June 25, 2024
Children

Reading

Matthew 19:14 - but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."

Summary

In Matthew 19, we see a beautiful picture of Jesus' heart for children. The disciples try to prevent people from bringing little children to Jesus, likely thinking they were not important enough to warrant His time and attention. But Jesus rebukes His disciples and welcomes the children with open arms, saying, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 19:14). Jesus takes the children in His arms, lays His hands on them, and blesses them. This demonstrates that children are precious to God and have a special place in His kingdom. It also shows us something about Jesus' character - He was the type of person that children were drawn to and loved being around. The kingdom of God belongs to those who come to Him with childlike faith and humility. Children are not threatening, not good at deceiving, and humbly dependent. Jesus says we must be converted and become like little children to enter God's kingdom. This means having a simple, trusting faith, free of pride and pretense. As parents brought their children to Jesus, so we should still bring our children to Him today. He wants to bless them and welcome them into His kingdom. We should never hinder children from coming to Jesus but do all we can to lead them to Him. May we all approach our Heavenly Father with the humble, dependent faith of a child, knowing we are loved and welcomed into His arms.

Reflection

This passage is a powerful reminder of the value and importance of children in God's eyes. In a culture where children were often viewed as unimportant or a burden, Jesus elevates their status and welcomes them into His presence. He rebukes His disciples for trying to turn the children away, making it clear that the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who come to Him with childlike faith. As adults, we often struggle to approach God with this type of simple, trusting faith. We rely on our own wisdom, strength and accomplishments. But Jesus says we must be converted, our pride and self-sufficiency stripped away, becoming like little children to enter His kingdom. Children have a special ability to trust, to love without pretense, to humbly depend on others. They are not concerned with status or putting on airs to impress. This is the posture we are called to adopt before the Lord - one of complete dependence, genuine faith, and open-hearted love. Just as parents brought their precious little ones to Jesus, we must make every effort to bring our children to Him as well. This means praying for them, teaching them God's Word, modeling faith, and encouraging their own relationship with Christ. We should never be a hindrance to our children finding Jesus, but do everything possible to lead them to Him. At the same time, we cannot force or coerce faith. The beauty is that Jesus simply says "let" the children come. He does not say make, push or demand. He invites and welcomes, and their childlike faith responds. Oh that we would have the same response to Jesus' invitation! Whether you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher or friend of children - know that your role in pointing them to Jesus is eternally significant. And as we come to God ourselves, may we all approach Him with the humble, sincere, dependent faith of a child. For this is the disposition that inherits the very kingdom of heaven.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your heart for children. Thank You that Your kingdom belongs to those who come to You in childlike faith. Forgive us for the times we have overcomplicated our relationship with You or relied on our own strength and wisdom. Help us to approach You with humble, dependent hearts. Thank You for the children in our lives. We pray that we would be faithful to bring them to You, teaching them Your ways and modeling a life of sincere faith. Let us never be a hindrance to them finding relationship with You. Give us wisdom and grace as we guide and nurture their faith. Lord, for those who have lost the childlike posture of faith, we pray for a fresh encounter with You. Remove pride, pretense and self-sufficiency. Renew and restore the joy and simplicity of a childlike heart. May we never lose the wonder and awe of who You are. Most of all, we pray for the little ones. Bless them and hold them close. May they grow to know, love and follow You all of their days. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Generated Image(s)

Tender Embrace of the Savior: Jesus, with open arms, welcomes the little ones, His divine light shining upon them.

Tender Embrace of the Savior:
Jesus, with open arms, welcomes the little ones, His divine light shining upon them.

This image was generated by AI from the devotion text.