PRAY: Guide me with the Holy Spirit to understand Your word and grow in my relationship with You. Help me to understand what it means to receive the kingdom of God like a child.
READ: Mark 10:13-16
There are a few things to unpack in this passage. First, let's look at Jesus' response to the disciples when they rebuked people for bringing their children to Christ. He said, “Let the little children come to Me. Don’t stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."
To the disciples, the children were a hindrance, a waste of Jesus' time. But to Jesus, they were important. God's message is for all, not just people who have their lives together and not just people who are old enough to understand. At the same time, Jesus was teaching that even children must come to Him and to trust Him for salvation. If ever I become a parent, I know that to introduce my children to Christ and share the gospel with them will be the most important thing I do in their lives. Likewise, this is why children's ministry is crucial – its purpose is to bring Christ and the gospel message to children in a way that they can understand. Let’s not wait until they are older to start discipling kids, let’s give them a foundation while they are young!
I was a child when I came to know Christ as Lord and Savior, only 8. For a long time, I didn't think my salvation story was much to share, when compared to drastic conversions of some people I knew. However, a few years ago, when sharing my testimony, someone commented how beautiful it was that God had called me as a child and that I have been His for almost as long as I can remember. Jesus’ loving stance towards children in this passage resonates with me for this reason.
The second thing I’d like to focus on from this passage is what Jesus said about what our faith should look like. "Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." Childlike faith is pure and unjaded, vulnerable yet trusting, and fully dependent. The older you get, the harder this becomes, because people will let you down and dependence feels like weakness. God, however, is trustworthy, and reliable, and good. To believe this – really believe this – is to receive the kingdom of God like a child. There is nothing better.
1. How did you come to know Christ as Lord and Savior? When was the last time you shared it with someone? If you don't know how to answer this, is there someone you can talk to about it and pray with?
2. What does it mean to you to "receive the kingdom like a little child"?
Memorize: Mark 10:14
“When Jesus saw it, He was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to Me. Don’t stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’”