Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Monday, May 20 - Childlike Faith

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” — 1 Timothy 4:12

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We usually think about grizzled veterans teaching younger players how to perform well in sports. But experienced players can get stale and monotonous in their routine and stop learning and growing if they are not careful. Sometimes all they need is a youngster coming in with their innocent joy and exuberant team spirit to bring them back to the youthful enthusiasm of their rookie year.

Sometimes an enthusiastic young person full of faith can inspire adults by believing God can do anything. When King Saul and his seasoned soldiers thought Goliath couldn’t be defeated, little David stepped forward without fear to face the giant.

Even though it seemed silly for young David to go up against a man 9-feet-9-inches tall, King Saul allowed him to go anyway. When Goliath looked at the tiny teen, he laughed at the idea of David thinking he had a chance. “He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him” (1 Samuel 17:42). Yet everybody watched David do the impossible by the power of God as the huge man came crashing down to the ground and the Philistine army ran away in fear.

It’s good to have calloused hands to tackle everything that needs to be done, but it isn’t good to have calloused hearts. We need tender hearts, like a child who listens and pays attention when God speaks. When a captured servant girl heard that the strong soldier named Naaman had leprosy, she knew God could heal him and said so because she knew God did many miracles through His prophet Elisha. “Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, ‘If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy'” (2 Kings 5:2-3). This child’s bold faith changed the life of a man because he took the time to listen to her.

When Jesus described a growing Christian, He said we must humble ourselves like a child and open our hearts and minds for God to change and reshape us to become like Christ. In response to a question about who is the greatest, Jesus replied by showing us that children remind us to always be willing to learn. “He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven'” (Matthew 18:2-4).

The younger generations can be easily brushed off and overlooked by those more seasoned, but our approach should be different. Yes, maturity comes with experience, but wisdom teaches us that we have much to learn from youth, and looking at life and faith through their lens may often be the way to go.

— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia

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