Thursday, October 01, 2009
Current Study: First Peter
Today’s Topic: Be a Child
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 4:9-10 (NIV) If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
I wish we all were children. Not from a maturity standpoint – although some of us still are – but rather from a courage and faith position. Kids are mostly immune to the need for approval. They speak what they think is truth without regard for the opinion of others. They stand up for what they believe without fear of being hurt or hated. I wish we all were more like children.
I am so proud of some of the children of our church families. Almost daily I hear stories of things these wonderful kids are doing in their schools: public schools no less. One child, a four-year-old, recently stopped his whole class and asked them to pray because he heard a helicopter. His family always stops and prays for whoever is on a medical chopper because his sister had to be transported by one when she was born. He was serving others with the strength of God and bringing Glory to the name of Jesus Christ. He did it without fear. He did it with faith.
Just the other night my wife and I were approached at a banquet by a woman we didn’t know. She knew us, however, and proceeded to tell us a story about another child. She’s a teacher at the University of Wisconsin four-year-old kindergarten program, and she was trying to teach the children about books. She was explaining things like titles and authors, and she asked the class if anyone knew what an author was. One little boy raised his hand and said he knew. He then broke out into song, singing, “Author of salvation, my God is mighty to save, He is mighty to save.” The teacher asked him who the author of salvation was, and he said “Jesus.” Then she asked Him what book is about Jesus, and he said “The Bible.” It gave the teacher an opportunity to actually bring Christ into a secular classroom because it was student initiated. Hallelujah for courageous children. He brought glory to God by speaking the very words of God with fear. He did it by faith.
I wish we all were more like children. How much of our speech is tempered by fear? How many times have we remained silent because we didn’t want to offend someone? How often do we say only what brings honor to ourselves? We are so weak when we have the right to be so strong. We live in the fear of others rather than in the strength of the Lord. We speak the words that benefit self rather than the very words of God. We draw attention to ourselves when all glory truly belongs only to God.
St. Francis de Sales had this to say about people who draw attention to themselves. Some men become proud and insolent because they ride a fine horse, wear a feather in their hat or are dressed in a fine suit of clothes. Who does not see the folly of this? If there be any glory in such things, the glory belongs to the horse, the bird and the tailor.
What do we have that is of our own creation? What can we accomplish that is of our own strength? Even the air we breathe so that we can live and move is a gift from God. Let the name of Jesus be praised for who you are. Let God be given glory for all you do. Let us stop living according to the commendation of the world. Let us start living out our commitment to Christ. With courage. Without fear. By faith. Like children. I wish we all were more like children.