Jesus Himself became a little child; He served and loved and trusted too. He was subject to His parents and knows the paths our children trod. He forgave while freely giving up His life to grant our own. He took the time to bless and care for children, and blesses us with ours as well.
Let us become like little children, singing freely to the King of Kings. Faces lifted, voices ringing, unconcerned with notes and rhythm, twisting melodies in swirls of wonder, joy in every note they sing. There’s no embarrassed silence, self-conscious mumbling or comparing of their voice to others. The joy within is echoed in the voice without and warms the hearts of those who listen.
Let us become like little children, free to glory in their father’s care. Children do not seek to earn the love and favor of their parents – instead, they glory in belonging, full of joy in simple pleasures. When they’re naughty, they do not fear being abandoned or disowned. They are secure in love and know it.
Let us become like little children, forgiving faults without a grudge.
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By Megan Hill — 1 year ago
Make Kids Feel Valued. Say “I’m so glad you’re here!” Give kids a high five, fist bump, or handshake (a kid-appropriate “holy kiss,” 2 Cor. 13:12). Take time to stop and listen when kids tell stories about their week. Carry mints or other small treats to give to kids (with parent permission). In these small ways (and many more) we honor our Lord Jesus, who welcomed little children, affirmed their value in his kingdom, and commanded us to make it easy for them to come into his presence (Matt. 19:14).
My kids decided they wanted to commit to our current church well before my husband and I did. On our first visit, our three young boys were met by teenagers who offered fist bumps, Sunday School teachers who introduced themselves with a smile, and a church elder who taught them the secrets of his signature sleight-of-hand trick.
The church didn’t have children’s ministry staff or polished kids’ programs. What it did have was people who liked kids. And that was more than enough for my children.
In the years since, the congregation members have continued to express love for my kids in dozens of ways. My boys have grown into teenagers, and have been joined by a younger sister, but they still know who is prepared to give them a LifeSaver and who is always up for a discussion of the big game yesterday. They also know who is praying for them. As a result, they walk into church on Sundays believing they belong. The little things members did when they were small taught them to expect to be included and valued every Sunday—no matter how old they get.
Whatever the size or resources of your church, it can be a place where little kids know they are welcome. Just like adults, kids in the church flourish when they are known, loved, served, and engaged. And it often doesn’t take much.
Consider 25 tiny ways to welcome kids in church.
Know (Make Kids Feel Seen)
Look kids in the eye.
By Kevin Simington — 2 years ago
Creationists only point to a divine Creator when the laws of science themselves point us unequivocally in that direction. And while there will always be an important faith element to belief in God, the creationist argument for God’s existence arises directly from a proper understanding of the laws of science, not because of ignorance of those laws.
Atheists regularly accuse Christians of inventing a ‘god of the gaps’ in their argument for a divine creator. A ‘god of the gaps’ argument arises when superstitious, unscientific people invent an imaginary god to explain things that they have no scientific understanding of. For example, a primitive people group may see a rainbow in the sky and, because they don’t understand about light refraction, come to believe in rainbow fairies. Or they may believe that thunder is the angry bellowing of a thunder god who is displeased with them.
Atheists claim that the Christian belief in a divine creator is similarly naïve and superstitious, plugging the gap of our missing scientific knowledge with a convenient imaginary god to explain what we do not yet understand. They claim that just because scientists don’t currently understand how the universe came into existence from nothing or how the 3.2 billion pieces of genetic information in our genome evolved by chance processes, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there isn’t a scientific explanation that we will one day discover. They claim that when Christians point to these and MANY other scientific conundrums and use them as evidence for the existence of a creator God, we are inventing a god of the gaps. In a recent online discussion that I had with an atheist, he accused me of this very thing, also calling me some rather disgusting names in the process. Lovely!
Christian creationists do not believe in a god of the gaps, but a God of absolute necessity. Creationists only point to a divine Creator when the laws of science themselves point us unequivocally in that direction. And while there will always be an important faith element to belief in God, the creationist argument for God’s existence arises directly from a proper understanding of the laws of science, not because of ignorance of those laws.
The origin of the universe is a case in point.
Cosmologists are now almost universal in their agreement that the physical universe came into existence from nothing, at the very beginning. Dr Stephen Hawking (1942–2018), in a lecture published on his website, stated: “All the evidence seems to indicate, that the universe has not existed forever, but that it had a beginning. This is probably the most remarkable discovery of modern cosmology.”
Similarly, Dr Quentin Smith, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Western Michigan University, in a debate with William Lane Craig a few years ago, stated: “The universe came from nothing, by nothing for nothing.”
By TCK — 2 years ago
The groaning creation will then be set free into the freedom of the glory of the children of God (Romans 8:21). Its resurrection will follow ours, just as its fall followed ours. No more hints, previews and echoes on that day. But face to face, unveiled glory.
I love our local bazaar in the fall. A gentle and steady wind blows down from the mountains, stirring the tree branches and their yellowing leaves. The summer heat has passed, and the buildings, the people, and earth itself seem to sigh contentedly in the cooler weather. Some trees and plants even celebrate the lower temps with a second, mini Spring. Pomegranates are ripe, piled high on carts, red and crunchy. Olives are ripening also. The autumn sun, lower and playfully angled to the south, shines through the swaying branches. Street musicians play classic melodies on stringed instruments and traditional flutes.
Every believer likely has certain places where they feel eternity bleeding through into the present. Places where the beauty of this world awaken some kind of deep memory – or prophecy – of another world. Eden that was lost, or Eden to be remade. These longings, as Lewis pointed out, can be sweeter than the deepest pleasures realized in this life. As penned by The Gray Havens, we “can’t find something better than this ache.”
I wonder what kinds of scenes awaken this inner longing for eternity in other believers. Is it something we all experience?