"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." Mark 10:13-16
This has been an incredible week of VBS at Start Baptist Church! The Holy Spirit has moved powerfully in our teachers and in our children! I recently preached a sermon entitled, "Jesus Loves the Little Children," based on the passage of Scripture in Mark 10:13-16. My main points in this sermon were that Jesus loves the children, Jesus blesses the children, and we must receive the kingdom of God like children. Throughout the Bible we see Jesus' love for children. We see Jesus blessing the children, and we see Jesus perform miracles on children. In this passage of Scripture, I can only imagine the joy Jesus had as the children came to Him! I can only imagine the joy Jesus had as He took the children into His arms and looked into their faces and their hearts! Jesus made it very clear to His followers that children were important to Him, and He did not want anyone to hinder the children in coming to Him. Then Jesus took it a step further and told His disciples that everyone must receive the kingdom of God just like a child. That didn't mean with innocence of a child or the mental capacity of a child. That meant with the helpless dependence of a child. Children are helplessly dependent upon their parents. They need their parents to provide for them the things they cannot get for themselves...clothes, food, education, etc. We are all sinners (Romans 3:23), and none of us deserve God's love. None of us can earn God's love, but we don't have to. God loves us with an unconditional and overwhelming love. God gave His only Son to live and die for us. He has made a way for us to receive His love for us and return it, as well. His way is Jesus! We must come to Jesus with a helpless dependence...just like a child. When we come to Jesus like a child, He will take us in His arms. He will love us and bless us, and we will never be the same!!!
We thank God for the children that we have had this week in VBS! They have put smiles on our faces and in our hearts! We have poured the Scripture into them, and we have loved on them with the love of Jesus! We have already seen some of them received the kingdom of God by accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and we are praying that in the days and weeks ahead more decisions for Christ will be made. Moms and dads, love your children the way Jesus loves them. Bless your children the way Jesus blesses them. And moms and dads, make sure you that you, too, have received the kingdom of God through Jesus Christ...like a little child...helplessly dependent upon the grace and mercy of God!