What is it about little children that is so important to Jesus?
What is it about becoming like them that gains us entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven?
“About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:1-4
I saw a glimpse of the value of little children last evening at the “In-Back Dinner” held at Solid Rock Day Camp.
Solid Rock is a local day camp that has been providing a great summer camp experience for kids since 1977.
At Solid Rock they believe, “At Solid Rock we seek to promote a fun, safe, friendly, and spiritual atmosphere that will provide opportunities to develop relationships and teachable moments that the Holy Spirit can use to draw campers and families to Christ and lead staff and volunteers to spiritual maturity.”
Last night I heard many stories that proved their statement of faith successful this summer. Many counselors shared their experiences of children wanting to know about Jesus. They told of their camper’s eagerness to have Jesus in their hearts, but not knowing how. Counselors told of their own uncertainty of how to guide them through such an awesome decision so they looked for another counselor to come along side and together they answered their questions and explained how to become a child in God’s family through faith in Jesus. Then when they asked the children if they wanted to confess their sins and ask Jesus into their hearts, the children were so excited and wanted to pray a salvation prayer.
Oh the simplicity of Childlike Faith!
Then many of the children wanted a Bible, and were so excited when they received their very own! They were eager to know what God had written and chose to read whenever they could, sometimes instead of playing games with the other campers!
Oh the simplicity of Childlike Trust!
While the staff were going about their days teaching devotions, sharing at camp meeting, and living out the Fruit of the Spirit, the power of God’s word, and the power of His love were making a difference in the hearts and lives of the campers, drawing them into the family of God!
God’s word and His Holy Spirit created an atmosphere that Jesus values!
A simple faith that what Jesus says is the truth. When heart and mind are free from lies that life brings along the way, and a choice to completely believe Jesus.
A simple trust that Jesus is the way to God. When heart and mind are humble and choose the ways of Jesus rather than our own ways.
We guard what we value!
“One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.” Mark 10:13-16
Reading through the Gospels I don’t remember too many times Jesus became angry with His disciples, but when they scolded parents for bringing their children to Him, Jesus had some sharp words for them.
Why did Jesus become so angry?
These little children had something that Jesus valued.
The disciples saw no value of children in the presence of Jesus. They saw them as a waste of Jesus’ time. They saw them as a hinderance to Jesus’ work. They told the parents they were doing something wrong by bringing their children to Jesus.
These were what made Jesus angry…
Anything that hinders children from coming to Jesus!
Anything that hinders Childlike Faith!
In this story it is easy to see the wrong in what the disciples did and said, but what about you?
First of all, how have you de-valued children, or adults? Have you seen them as wasting your time, as hinderances to your work? Have you believed the lie that you shouldn’t bring others to Jesus?
And second, what have you allowed to keep you from Jesus? How has pride kept you from believing that what Jesus says is the truth? How have lies from the experiences of life kept you from childlike trust in Jesus?
I am thankful to serve at a camp that values what Jesus values and I’m so thankful for God’s power and love that has made a difference in so many lives this summer.
The counselor’s stories were a great inspiration to me and I pray that no matter who I spend time with, whether children or adults, I will realize the value they have to Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within me create an atmosphere that enables others to come to Him!
And I pray for the humility of Childlike Faith to come into the presence of Jesus, to completely trust Him, and receive His hand of blessing upon me, and some glorious day enter into the Kingdom of Heaven!
May that be the prayer of your heart as well!