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Listen while you read: "O How I Love Jesus"1 (Lyrics)

Matthew 18:3 – Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. (NKJV)

Matthew 19:14 – But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (NKJV)

Last Sunday in church, a young father sat in front of me, holding his beautiful baby son. This little child is about nine months old. He is cherubic, with red hair, beautiful blue eyes, and the most wonderful smile. Throughout the service, I would glance at this little child and receive the most enormous smiles.

Reflecting on today's verses, I thought about what this little boy brought to church: smiles, giggles, and joy. Then, I turned my attention to what we adults sometimes bring to God's house: grumbling about the temperature in the sanctuary or the length or relevance of the service, anxiety about needing to catch someone after the service, complaining about the noise that the children make, or absenting our minds from the sermon while instead making mental to-do lists. These characteristics, discontentment, impatience, and sometimes dourness, are the exact opposite of what this precious boy brought.

Then, I thought about the incident where the disciples tried to prevent children from coming to Jesus, and He encouraged childlikness. There are many positive attributes which children possess. This little boy not only exuded joy, but spread this quality with his wonderful smiles. This young one was completely trusting of the security that he felt in his earthly father's arms. Children are like sponges soaking up new information. To them, learning new things is wonderful and exciting. Children are so resilient and adaptable. While disruptions in daily routines may temporarily induce crankiness, it is not long before children adapt to new situations.

How much more fulfilled we would be if we became like little children and brought to church:

  • a joy that is spread to others,
  • a trust in God's Word and guidance,
  • an open attitude to learning, and
  • a willingness to adapt to new ways of doing church.

Prayer: Dear God, forgive us when we mentally chastise children for speaking up in church. These precious members are both the present and the future of our congregations. Instead, help us to reflect on all the qualities that we sometimes let fall away from our lives. Help us instead to retrieve our own childlike qualities and especially to picture ourselves resting securely in Your arms. For, as You have said, if we do not become childlike, we will not enter Your kingdom. Amen.

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About the author:

Orlanda Drebit <>
Manitou Beach, Saskatchewan, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you, Orlanda!

    Thank you. Good reminders.

    Well said and true, Orlanda. Thanks.

    Thanks for the encouraging word, Orlanda.

    Great post and so true, Orlanda! God bless and thanks!

    Thanks my dear friend, Orlanda, for this devotional. God bless you.

    Putting a positive spin on Jesus’ words, “Accept me and my Words like little children and you will find entry into the Kingdom of God.” Thanks for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.

    Thank you, Orlanda! Your message is clear, to the point, and a reminder for all as to how we should enter worship.
    Keep up the good work!

    Thank you for today’s Devotional, refreshing and encouraging!
    Bless you in your service at your home Church, carry the Light with you, into your community.

    Oh my, did I appreciate that message!!Thank you so much! Very well told, very easy to understand, and comprehend and VERY meaningful. Sometimes a message just doesn’t sink in, but for me, your message certainly did. Thank you. God bless and keep you.

    Thank you Orlanda, so well explained, children are such a blessing to all of us, there are none at our church now. Like the little boy feeling the security in his father’s arms, may he also feel the love and care of the other people surrounding him at the services at your church, as we feel the love and care of Jesus. Blessings.

    Love this so much. This is something I have felt strongly about for many years. When I taught Sunday School we had 31 children in the kindergarten dept all under the age of 5. I loved it. Many thought I was crazy letting 2 year olds to come and this was the verse I always quoted them.

    Orlanda, what a nice name! I’ve not known that name before. I liked your devotional today. It is interesting that you observed the contrasting characteristics between the little child and grumbling adults we can often be like. God sent us both the same thoughts. Isn’t He wonderful to be working in us that way? I’m going to be very sensitive about not being an old grump!

    Thank you, Orlanda, for your devotional. We moved to this small Texas town 22 years ago. We had children in our church…no longer is that true. Our congregation is active and engaged, but it seems that we, like other “traditional” denominations, are missing the boat with younger families. Your story was very heartening to me.

    Thank you Orlanda for your very sweet devotional this morning. I remember so well the days when we had “children’s time” during our church service and the joy that came with those little children in attendance. Presently we have a very elderly congregation and no children’s program. It is wonderful for children to learn about Jesus early in life and enjoy His plans for them. Blessings for your very meaningful writing.

    Dear Orlanda,
    I loved your encouraging and inspiring devotional. I was smiling as I enjoyed your encounter with this small boy. I am definitely guilty of some of those bad behaviours and am hopefully to remember and not bring those attitudes anywhere, especially before God. I loved the reminder of what would be wonderful to bring each Sunday to church.
    I love the reminder to picture ourselves in God’s arms. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and faith with others so we can be reminded of what is truly important in God’s eyes. Blessings.

    I have to say, this was a wonderful devotion. Thank you. I would like to share; it ties in well with something that has happened in our church. Our minister has recently decided to teach the children how to collect the offering. The first Sunday only 1 agreed to try, of course with the guidance of an adult who is familiar with this task. The next Sunday 2 raised their hands. There is one young girl, around 5 years old, who only in the last month or so has started coming to church with her Grandmother. She has been intently watching this going on the last 2 Sundays. Last week when Rev. Peter asked for volunteers, with no hesitation her hand shot up and she jumped to her feet. I was so glad when Rev. Peter said ok and gave instructions to go with another who will show her what to do. Her smiles and her backward glances and waves to her Grandmother were so sweet. Her eagerness teaches the rest of us a very good lesson. Thank you for your devotion. I enjoyed it very much. With it and along with this little girl’s excitement I believe I have learned a great deal this week.
    May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing. Romans 15:13

    Thank you, Orlanda. If only we all came to God with childlike faith!

    Thank you, Orlanda. That was a wonderful devotion with a great challenge – – – and so well written.
    We look forward to hearing from you again in the future.

    Thank you Orlanda.
    I have often stopped in the middle of a message when voicous baby got louder than me, (I have a large volume voice) and say is that not a wonderful sound? And let it hang… not babies no children… blessings for your words.

    Let us worship the Lord with Joy and Trust.

    Amen and God bless you. Blessings.

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