12/18 Matthew 19:14

14 but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."

This passage always reminds me of a time at Capernaum when I had grown my hair and beard for an Easter production. A number of nationalities had spontaneously gathered to sing praise songs. As we left, women with children came to me to ask me to pray for their children. It was a very moving experience.

The disciples did not want Jesus to be bothered with the children, but ordered the disciples to let them come and not hinder them. The reason was that the kingdom of heaven belonged to such as these. Jesus must have been referring to their innocence and dependency on their parents. They are eternal souls that have yet to be corrupted by all the temptations of this world. In their simplicity and purity they show us the peace of simple trust and the joy of living.

Surveys have shown that the majority of believers in Christ made the decision to follow Him before they became adults. That is not because they were ignorant, but rather it was because their souls were less corrupted by the enticements of the world. How we need to reach out to the youth with the gospel before the world sinks its hooks into them. We are responsible to share the Bible stories and our testimony with our children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and all children we have the privilege of being with. Let them come to you. Enter their world and play with them on their level, and find the opportunity to share Jesus with them.

Consider: As we grow in Christ we should also demonstrate that childlike trust in God and the joy of simple pleasures in every day. Have you forgotten how to have real fun, like sledding down a snowy hill, or jumping into a lake, or catching a fish, or how about playing hide-and-seek? Children love it when adults enter their world and share their joy. To such belongs the kingdom of heaven.