Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ministering Children - Dinner #14

     Working at daycare this week, I realized once again how very many Bible concepts even preschoolers can grasp.  Matthew 21:16 tells us, “. . . And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, OUT OF THE MOUTH OF BABES AND SUCKLINGS THOU HAST PERFECTED PRAISE?”  Even children can learn to honor the Lord!
     God oftentimes gives us opportunities to share truths about Himself with the Little People in our lives, if we will only take them.  Matthew 19:14 tells us, “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” It is our job to bring them to Jesus!  The other day at work, a preschool girl commented that one of the boys didn’t seem to care whether or not God was watching the bad things he did, and that he probably wouldn’t go to heaven.  “But we know that we don’t go to heaven by doing good things, right?” I asked her. “How DO we know that we’re going to go to heaven?”  And I was able to plant a “little seed” by reminding her that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and that we can only go to heaven by trusting Him as our Savior.  It was a typical afternoon on the playground, but God gave me an opportunity to share.
     Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  And what is this “way” that our children should go?  The way of Christian obedience! “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right . . . THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH THEE, AND THOU MAYEST LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.” (Ephesians 6:1,3)  It does not do your children or pupils any favors if you let them “do their own thing” and don’t give them some training and instruction!  SSSLLLOOWWW obedience and outright disobedience in young ones is SUCH a poor testimony for God!  I’ve worked with children for several years now, and believe me when I tell you the picture is NOT a pretty one!  How much better for them to learn at an early age to live righteously and to serve the Lord!
     Sometimes children can serve where adults cannot find an open door.  Their youth and “cuteness” tugs at people’s hearts and often allows them to be a bolder witness for God.  Even preschoolers can learn to pass out Gospel tracts to neighbors, or retell Bible stories to unsaved relatives.  They can also sing Bible songs for elderly “shut-ins” and people in nursing homes.  “. . . OUT OF THE MOUTH OF BABES AND SUCKLINGS THOU HAST PERFECTED PRAISE . . .” God receives praise when the Little Ones serve Him – PERFECTED praise! 
     Can children really understand what it is to serve the Lord?  The answer is definitely YES!  There is a Christian children’s song that says, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine!” Whether mothers, preschool teachers, Sunday school teachers, or choir leaders, we can play a major role in helping even the very young to shine for Jesus!  For instance, we can encourage them to make cards for sick friends or relatives, bake cookies for someone in need of a smile, color pictures for soldiers overseas, or donate food to a homeless shelter.  The ideas for childhood service are truly endless! 
     Let’s admit it - Children can sometimes be quite selfish in their attitudes and their behavior!  Are we training the young ones in our care to be a blessing to others, instead?  Are we encouraging them to praise and serve the Lord?  Proverbs 22:1 “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.”  It is not so important whether your children have every toy or earthly possession they desire in life, as it is whether or not they are building a “good name” for themselves by their childhood actions.  Proverbs 20:11 declares that, “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” Will we allow the Lord to use us in the lives of children, that they might be known for pure and righteous doings?

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