Devotional Thoughts for Today
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.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
I LOVE to do this to my 2-year-old nephew: I would play music via a Bluetooth speaker, but whenever he touches the speaker, I pulse the music from my phone; when he moves his hands away, music will continue. I explained to him that this speaker can sense his touch and only he can stop the music (of course!). Without doubting for a second, he believed me. He would put his hand on and off the speaker over and over again, just to test his “power” and then laugh so happily every time the music stops. (Poor kid! Aunt is so sorry!)
In today’s message, Jesus tells the disciples to receive the kingdom of God like a little child. So what is so special about receiving like a child? From my little nephew’s example, can you imagine how these children would react after Jesus told them about the kingdom of God? They probably jumped up and down and shouted with joy, just as if they were told that they could eat ice cream all day long. And what would happen after Jesus placed His hands and blessed them? They probably would all cling onto Him, pleading for more—just as how they would beg their parents for more bed-time stories.
As we grow up, all of us have to get on a roller coaster called “life”—the drudgery of work, the loss of good health, unbearable hurts and betrayals which has led to great fear and uncertainties; all these things which can hinder us from believing without questioning that our Heavenly Father desires to greatly bless us. Jesus’ version of the kingdom of God—where there will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain—can sound too good to be true, when we look at our version of the “kingdom of reality.”
However, God is not like the naughty aunt playing tricks to a two-year-old kid. He asks His children to trust in a hope that does not put us to shame. He desires to see us trusting Him like a child, so He can reveal to us how He protects His children: “He who did not spare His own son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32). The question is, are we willing to receive this good news as simply as a child?
Prayer: Dear Lord, please grant us a child-like heart today. We want to be more excited about Your Kingdom like a little child, and trust that You desire to bless us more than we can imagine. We place all the uncertainties and fear before Your feet and we say goodbye to all the “what-ifs” that hinder us from trusting You completely. Bless us today as we eagerly plead like a child; place Your hands on us so that all can see Your good deeds and praise Your Name on high. In Your Name we pray. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Phil 4
Lunch Break Study
Read Romans 8:14-16: For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
Questions to Consider
- What changes take place after we receive the Spirit of God?
- What does it mean for us to be called “children of God”?
- Is it difficult for you to cry out “Abba, Father!” when facing difficult moments in your life? If so, what do you think hinders you?
- The Spirit of God reminds us of who we are—that we are no longer slaves to fear but children of God.
- The book of Romans reminds us that if we are God’s children, we are granted the “quick-pass” to the Almighty God and His Kingdom. Even better: we are heirs of God! We get to share the eternal glory together with our Abba Father.
- Personal response.
Did you encounter a moment where you just chose to simply trust God like a little child today? Did you feel the joy coming out of trusting Him? Review your day here.