Jesus Loves the Little Children

Jesus loves the little children

All the children of the world

Red and yellow, black and white

They are precious in His sight

Jesus loves the little children of the world

When the God who made us looks upon us, He does not see skin color, except as a celebration of the tapestry of His creation. He sees humans. He sees children whom He loves.

Jesus stood up for children one day, when His disciples tried to shuttle them aside.

"People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples 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. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.' ” (Mark 10:13-15 NIV)

As I get older, I have to admit sometimes children's boisterousness and seeking for attention get on my nerves more than they used to. Don't get me wrong. I love children. I want children to be nurtured and loved. I want children to be protected from neglect and abuse. I know one of the chief values of the Church of Jesus Christ is our value of and love for and ministry to children. But sometimes I want a little peace and quiet, and sometimes I fall victim to the old thinking that "children should be seen and not heard."

But then the love of Jesus checks my spirit and opens my eyes to the joy and wonder and love of a child. And I remember what Jesus said. Unless we become like a child, we cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

Being a fallen human being means that I am more prone, in my human nature, to be childish than to be child-like. I am more prone to look at life through the lens of what I like and want. I too often think of what will make me happy in the moment instead of what will be joyful in the long run. Childish faith lacks maturity, and the resulting self-focused discipleship does not please God.

But child-like faith is spelled t-r-u-s-t. When our children were little and something made them upset or afraid, we would hold them close, and in complete trust they would calm down and melt into our arms. As long as mom or dad were alongside them, they were willing to try all kinds of new adventures like swimming or roller coasters. God is pleased when we display the same kind of complete trust in Him our children and grandchildren display for us.

As adults, we are marked by all kinds of disappointments and failures. An adult realism and even skepticism kicks in that sometimes causes us to wonder if we can really trust God to keep loving us no matter what. We wonder if God will forgive us one more time after so many failures before. We fear God will not protect us. We think He might abandon us. The antidote for these doubts and fears is trust. The apostle John tells us, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18 NIV)

Jesus loves the little children. All the children of the world. And no matter our chronological age, each one of us is one of those children whom Jesus loves. The proof: He laid down His life on a Cross to pay for our sin and redeem us from death!

It is Christ-like to love children. And it is child-like to love Jesus. That's the way it works! Holy Spirit, fill me with the gift of love and trust, so I can love you most, and love the children well.

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