Scripture Reading: Leviticus 4:1-5:13 / Mark 10:13-31 / Psalm 27:7-14
Have you ever asked a child what they wanted to be when they grew up? You will get a lot of interesting and amazing answers. Children have large dreams yet they do not have a great grasp on reality. We have great doubt children will attain what they envision and believe they will eventually figure out their place and purpose.
That type of thinking may be classified as “mature” but it isn’t always “right”. Some children have unrealistic dreams of becoming super-heroes yet they can fulfill that dream by pursuing service or health care professions that are instrumental in helping and rescuing others. Children’s dreams are not to be discouraged but directed with a loving and discerning spirit.
One day as Jesus was teaching He was interrupted by special guests... children. The children immediately became the focus of Christ’s attention while His disciples did not see the significance and importance of the children. The disciples began sending the children away and even rebuked them. “When Jesus saw this, he was indignant, He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Mark 10:14)
The disciples didn’t think Jesus needed to spend His time with little children…Jesus had more important people to reach. Jesus set the issue straight – children were not only welcomed, they belonged in His arms. They had every right to be in His presence because the kingdom of God belonged to them. No child, no matter how young or feeble, was disregarded by Jesus.
Our brains are dramatically molded during the first 5 years of our life…. how we think, what we think and how we behave throughout life. Infants learn and acquire an incredible amount of knowledge in a short span of time. The most profound learning occurs before 5 yrs. old…making it the “window of opportunity.”
In 30 years, Brazilian missionary Bernhard Johnson saw 1.8 million people come to Christ. He said that if he could do it all over again, he would devote all his time to working with children. His reasoning…”Because I believe the long-term results would be greater.” In his final years, he founded dozens of Christian schools, daycares and provided Bible curriculum for 100’s of public schools. He got it!
Jesus praised and admonished us to have the simplistic faith of a child. We often think the Kingdom of God needs to be understood. Jesus said salvation is not about understanding; it’s about faith. A child’s faith is required for entrance in God’s Kingdom. 80% to 85% of those who believe in Christ came to know the Lord between the ages of 4 and 14. We cannot neglect the children in the harvest field. Children have the most valuable lives in the world, “When an adult comes to Christ, a soul is saved but when a child comes to Christ…a life is saved!”
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!