Devotional: ‘The Value of Reaching Children’

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For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. (Mark 10:14)

This week we have been studying a simple little story about some children who were brought to Jesus. I say simple because, after all, it’s not like the story of Jesus walking on the water or raising the dead. It’s only Jesus and some children. So why is it even in the Bible? According to Jesus, it’s there because it tells us a lot about our relationship to God and heaven.

Down through the years I have had many parents talk with me about their child’s salvation. One of the questions I am often asked is “How old does my child have to be in order to be saved?”That’s a tough question to answer for every child is different. Much of it depends upon the truth that child has been exposed to, as well as their level of maturity. I have talked with some children and concluded that although they knew ‘what to say’, they don’t know ‘why they are saying it.’ I remember once talking with one child who was about the age of seven or eight. Their parents told me that their child had been talking about being baptized. As I sat down with the child and began to talk, I asked them, “What did Jesus do for us?” “He died for our sins”they quickly responded. Then I asked, “What do you think that means?”They looked at me with a blank stare and said, “I don’t know.” Although they had learned the right words, the Spirit had not yet spoken to their heart and revealed to them their need of salvation. But then, on the other hand, I have talked with some children who not only knew what to say, they also knew why they were saying it. A short time back I talked with a child who seemed to have a very clear understanding of why Jesus died on the cross. They understood sin and the need for forgiveness. They explained the gospel back to me as well as any adult.

Charles Spurgeon once said something very important about children and their salvation

“Some, too, have hindered the children because they have been forgetful of the child’s value. The soul’s price does not depend upon its years. ‘Oh, it is only a child!’ ‘Children are a nuisance.’ ‘Children are always getting in the way.’ This talk is common. God forgive those who despise the little ones! Will you be very angry if I say that a boy is more worth saving than a man? It is infinite mercy on God’s part to save those who are seventy—for what good can they now do with the end of their lives? When we get to be 50 or 60, we are almost worn out and, if we have spent all our early days with the devil, what remains for God? But these dear boys and girls—there is something to be made out of them! If now they yield themselves to Christ, they may have a long, happy and holy day before them in which they may serve God with all their hearts! Who knows what Glory God may have of them? Heathen lands may call them blessed! Whole nations may be enlightened by them!”

The disciples made a great mistake that day by not seeing the children through the eyes of Jesus. They focused only on the present commotion; Jesus however, focused on the future of His church. Perhaps in that group of youngsters, Jesus saw future pastors and missionaries and evangelists and Sunday School teachers.

For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. (Mark 10:14)

God bless you my brethren. (email: pastorterry@tobcchurch.com)

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