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Let the little children come to Him



  • May 22, 2018
Guest Blogger

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My little boy is just shy of 2 years old, but every day he hears the Gospel in our home from imperfect parents who know the power of the resurrection deeply. One of the greatest things my mom taught me was what her mom and her mom’s mom taught her: when you’re a parent, you’ve always got a captive audience.

That school of thought is what led to my salvation as a 4-year-old. Even at an early age, I was listening to what my parents, grandparents, Sunday School teachers, and others were sharing with me about the hope of Jesus. Asking Jesus to rescue me from my sin at such a young age didn’t just save me from the sins I had already committed. It was also my salvation from the life of darkness that I would have known had Jesus not stepped in so early in my story to intervene.

I’m so grateful to carry on a rich, spiritual legacy by teaching my son in the ways of God. Picking up the torch to light the fires of the Gospel in the next generation is an honor. But not every child has someone in his life to lead him to the light of Christ. Countless children around the world have no one to pour the Gospel into their lives even once, let alone daily.

How do we fix this?

Realize the value of children

Did you realize that there are 1.9 billion children in the world? That’s 27 percent of the entire world’s population. That’s more people than live in China, the world’s largest country, or India, the world’s second-largest country. Can you imagine what it would look like if all of the world’s children were gathered together in one of those countries?

Do you know what that means? That means children matter a lot.

Many of these children have parents, but many do not. According to a 2017 UNICEF report, there are approximately 140 million orphans worldwide. THAT is about as many people as live in Russia. Again, can you imagine that visual of all the orphans of the world gathered together in just Russia?

These little people are desperate for someone to give them hope.

Picture all of those faces searching to know who they are, why they are here, and where they are going. Can you see all of those eyes looking for who will love them, care for them, and never leave them?

Remember what Jesus said about children

Those of us who have grown up in the church know how Jesus felt about children. We know it so well, that sometimes we are almost immune to the weight of His words. We’ve seen His words dressing cute pieces of nursery art, adorable little kids’ Bibles, and even over children’s ministry wings of our churches. We see the words. We know the words. But in our familiarity with them, do we really live them out?

“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” — Matthew 19:14 (NIV)

Let those words sink in a little more than they usually do.

Let the little children come to me.

Do not hinder them.

For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.

How can the little children come to Him if they don’t know about Him?

How can the little children not be hindered from coming to Jesus if their worlds are full of nothing but hindrances?

If the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these, who is going to tell them that good news?

The answer is found in the person whose reflection is in your screen right now. You.

You can teach children about Him. You can introduce them to Him. You can help take away hindrances. You can tell them the good news that heaven can be their home.

Take action and share the Gospel with children

You don’t have to be a parent to show a child the love of God the Father, the hope of Jesus, and the assurance of the Holy Spirit. You just have to be available.

I’ll never forget the ivory smiles beaming from ebony faces I saw in Africa. There shouldn’t have been such wide grins on those children’s faces. Those boys and girls already knew more suffering in their lives than I will ever know. Many of them were raising younger siblings because they had watched their parents die of AIDS, malaria, or malnutrition. It didn’t make sense for them to be singing these words with such deep joy and really meaning it: “Though my mother and father are dead, I will praise you!”

It didn’t make sense, but the joy they had meant that Jesus was their rescuer. It meant that someone had pushed away some of the hindrances of finding Him. It meant that they belonged to the kingdom of heaven because they had received the good news of the Gospel.

There are children all over the world, desperate for the Light of the world to rescue them from the darkness. You can strike the match to light the flame of heaven’s hope right where you are and a world away, too.

I still remember the words of a simple chorus I learned in Vacation Bible School (VBS) eons ago: “Everybody’s a missionary in his or her special way.” If we are obedient Christ-followers, adhering to the Great Commission, that’s absolutely true.

Maybe you or your child have attended VBS. If your mom was like my mom, you attended every VBS within a 20-mile radius growing up because it meant something to do on those long, summer days. Driving down many streets in America, how many church signs do you see each June or July advertising VBS programs? Countless ones.

For the places where there aren’t countless churches advertising VBS, there are countless children who long to be seen. They need us to obey the words of Jesus:

Let the little children come to me.

Do not hinder them.  

For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.  

Will you help little children come to Him? Will you help move aside hindrances for them to hear the Gospel? Will you help them know that the kingdom of heaven can be their home one day through the hope of Jesus today?

When you invest what you’ve got in the lives of those who’ve got little to no hope, the world changes. The God we serve today is the same God who multiplied fishes and loaves. He can multiply whatever looks like fishes and loaves in your life to feed those who are desperately hungry for peace, hope, and rescue.

Start where you are and then do what you can to reach children wherever they are. Let Him multiply your fishes and loaves. It takes just $5 to send a child in India to VBS this summer — and change his world forever.

Reach beyond your reach, my friend. When you do, your arms will look a whole lot like the arms of Jesus.

 

Emily Meyer is a writer who lives in Virginia with her husband, son, and their sweet dog. She also is a World Help advocate. You can find more of her Christian Living writing at www.emilypmeyer.com.
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