Soli Deo Gloria

Soli Deo Gloria means “Glory of God alone.” When we discovered that a daughter was on the way, we wanted to name her Gloria. We envisioned that every time we would call her name could serve as a reminder of God’s glory and His glorious call upon her life.

To the glory of God alone, our daughter Gloria has received the gospel.

She has heard salvation’s call. She wants to follow Jesus. She is a Christian. She wants to live for the glory of God alone.

Ever since I can remember, Gloria has possessed a true sincerity regarding spiritual matters. Our prayers have been that she would have a big heart for God, and that has been answered at every stage of her development. While supremely joyful, she maintains a very serious disposition when talking about the things of the Lord.

An Unyielding Determination

For the last few months, she has really increased with her gospel questions. The majority of her conversations with every member of our house seemed to center upon what it means to be a Christian. She would ask her parents or her brothers regarding issues of faith, the Bible, and salvation.

She just displayed an unyielding determination to get things settled.

  • In the mornings, she would say, “Last night when you closed the door, I just talked with God and told Him how much I wanted to follow Him. I can hear Him speaking back to my heart.”
  • “Dad, when I’m trying to go to sleep at night, I talk to God. I ask him questions and I feel like I hear him speaking to me. Then in the morning, I ask you the same questions and if you give the same answer, I know it was him speaking!” No pressure there…
  • In the car, she would ask, “How do you know when it’s time to become a Christian?”
  • At devotion times at night, she would provide incredibly genuine insights into the conversations.

As a pastor, I see so many people question the legitimacy of a conversion if it happened when they were young. We wanted to make sure she was sure, and we just kept encouraging her to take the time to work through all the issues.

“But Dad, what else do I have to do to become a Christian?”

“That’s just it, darling, there’s nothing you have to do to become a Christian. It’s not about what you can do but what Christ has done for you.”

“Ohhh…” she would often reply.

A Helpful Devotion

She was relentless, but we remained cautious. She would respond with accurate statements, but we waited to hear her articulate her own need for grace. One night as we finished up a family devotion, she volunteered to pray. “God, thank you for sending Jesus to go to the cross for our sins. I know that I have sinned against you, but I believe that Jesus was willing to take my place. You have the power to make me a Christian. Will you help me know if I really am a Christian? And God, thank you for giving me a family that teaches me more about You. Amen.”

As we finished that night, she seemed so very close. The next morning, I got up and prayed that we could discern her heart and motives. I had recently preached on Jesus inviting the little children to come to Him, and I needed confirmation that she wanted to please Jesus instead of pleasing her family. “Jesus, please let her hear your voice clearly as you call to her.”

That night, she had such precious insights during our family devotion. As she questioned again how she would know, Amanda did such a fantastic job of talking about how God saves us (she’s the stellar teacher in our home). “Gloria, we don’t know for sure. We don’t have the eyes of God. You might already be a Christian, or God might save you in your bed tonight. It’s what He does. We don’t have His understanding, but it is our job to make sure that you are confident you are ready to follow Him.”

A Prayerful Assurance

The next morning, I was praying in the living room in the quiet of the morning. Since I normally pray out loud to stay focused and awake, I can’t always hear what is going on around me. I was praying specifically for Gloria that she would have complete assurance, and then I thought I heard something. I glanced around the dark living room and didn’t see anyone there. I went back to work, and then I thought I heard footsteps again. “Is there someone in here?”

All of a sudden, Gloria pounced from around the corner, hugged my neck, and exclaimed, “Daddy, it happened last night! God told me that I am a Christian! I am really sure. I know that I am a follower of Jesus.”

As I rejoiced with her, she pulled back and said, “Were you just praying for me? I thought that’s what you were doing.”

As the rest of the family gathered together, we asked her to explain to us how she would tell someone else what it meant to be a Christian. I said, “Alright crew, what do you think? How confident are you that Gloria is a disciple of Jesus now?”

All thumbs up all around the room. All smiles. All hugs. All legitimate joy. Each of us went around the room and prayed for Gloria as she began the greatest journey this life has to offer – following Jesus.

While there were so many precious moments, seeing her tear up as her big brothers went completely bananas with the news meant so much as a father. They rejoiced so much, and it overwhelmed her. I grabbed them and reminded, “She looks up to you so much. That’s a great responsibility to carry.”

As we prepare for her baptism in a few weeks, we rejoice. Our prayer has been that every member of our household would want to follow Jesus. God has been gracious to us yet again.

Everyone’s story is different, yet Jesus’ love is consistent.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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