I've always wondered what God meant when he said that His Kingdom belongs to little children.   I thought that having a baby of my own would shed some light on it, but it hasn't really.  Enter the Jesus Storybook Bible, this book I just can't get enough of, which has a fantastic account of what happens when Jesus' disciples try to shoo the children away when they come to him: 

"...So while Jesus' friends were arguing, some people who knew all about getting gifts - in fact, you might say they were gift-experts - had come to see Jesus.  Who were they?  They were little children.

Jesus' helpers tried to send them away.  "Jesus doesn't have time for you!" they said.  "He's too tired."

But they were wrong.  Jesus always had time for little children.

"Don't ever send them away!" Jesus said.  "Bring the little ones to me."

 Now, if you had been there, what do you think - would you have had to line up quietly to see Jesus?  Do you think Jesus would have asked you how good you'd been before he'd give you a hug?  Would you have had to be on your best behavior?  And get dressed up?  And not speak until you're spoken to?

Or....Would you have done just what these children did - run straight up to Jesus and let him pick you up in his arms and swing you and kiss you and hug you and then sit you on his lap and listen to your stories and your chats?

You see, children loved Jesus, and they knew they didn't need to do anything special for Jesus to love them.  All they needed to do was to run into his arms.  And so that's just what they did.

Well, after all the laughing and games, Jesus turned to his helpers and said, "No matter how big you grow, never grow up so much that you lose your child's heart: full of trust in God.  Be like these children.  They are the most important in my kingdom."

I hope I'm not infringing on any copyright laws

I thought there must be some deep, philosophical reason why Jesus tells us to be like little children.  And I'm sure that you can glean from that on a million different levels.  But right now, I think that what Jesus meant when he tells us to be like kids, is that we should act like children.  God's children.  

Ellis knows who his mom and dad are.  He seems to offer a smile to most everyone, but he saves his biggest laughs and giggles for us.  He knows that we are the ones who feed him, rock him to sleep at night, and will come to him when he's crying.  He can trust that because we've proven it to him.  

So what if we acted like we really were God's children?  What if we actually believe that God Himself adopted us as sons (Romans 8), that he chose us, and that as his children we share in His (amazing beyond belief) inheritance?  How would my life be different?

I read a great story yesterday which I don't need to repeat here because you can peruse it for yourself here, but the gist of is that the two same scenarios and circumstances can be played out very differently depending on our attitude.  The first is a really crappy day because you believe it to be so, the second is awesome because some special secret has been shared with you that changes the way you see your day completely.  "When you know how the story ends, everything changes." 

We know how this story ends, because God shared his not-so-secret gift with us, that we are His children and that He's a-comin' back for us.  I don't deserve it and I certainly don't live like He's my Dad most of the time.  But He loves us unconditionally, he comforts us like a mom (Isaiah 66:3), he teaches us how to walk (Hosea 11:3), he has unlimited patience for us when we mess up.  

So that's what I'm thinking right now about Jesus wanting us to be like little children.  He wants us to know who we belong to.  All Ellis needs to do is to look to us to meet his needs and he can trust that we will to the best of our ability, because we're his parents.  God our Father wants us to do the same.  


"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" - Matthew 7:11

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