never. How do you think Mason will ever know about Jesus?
I don't know mom, at church?
Well, sadly there aren't any churches where Mason lives, at least not any that teach about Jesus.
Will his mom and dad tell him?
You know buddy, his mom and dad have probably never heard the name of Jesus either, so they wouldn't be able to teach him even if they wanted to. Hey, I know that your sleepy, but let's sit up for a sec and pray for this little boy. Let's pray that God would send someone to him who already knows that Jesus loves him.
Like me mom?
Yes babe, just like you.
Part of regular discussion around our house is "the world". Not so much world influences as opposed to biblical influences. But the world in terms of country and cultures different from our own. Little kids have limited experiences and a self-centered worldview. It's just they way they are. So, if we want to get them thinking about world issues, such as poverty, oppression, and unreached people groups, we have to open the dialogue.
We have several globes in our home, a couple I haven't painted over. A big atlas sits on a low table for the kids to thumb through. Daddy has been to India recently, and he shares all of his great adventures with us, and every once in a while mommy brings out an old green photo album from that time she went to Vietnam.
But why? Why do we feel the need to make our children aware of people who need Jesus?
We teach our kids a lot about obedience. Obey mommy, obey daddy, did you obey, why are you not obeying... all common phrases in our house. We expect and require obedience because we now that training our children to have obedient hearts is what is best for them. We are not perfect parents, and a lot of times I ask them to do things because it is what is best for me, not them. But under the overarching sovereignty of God, they are still required to obey in those times. It is training for a time when they will hear a command from their heavenly Father and be expected to obey.
Did you heard the command? The command to Go. Make disciples. Baptize in the Name. Teach everything commanded.
How many of us have heard this command and brushed it off like it isn't for us? What right do we have to ignore or excuse a direct command from the One who has all authority in heaven and earth??
I am not writing these words to lay a guilt trip on anyone or to encourage every believer to begrudging hand in a couple thousand dollars to check of a box of obedience to the great commission. What I am concerned about is the condition of our hearts, my heart, when we ignore a command from Christ and it has zero affect on us.
There is a lot of discussion to be had here. Discussion about not going in our own power, waiting for the call, being strategically reckless not just reckless. These discussion have been opened with my people. With my husband, in our church gatherings, in social circles around dinner, and with my sleepy eyed children before bed.
Be challenged to open a discussion in your homes and in your churches about the need in the world for the great name of Jesus to be spread to the ends of the earth, to places it has not yet been named.
He is worthy.