One of History's Most Profound Moments
And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, "Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
Mark 10:13-16 ESV
Years ago, Diane and I returned home from a crusade. We stopped to visit her parents. Our little nephew, Jonathan, was on the front porch. As I walked up the sidewalk, he yelled, "Uncle Ron," and dove off of the four step high porch into my arms.
It never crossed his mind to think of the consequences should I step aside and let him fall onto the cement sidewalk. The bond of love between an uncle and his nephew established a faith that his uncle would not do such a cruel thing.
The memory of that event has warmed my heart many times over the years. Can you imagine what it does to God's heart when we fulfill the words of Jesus Christ and throw ourselves in simple childlike faith into His arms?
God does not laugh or step away from such simple faith. He often tests such faith but He never fails it.
A child's mind is not cluttered with "what ifs". A child's heart cannot imagine an evil motive in a trusted adult. A child's love is reckless, self-abandoned and fully trusting. A child cannot perceive betrayal.
We think that being hesitant about faith is a sign of maturity, as though we have gained knowledge and wisdom. Wanting the applause of nonbelievers we adopt their views. When we exalt their unbelief as brilliant, we gain only the ramblings of a fool. Nothing is so tragic as the loss of simple, childlike faith toward God.
Thinking of the aged saints I have met over the years, there was one common thread among them: they all went from complex thinking to simple childlike faith. While spiritual growth requires learning it also calls for unlearning: i.e., undoing the damage of education in unbelief.
For instance, some college professors reduce the sovereign God of the universe to the level of the mythological gods of pagans. So, not wanting to be a fool, we justify unbelief in the true God because of the Ill-conceived idea of a non-believing professor. Simple faith, however, cuts through the false, as did Abraham, to find the true and living God, then, wholeheartedly believes Him.
In 1962, the famed German theologian, Karl Barth, was fielding questions asked at a lecture he gave at the Rockefeller Chapel on the campus of the University of Chicago. The audience showed surprise when one student asked the theologian if he could summarize his life's work in one sentence. Here is a paraphrase of his answer: "Yes. In the words of a song I learned at my mother's knee: 'Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so'."
Has anything robbed you of simple faith? Secular education? Hard experiences? Pride? Only the faith simple faith of a child can smash these barriers and open the fullness of God's sovereign purpose for you life. Immanuel: God is with you!
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