Children are truly wonderful gifts from the Lord, aren’t they?! I have always loved children, but of course, there’s something very special about your own whom God has marvelously created just for you and entrusted to you to love, nurture, and bring up in the fear of the Lord.
With my precious son Evan being two years old now and being able to better express his heart desires, sweet humility, and innocent faith, I really understand in greater measures why Jesus loved and esteemed little children so much while He lived here on earth.
You see, Evan’s favorite children’s songs right now are “God Is So Good” and “Jesus Loves Me” which he calls “Bible So” because the Bible, God’s perfect Word, tells us that it is so, and thereby, it can be completely trusted, right?! :) Evan eagerly insists upon hearing these songs almost every day though, along with a couple other songs recently called “Jesus, Tender Shepherd, Hear Me” and “Living Waters” from the Getty Kids Hymnal album.
His precious little face just lights up with comfort and joy upon hearing them like he really understands, believes, and delights in Jesus. Just as proof, whenever I ask him in the mornings who loves him, he almost always answers with “Jesus!” first as if saying God’s love is most important even though he knows his daddy and I love him very much.
He blesses and moves my heart so much by these things, and something else that really blesses and convicts me is his favorite book lately being Jesus Is Coming Back! by Debby Anderson. Out of the many books he has, that is the one he has insisted on hearing each night before he goes to bed. I have no idea why or how he became so attached to this book, but my hope and belief is that he loves hearing its precious promise of Jesus returning to earth to take His people to live with Him forever in the awesome wonders of heaven someday.
This truly makes me want to cry as it is so precious. I mean, how often do you hear of adults anticipating Christ’s return or wanting to hear about it daily anyways? Most Christians today seem more attached to their earthly homes than their heavenly homes or seeing their blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
And to be quite honest, I even struggle with this, because as much as I hate the evil in this world, this earth and life are all I physically know. With the increasing darkness and depravity in our world though, God’s righteous beauty and light are drawing me in more and more and giving me a greater longing for Himself and His righteous dwelling. “But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells” (2 Pet. 3:13). All I can say is AMEN!
The Toddler Teacher
Well, by now you may be thinking, “So how does all of this pertain to us?!” Evan is just a toddler or little child after all, so how much does he know or have to teach us, right? Well, I think if Jesus were here, He might just say to listen in and watch Evan closely. Seeing so much in “the least of these” is the very beauty and wonder of Jesus after all.
You see, even though Jesus is the holy and almighty Son of God who came to earth to save us from our sins, He valued children so much that not only did He invite the children to come to Him in the midst of His busy, crowded life (Matt. 19:14), but He also set them as the standard for entering His kingdom stating: “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:15).
In fact, Jesus even declared that children were the standard for greatness in His kingdom stating: “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:4). Pretty sobering, huh?!
Gaining a Childlike, Clean Perspective
How on earth then do we do become like little children? Well, like precious little Evan we need to come innocently before God or get a pure, unblemished, clean heart or perspective of Him.
Granted, Evan has not lived long and seen the evil and hardships of life or experienced disappointments with God, but I think that is why God says we must become like little children to enter His kingdom.
In other words, like little children, we have to humbly and immediately, without arguments or questioning, trust God for who He says He is as our Creator and thereby our heavenly Father, King, Redeemer, and so much more. Trust also that He is sovereign, good, holy, loving, and kind! Some practical ways to get this innocent, pure perspective of God include:
- Get rid of your disappointments or anger about God not giving you the perfect life you think you deserve. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). And believe it or not, Jesus even had to learn obedience through His suffering (Heb. 5:8), and we are definitely not above God’s Son!
- Get rid of any pre-conceived ideas that He’s bad, deceitful, or out to get you for “this is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). “No one is good–except God alone” (Mark 10:18).
- Get rid of any prideful worry, faithless doubt, and critical skepticism about His perfect character, almighty claims, and abundant promises because “’God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:6-7). “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ” (2 Cor. 1:20).
The Glorious Beauty of God
Okay, so now that you have to get rid of all of the negative talk about God that battles around in your heart and mind and mars any innocent view you may hope to have of Him–in order to gain a better, growing relationship with Him–you need to view God and His Son Jesus as Evan does based on the songs and book he loves or longs to hear daily.
1. A So-Good Father
Song: “God is so good, God is so good, God is so good, He’s so good to me!”
- “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your [His] faithfulness.” (Lam. 3:22-23)
- “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100:4-5)
- “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)
2. A Personal, Loving Savior
Song: “Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so; little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.”
- “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
- “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Eph. 2:4-5)
- “Every word of God is flawless.” (Prov. 30:5)
- “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD issure, making wise the simple.” (Psalm 19:7)
3. A Listening, Providing, Close Shepherd
Song: “Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me: bless Thy little lamb tonight. Through the darkness be Thou near me; watch my sleep till morning light. When I’m troubled and afraid, I will trust in Thee and pray. Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me: bless Thy little lamb tonight; bless Thy little lamb tonight.”
- “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)
- “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” (Isa. 40:11)
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” (Psalm 23:1-4)
4. An All-Sufficient, Satisfying Fountain of Life
Song: “Are you thirsty? Are you empty? Come and drink these living waters. Tired and broken? Peace unspoken? Rest beside these living waters. There’s a river that flows with mercy and love, bringing joy to the city of our God. There our hope is secure, do not fear anymore. Praise the Lord of living waters!”
- “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)
- “Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” (Psalm 107:8-9)
5. A Promise-Keeping, Returning Redeemer & King
Book: “When I look up at the clouds, I remember Jesus’ promise to come back. I wonder . . . will it be today? . . . Jesus coming back is too exciting to even imagine! Yet it’s true! He promised . . . and I know He keeps His promises.”
- “We wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus
Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” (Titus 2:13-14)
- “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2-3)
- “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.” (Matt. 16:27)
God: A so-good Father! Jesus: A personal, loving Savior; a listening, providing, close Shepherd; an all-sufficient, satisfying Fountain of Life; and a promise-keeping, returning Redeemer and King!
Can you imagine how our lives might change if we daily heard, meditated on, and humbly and whole-heartedly believed these simple but profound truths or perspectives on God and His Son? There just might be a revival in the church of Christ! And I don’t know about you, but I want and need revival in my own heart!
Evan’s simple theology, humble faith, and pure delight and satisfaction in God surely are an inspiration to me. In fact, by God’s grace, I’m going to start meditating on his theology and memorizing the backup truth verses. If you’d like to join me in this mission, please let me know as I’d love to journey with a fellow seeker of God wanting to learn from a child and be considered as great as a child in God’s heavenly kingdom someday.
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” (Matt. 18:10)