INSIGHT FROM THE GOD’S WORD Acting Like Kids
And He said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3
While talking to people in our congregation about where they or their children will be going to school this fall, while watching people in the stores shop around for “school supplies” and “school clothes, while making my own preparations for the classes I’ll be teaching this fall - the thought occurred me, “Oh, to be a child again!”
Would you welcome it, or are you content where you are? For some childhood is an age. For others, it's a state of mind. Though you can't reduce the double digits of our age, you still may be a child at heart if the following describes you:
- You ask questions no reasonable person can answer.
- You switch to the Cartoon Channel when nobody is looking.
- You are still growing.
- You act like a child despite your parents' best efforts to teach you better manners.
- You enjoy singing "Jesus Loves Me."
The last on the list shall be first. Among the blessings of being around children are the constant reminders of simple faith. Simple? Theologians have attempted to define and describe "faith" in detail. One oft-quoted scholar summarized faith most appropriately when he said, "Faith is believing what you know ain't so" (Anonymous). How interesting that people don't begin to think it "ain't so" until their childhood begins to seep away. In that light, Jesus' statement in this verse from the Gospel of Matthew makes lifesaving sense.
It is one of God's greatest miracles that the Holy Spirit plants faith in babies well before they can understand what Jesus did for them. Think of those faithful people who lose their memories because of age or accident. Their faith remains alive even as brain cells wither or malfunction. Add to your gratitude for the breadth of God's mercy those whose bodies age beyond the development of their intelligence. They also live with the gift of faith. In the end, they will have a superior life in heaven while those with tremendous intellect who "can't make sense" of faith will spend eternity in hell.
Don't ever become too smart! The faith you received by the power of the Holy Spirit is all you need. Your preschool faith grew enough to state the mystery in these poetic, profound, simple words: "Jesus loves me, this I know"! Through subsequent Bible study, the Holy Spirit led you to believe even more complex, unbelievable things - angels, the parting of the Red Sea, the virgin birth, and Christ's defeat of sin and death. Believing that these things are true fills an ever-growing storehouse of faith.
May your inner child always cling to the most elementary yet incredible truth: Jesus loves you.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for loving me even though I am unlovable. Thank You for making possible the miracle of faith that Your Spirit works in my heart and soul. Amen.
Rev. Richard A. Salcido
Last Updated: 9/5/2018