Big Picture

Tips & Tricks

How to Recognize a True Decision

—Sally Middleton

Suppose you talked with Sarah a few weeks ago about salva­tion and she prayed to receive Christ as her Savior. Now you’re wondering, Did she make a true de­cision? God alone identifies every true be­liever (Matt. 7:23). But we need to know the spiritual condition of our students as much as we can to help meet their real heart needs. Consider the following evidences as possible ways to recognize true deci­sions.

A Love of God’s Word

When a person receives Christ as Savior he has a new relationship to God and to His Word. The Bible has new im­portance in his life—a “love letter” from His Heavenly Father, an instruction book for daily living, his sword of the Spirit and the source of God’s promises for his every need. Look for a positive response as you show the child how his friendship with God will grow through reading and obeying His Word.

A Sensitivity to Sin

A born-again child has the Holy Spirit living in him to convict him of sin but God also uses you in this pro­cess. Be sure you are addressing specific sins as you teach. Then look for spiritual growth.
It may be difficult to see change in a child because he has been taught to behave well outwardly. Attitudes of the heart—envy, jealousy, pride—are not as easy for him to identify as sin. Com­plaining, laziness and pouting also need to be addressed.
Encourage children to share victo­ries in their lives. A child enrolled in the CEF Mailbox Club™ wrote, “My lesson said that perhaps I have a bad temper. I have tried for a long time to overcome it. Now I know how to turn it over to God who lives in me. He takes care of it and it’s gone.”

A Willingness to Testify

Give opportunities in class for chil­dren to tell when and how they came to know the Lord. Follow up their state­ments with a specific question such as, “Why did you need to receive Jesus as your Savior?” “What did He do for you when you prayed to receive Him?” “Where is Jesus living now?” “How do you know for sure that Jesus saved you from your sin?” Some children will be too shy to express their testimony before a group. Invite them to come and tell you person­ally or even write you a note telling about their salvation.

The Desire to See Others Saved

A child’s concern for others to know Jesus may be evidenced through his prayer requests and response to giving for missions. Encourage your students to pray for unsaved friends and bring them to special programs such as an out­reach party.
Let children know you welcome their friends. My husband led Gary to Christ in the Good News Club in our home. A few weeks later Gary came to our door with a boy we hadn’t met be­fore. His friend couldn’t come to club but Gary knew he needed the Savior and brought him to us. We were able to help him lead his friend to Christ.

Because only God knows if a child has made a true decision you may be unsure at times if you’ve been a sower or a reaper. Be faithful to build on the foundation you have laid, pray for un­derstanding in the child’s heart and keep looking for evidence!

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