A DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT by Marilyn Bennett
Have you wondered what Jesus meant when he said,
“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:3-6
Jesus said we are to become like children. Do you remember being a child? Do you remember playing as a child? Do you remember the joy? I am reminded of this every time I encounter children at the grocery store or at church. Little children live in a simple world. A day could quickly pass by simply observing bugs on the ground or playing in the dirt. Imagination soars in the mind of a small child. Jesus wanted his disciples to recapture that imagination, that love of nature, that simple faith in God and that amazing joy.
When I was a child, I memorized these four Scriptures: John 14:1-6, Psalm 1, 23, and 100. Each had a powerful message. From John, I learned that God was preparing a beautiful place for me. I did not have to worry about the present because God had my future. In Psalm 1, I learned to walk with God. From Psalm 23, I learned that God was my Shepherd and would take care of me. I had good parents who took care of me, but when they went to work, I had to fend for myself. When I walked home from school or played at a nearby park by myself, I learned to trust God. Finally, from Psalm 100, I learned to thank God.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
There are so many things I learned and continue to learn in Psalm 100, my favorite Psalm.
I learned to shout joyfully to the Lord.
I learned to serve the Lord with gladness.
I learned to thank God when I began my prayers.
I learned the Lord made all people and all are equally valued by God.
I learned to thank the Lord for his goodness, his steadfast love, and his faithfulness.
I have also learned throughout the years, that some people had horrific childhoods. Yet even many of these children learned to put their trust in God and not in their surroundings.
Thank You, God, for BEING with me when I was a child.
Thank You, LORD, for letting me love You JOYFULLY as a child.
I will always BE forever grateful for Your love.
I am Your child and will BE Yours forever.
Thank you for showing me how to BE-come more like You.
Often, I find it difficult and painful to learn my lessons.
I am still learning but You make learning a JOY.
Please show me how to help others learn to love You, too.