“Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” Luke 18:16 (NKJV)
Jesus loves the little children. From the evidence of His ministry and life, there can be no doubt that little children hold great favor with Him. Why are children any different in His perspective than the adults they will one day become?
It’s all about the heart. The Bible teaches us that the heart is the most important thing. We cannot have belief, faith, and trust without involvement of our hearts. Mind knowledge is important, but it is not what brings salvation. What brings salvation is the saving grace and acceptance of our one true Savior. His love must pierce our very hearts before we can receive it. When Jesus knocks on the door of our heart, and we receive Him into it, our relationship with Him is realized, and we are saved.
Children have pure hearts. They can be selfish, not wanting to share, needing to be the center of attention, and often they won’t take adult instruction. But though they are born in sin, there is still a very special element of innocence. They have not experienced intentional sin. Let me repeat these very important words – INTENTIONAL SIN.
Children do not know what intentional sin is; they do not know what any sin is. It would seem many of us adults do not either, but that is by choice. A child does not have the experience or the training to be able to identify, or to care, about what they do on purpose and what just happens in the course of the day. A child’s heart, therefore, is innocent. They learn by example, and unfortunately, quite a bit of the example is intentional sin. One day the sweet innocence will slip away, they will become of age, and what they have been taught, or not taught, will determine how they behave and reveal the condition of their hearts.
“Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter into it.” Luke 18:17
Once grown, it is difficult to remember our innocence. It is something that is fleeting, and is very difficult to recapture. In truth, in most things it is impossible to revisit innocence. But when it comes to matters of the heart, when it comes to belief, faith, and the love of Jesus, it can be found once again. These Scripture verses do not doom us. Rather, they are meant to enrich us, to remind us of our First Love, and to revive within us the joy and excitement that life once held.
Innocence is expectation and hope for the future. It embraces the probable and the possible. When we open our hearts anew, the fresh breeze of life and love will once again flow through our veins, and we will, in this one thing, find again the innocence of the child we once were, the child loved by Jesus. When children believe in something, they simply do that–believe. As adults, it is more difficult for us. Thus, it is necessary to be able to once again possess that bit of innocence, that we may believe, as a child believes.
Jesus is Our Hope. He wants us to believe as little children. He does not ask us to act like them, because we are grown. But if we can embrace the sweetness, the exuberance, the innocence of young hearts once again, then the life He wants us to live will be ours. Allow the precious innocence of a child to be birthed anew in your heart.
Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.
(Songwriters: Bradbury, Warner, Fettk)
What can you do to once again enjoy an innocent heart, a child’s heart? And how will you use that heart to glorify your Savior?