Jesus said, “Let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:4)
Of course the Kingdom of heaven belongs to children; they wholeheartedly believe! They have the purest smile, boundless joy, a complete lack of pretense, and the limitless capacity to love.
It needs to be said here that if you are pouring into children’s lives, yours is a holy calling. Whether you are a sweet faith-filled mother who has forgotten what it is like to sleep through the night, a committed saint who has given Sunday mornings to generations of kids, or a grandmother loving well, be encouraged. You are on the front lines, and what you do couldn’t be more valuable or more significant.
Picture for a moment a small child in a busy crowd holding her Father’s hand. She walks confidently because she knows her daddy will keep her safe. Becoming like little children calls us to deep trust and full dependence on Jesus. It calls us to embrace each day with joyful anticipation, loving abundantly, and forgiving quickly. Having a childlike faith is not an immature faith. Instead, it is a beautiful picture of how to live out what we believe.
Then he said to them, "I can guarantee this truth: Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
This is a hard verse for many of us. Let's go ahead and admit it. What comes so naturally to a child has been squeezed out of many of us by the rawness of life. We become stiff and sore from our laziness, far too hesitant in our acceptance of others, too careful with our hearts, and too stingy with our praise.
But the Christ-follower is called to live differently. In the upside down kingdom of Jesus, the last are first, the poor are rich, and the children lead the way. We come to Jesus as a child would, humbly admitting our need and gratefully receiving from Jesus a gift of salvation we could never earn ourselves. Then we continue to walk with Him in deep trust, especially when the path ahead seems unclear. God is good. God is faithful. God is enough. This is the lesson of childlike faith.
Reflect and Respond:
1. Has it been a long time since you did something just for fun? Try something childlike today. Color or paint a picture, read a story, dance to music. God has put a stamp of creativity in you so that you can express it for His glory.
2. What are the children in your life teaching you? Take some time to write down tangible lessons you need to remember.
3. Pray for eyes to see children the way God does. Remember, you may be the clearest picture of Jesus a child sees. He will give you everything you need to love patiently and sacrificially. Read through 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 in the Passion Translation.
4. Your mother was right. The time really does go quickly. How can you value the time you have today and make a memory that will last?