“When I grow up, I want to be a little kid.” Joseph Heller
There are a few people in my life who, when I was a teenager, impacted me by their interest in me. Uncle George (one of the trusted adults at my growing up church) would come and find me after church, give me a special handshake and ask my opinion on some sporting event – imagine that, he asked my opinion! Mr. Warke didn’t know me well but he opened his home to our weekly Bible Study. I remember distinctly that he respected and showed real interest in me. He was a lawyer and rubbed shoulders with all sorts of powerful people every day, but he showed such curiosity about me. These men left a lasting impact on me.
Strangely, even though most of us were children (and teenagers) at one time, we forget what it means to be young. I wonder if you are like me. Do you get confronted by this all the time with your own children? For me, it’s easy to see my own children as obstacles to encountering God. Sometimes they are interruptions to my special times of worship or noisy interruptions to my schedule, peaceful evening and agenda.
Let the Children Come to Me
I’m personally confronted by this story in Luke 6 where there were some parents who wanted Jesus to bless their children.
15 Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
2 FACTS according to Jesus:
- The Kingdom of God belongs to people who are like children
- You must model you life after children in order to receive this Kingdom
Did you notice Jesus’ instructions:
- Let the children come. I see myself running behind my children as they run into love with Jesus and obedience of Jesus.
- Don’t hinder them. We are the gatekeepers of encounters with Jesus – I see myself standing between children and the embrace of Jesus. I can hinder the children or I can hinder those who would keep the children from coming. I suppose I need to figure out which treasure I’m protecting. In another passage Jesus suggests that it would be better for me to be dropped in a lake with concrete shoes on than to guard the wrong treasure.
- You must receive the Kingdom like children. If children are not your model for love, obedience, faith and Kingdom living, are you looking at the wrong role model? Can you think now of a child? What is that child role modelling for you?
I would like to be part of a community where children take the place that Jesus has for them. Today, just like many years ago, Jesus is inviting us to:
Walk behind: as our children run to the King.
Stand in front: and welcome them to the presence of our King.
Receive the Kingdom: let the children lead you in worship, faith & obedience of Jesus.
Will you join me?
Tell me, what are the children in your life role modelling for you?