“Good morning, Papa!”
Our first worship service was just about to begin when I noticed someone running toward my usual preacher front-row seat.
My sweet seven-year old granddaughter, Mary with her long brown curls and bright blue eyes ran into my arms in all of her Sunday morning best, hugged my neck and said, “Good morning, Papa!”
It wasn’t “grown-up” behavior. It was wonderfully childlike.
An adult would never do what she did. Grown-ups don’t think and act that way. Grown-up thoughts would have considered the crowd, wondered what they thought, calculated that this might be an embarrassment to them and a distraction to others and decide not to run to someone they love, hug their neck, and tell them good morning. No matter how much a grown-up might love that person, they would never express it with such innocent exuberance.
But a child would, because it doesn’t matter whose looking as much as whom they are trusting. Mary ran into my arms because she knew that she was running to a safe place, to the arms of someone who loves her.
It bothers me that Christians talk about the faith of children as if it’s incomplete, flawed, or suspect. “Oh, she said she believed in Jesus, but we’ll have to wait and see if it’s real when she grows up.”
It bothers me because Jesus taught the exact opposite. The measure of authentic faith is not how “grown-up” it is but how childlike it is!
The Measure of Faith
When the disciples asked Jesus about greatness in His kingdom, He called a little child to stand among them and said, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:1-4)
Pretty clear isn’t it? When you offer a grown-up something, they respond with grown-up questions, grown-up reservations, and grown-up self-protective strategies.
So, when Jesus Christ offers eternal life freely to all who believe in John 3:16, 5:24, and 6:47, a grown-up has questions:
“How could this be? Shouldn’t I have to do something?”
“This doesn’t seem fair. How about all those people who sin a lot more than me?”
“This seems risky. Don’t you think we should add some type of commitment to Jesus’ words? People are going to simply believe in Him, ask Him for eternal life and think that He just gives it!”
A child runs to His arms, hugs his neck, looks into His eyes and says, “Oh Jesus, thank you for dying for my sins. I’ve been looking for you all my life! I believe in you; you’re my Savior forever!”
So, have you believed in Jesus? Or are you still asking a lot of grown-up questions and making a lot of grown-up protests that keep you from the threshold of faith?
Run to His arms today. He’s worthy of your trust. He never goes back on a promise. He died for your sins and arose, and when you believe in Him, He gives you His life—eternal life…it’s simple and something the childlike longing for a Heavenly Father in each of us truly desires and can have!
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” –The Apostle John, John 1:12
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” –Jesus Christ, John 6:47