Monday Morning Devotion-August 17, 2020
Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you anyone who doesn't have their kind of faith will never get into the Kingdom of God. Mark 10:14-15
A few years back I saw this picture on Facebook that caused me to stop and think. It was a drawing of a little girl and Jesus. She was holding a little tiny, Teddy bear. Jesus was reaching out to her and asking her to give Him her Teddy Bear.
The girl was reluctant to give up her Teddy Bear and says, "But, I love it God." What she can't see is the other hand of Jesus which is behind his back and holding a much larger Teddy Bear.
The implication is that when she parts with something she loves very much and gives it to the Lord, he blesses that gift with a return gift that is much greater than she could have imagined.
I have to admit when I first saw that I teared up. OK, so I'm a softie. I admit it. But it touches me even more now that I have two granddaughters with one of them living with us full time. When preparing to write this week's devotion and seeing that heart-warming scene I now have a double appreciation for its significance.
Our Quinnie was only four years old back then and my heart was constantly warmed by her simple innocence. I realized that there was so much about this world that she doesn't know. Heck there is so much I don't know and I'm°uh, well "age is just a number and mine is unlisted." :).
Of course, now Quinn is 10 years old so in three more years she will know everything because she will be a teenager. :)
And Ellee, just turned five, going on thirteen. She thinks she knows everything already. Sometimes I just sit there and smile as I listen to her explain things to PaPa that of course I already know. But her voice inflection and facial expressions just add a different flavor to even the simplest of things.
Having had boys I'm learning that raising girls is°uh, different. A real challenge to understate the case. But, now I like to think I know the rest of that Facebook story. I believe the little girl being soft hearted and trusting Jesus handed over her precious little Teddy Bear to Him. And then when he pulled that very large Teddy Bear from behind his back and gave it to her. I can imagine her little face lighting up with the biggest smile in the world. Her trust was rewarded. She had faith enough to hand over to the Lord something that she treasured a lot. And He was happy to give her an even greater gift.
In today's scripture lesson some parents had brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. The disciples tried to turn them away thinking that Jesus was too busy with important stuff to stop and bless a bunch of kids.
When he saw what they were doing Jesus was not happy. On the spot he gave the disciples a Kingdom lesson. There wasn't anything more important than turning His attention to those children.
The lesson they learned was that this is the kind of faith that the Disciples and everyone else needs to have. Here's what the Quest Study Bible says about this:
"To feel secure, all children need is a loving look and gentle touch from someone who cares. They believe us because they trust us. Jesus said that people should trust in Him with this kind of childlike faith. We do not have to understand all the mysteries of the universe. It should be enough to know that God loves us and provides forgiveness."
This incident occurred on Jesus' final trip to Judea from Capernaum. Earlier when he had arrived at Capernaum, he discovered that His disciples were arguing about who among them was the greatest.
He sat down and called them over and after asking what they had been discussing on the road said to them: "Anyone who wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else. Then he put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them: Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes my Father who sent me." (Mark 9:35-37).
QSB says: "The disciples caught up in their constant struggle for personal success, were embarrassed to answer Jesus' question (about what they had been discussing). It is always painful to compare our motives with Christ's. It is not wrong for believers to be industrious or ambitious. But when ambition pushes obedience and service to one side, it becomes sin. "
So once again a child played a role in a life lesson that Jesus dispensed to His followers. "Jesus taught the disciples to welcome children. This was a new approach in a society where children were usually treated as second-class citizens. It is not only important to treat children well but also to teach them about Jesus."
How many times have we felt the Lord calling on us and we said, "But Lord I love where I am now. I don't want to do something else." Or "Lord, I would help but, I'm super busy and I know someone else will do it. It won't be left unattended."
I think even when we are very sincere about turning everything over to the Lord and seeking His guidance there is always something, some little area, something we treasure that we hold back. We are not ready to surrender all.
Over the years I've come across lots of messages about risk taking. I mentioned in an earlier devotion the line of dialogue in the movie "Home Run" which was actually spoken by a kid. "Nothing great was ever accomplished without taking a risk."
What we sometimes view as risky business turns out to be no risk at all when turned over to the Lord. If it is His call°if he put it in front of you to start with, He will lead you through it.
And when you hand over that tiny Teddy Bear of a life situation or a circumstance, He rewards that action with a much larger Teddy Bear of success. You will discover that what you were clinging to and holding so tightly was only a drop in the bucket of success you could achieve when placed in the hand of the Master.
Turn that "But, Lord°" into "Here it is Lord. Use it for your glory." That act of trust is the way you demonstrate the faith of a child. It reaps dividends far beyond what our minds could have imagined while we were clinging to that tightly held tiny Teddy Bear of hope.
Monday Prayer: Lord thank you for this lesson on the strength and power of simple child-like faith. Amen!