Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Luke 18:16
My grandson ran to the roller coaster line and stood with his back against the height-requirement sign to see if he was big enough to ride. He squealed with joy when his head exceeded the mark.
So much of life is about being “big” enough, isn’t it? To move from car seat to seatbelt and from the back seat to the front. To take a driver’s test. To vote. To get married. Like my grandson, we can spend our lives longing to grow up.
In New Testament times, children were loved but not highly valued in society until they “became of age” and could contribute to the home and enter the synagogue with adult privileges. Jesus shattered the standards of His day by welcoming the impoverished, the diseased, and even children. Three gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) tell of parents bringing little children to Jesus so that He might lay hands on them and pray for them (Matthew 19:13; Mark 10:16).
The disciples rebuked the adults for what they saw as an inconvenience. At this, Jesus was “indignant” (Mark 10:14) and opened His arms to the little ones. He elevated their value in His kingdom and challenged all to become like children themselves—to embrace their vulnerability and need for Him in order to know Him (Luke 18:17). It’s our childlike need that makes us “big” enough to receive His love.
Reflect & Pray
How might you need to remain small in order to know God? What does His love, the love of a heavenly Father, mean to you?
To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.
When we talk about making peace, it’s important to understand that doesn’t imply we are always calm, happy, or even emotionally detached from a situation. Peacemakers understand that finding peace with God comes to us as an act of grace—something His children receive as a gift, free and undeserved. They recognize that their efforts toward goodwill and harmony are possible only because of His love. And that the work of reconciliation can’t be done in their own strength.
As we wait for Jesus to return, He invites to join Him in the work of making peace in the world. Paul said it this way: “Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1). The grace that reconciles us to God is the same grace we are called to extend to others (Col. 3:12-14).
Think about it
•Are you able to recognize God’s grace in your own life? How does it equip you to seek reconciliation?
• What are some ways you can extend grace in your relationships or community?
“And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house?” (Genesis 31:14)
This is the first mention of the word “inheritance” in the Bible, and, appropriately enough, its theme is the futility of basing one’s future plans on the hope of any earthly estate.
No earthly inheritance could ever compare with “the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:18), with one exception—one heritage that the Lord does grant in this life: “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalm 127:3). This promise no doubt applies to spiritual as well as physical children, but nowhere else in Scripture does God promise any kind of material inheritance to His loved ones. The reason for this exception is that the only material blessing capable of sharing our eternal inheritance is our children when we lead them to Christ.
Our real inheritance is called an “eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:15), an “inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled” (1 Peter 1:4), and a “glorious inheritance” (Ephesians 1:18). In one of the great Messianic psalms, the Lord Jesus, as the sin-bearing, suffering Son of man, testifies as follows: “The LORD is the portion of my inheritance….The lines [that is, the surveying lines bounding His ‘lot’] are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage” (Psalm 16:5-6). In fact, He has been “appointed heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:2).
We are sometimes better off with little or no earthly inheritance, but when we are born again through receiving the saving death and life of Christ, we become “children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16,17). In Christ, the Lord also becomes the portion of our inheritance. HMM