Become Like Children

become like children

I think Jesus was trying to teach us something really significant when He gathered the crowd together and said to them, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)

I am constantly amazed by kids, and as a former children’s pastor, and current pastor, I have seen quite a few kids in my day.  Kids have this great and innate ability to call it just like they see it and as a pastor that is incredibly refreshing.  Teaching a room of kids is far more intimidating than teaching adults.  Why?  Across the church (in my own experiences) I have been asked more complex, hard to answer, thought provoking, laugh inducing, heart wrenching, honest questions from children then I ever have from adults. Check out these real questions I’ve been asked.

“What if I pray, but can’t hear God’s voice?”
“Can I have more communion? I like it.”
“Why doesn’t God stop the bad people from  hurting me?”
“Can God come visit me?”
“If Jesus was a real kid…did He pick His nose too?”
“If God is everywhere…did He watch me in my school play ?”
“My parents are getting divorced will God ever do that with me?”

Perhaps this was one of the qualities of children that Jesus was trying to impress upon the crowd that day.  If so, we as adults, should take note.  We should learn transparency, urgency, humor and the art of asking questions.

Children are also capable owning their faith and it’s implication in their lives.  When a child “confesses with their mouth, and believes with their heart that Jesus is Lord” they are saved – and the Holy Spirit comes to dwell with them, and within them. (Romans 10:8-10) It should be said clearly and loudly that children get the SAME Holy Spirit that adults do.  Just because a child is 6, does not mean they only get a fraction of the Living True God – thats ridiculous.

Yet often we treat children as if they are lesser than us; incapable of ‘real’ ministry and unable to fully participate in the body of Christ.  We drag them along until they are 18 and ‘adult’ and suddenly expect them to have skills, passions and maturity ready to go.  Yet the whole time they could have matured in those areas we told them, “you’re too young” or “when you are older” or “that’s just for adults.”  Kids want to participate, they want to engage, to have ownership – and they are capable of it!

I see no reference in Scripture that indicates kids can’t – but I do see plenty that indicates they can.   Check out these biblical examples.

A young girl taken captive demonstrates immense grace toward her captor. (2 Kings 5)
God spoke to a young boy when the adults failed to listen. (1 Samuel 3)
It was a young boy who stood his ground against the giant Goliath. (1 Samuel 17)
A young girl was willing to obey God no matter the cost. (Luke 1:26-56)
A young boy with a sack lunch was ready to help feed people. (John 6:1-15)
A 8 year old boy became king to lead God’s people, and did right before God. (2 Kings 22)

What child do you have in your life that you can encourage to do great things for God? What is Jesus trying to teach you about your own faith through the kids around you?

Want to hear more about kids and God, and what it means for you as an adult? Listen to this recent message from KetchikanNaz:  All God’s Children.

Become Like Children

The Gospel According To…

gospelaccording

It’s always been a joy for me to read through Scripture and find Jesus’ heart for mine on the page in front of me.   A good many of those places I’ve stumbled across His heart were not in the New Testament; they were in the Old Testament.   How often do we casually assume that Jesus ‘appeared’ in the New Testament for the first time?   It’s not true, though!   Jesus is in every part of the Scripture, from the Genesis to Revelation, revealing His heart for the world, His love for sinners, and His plan for the redemption of those who would follow Him!

This year the Lord has refreshed my eyes to this great theme through Scripture. I’ve stumbled across so many places, between Genesis and Revelation, that share the Gospel and I’ve started marking them (in my Bible App) with #gospelaccording to so I can find them later! I want to share a selection of my favorites with you, in the hope you will be encouraged by the Gospel of Jesus this Christmas Season.   God’s plan to rescue you through Jesus was one that had been prepared since the beginning, and is one you can partake in today!


The #Gospelaccording to Genesis 3:15   “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

This is called the protoevangelion (or the first Gospel).  It is the first time in Scripture we see the promise that Jesus will overcome Satan. He will crush Satan’s head on the cross, while Satan only inflicts a temporary wound on Jesus. Death does not hold Jesus.


The #Gospelaccording to Jeremiah 32:37-41 “ Behold, I will gather them from all the countries to which I drove them in my anger and my wrath and in great indignation. I will bring them back to this place, and I will make them dwell in safety.  And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.  I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them.  I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me.  I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.”

God will redeem people from across the globe, all nations and tongues, and together we will worship together ONE God. He will make with us an everlasting convent through the blood of Jesus and will enable us to live a life of holiness.  God’s redemption promise is for ALL PEOPLE!


The #Gospelaccording to Zechariah 12:10 ““And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.”

The #Gospelaccording to Zechariah 13:1 “On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.”

God planned for Jesus to be crushed by the weight of our sins, and, while on the cross, Jesus would be pierced by the sword. When he was pierced blood and water flowed out – and He washed us clean.  His death was in our place, for our sins; so that we might receive grace in the place of wrath and be cleansed form our sin.


The #Gospelaccording to Isaiah 9:2, 6-7 – “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.”

The #Gospelaccording to John 1:1-5 – “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

God knew that sin caused darkness in the hearts of people, but He tells us in Isaiah that God will not allow darkness to reign forever – for Jesus is the light, and no darkness can overtake His light! Jesus wins the victory. Death’s darkness cannot hold him, and He rose in Light and Glory to redeem mankind.


The #Gospelaccording to Isaiah 1:18   “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”

God wants us to think critically about our sin situation, not ignore it. We need a savior to take the stains away and redeem us unto holiness.


The #Gospelaccording to 2 Samuel 14:14 “We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God will not take away life, and he devises means so that the banished one will not remain an outcast.”

We know from Romans 6:23 that the ‘wages of sin is death’. Yet physical death and spiritual death are two different deaths. Though we may die physically, we need not die spiritually to spend eternity apart from God. God provided a way for those who are in sin, will not need to remain an outcast away from God, but rather welcomed in as part of God’s family! We are not outcasts in Christ; we belong with Him and to Him!

The Gospel According To…