March 2017 - LPNI

Lutheran Parish Nursing International
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March 2017

LPNI Devotion – March 2017
Oh, to be a child again!
Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.
Luke 18:17
I pray you had an experience similar to mine – a great childhood.  In fact, I recall not being too excited about growing up.  Sure, children want to be “big” and be able to do more things, but most discover that growing up is not all it’s cracked up to be.  So, after enough years pass, the thought becomes “How nice it would be to be a child again!”

Actually, being a child again is something that is not only desirable for us, but it is clearly possible.  Remember what Jesus had to say about children?  He called them the greatest in the Kingdom, and encouraged his followers, including us, to become like children.

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:1-4)

We might dearly love to have the innocence, strength, joyful attitude, and vibrancy of a child.  Of all the child-like things we might wish to have, the most important is faith – child-like faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.  Our prayer might be, “O, to have that confident, fully-trusting, never-doubting, and truly hopeful faith in Jesus Christ!” Well, it is possible to have that kind of faith.  God would not ask us to have that faith without giving us the heart to seek it from him and to put it into practice in our lives.  How nice it is when we avoid making our faith so complex!

Recently, I overheard a conversation between a four-year-old grandchild and her mother.  Somehow, the subject of names had come up.  “I know who gave me my name,” said the youngster.  “Yes”, said her mother, “I gave it to you.” Without missing a beat, the little one said, “No, Jesus gave it to me.”  I don’t know what led my granddaughter to say that, but my mind went immediately to the wonderful passage from Isaiah 43: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. Indeed, our loving God knew her name from the very beginning, and he always will, just as he knows the name of each and every one of us.  We are his.  We have always been in his care, and we always will be throughout eternity.  We are children of God, and with his grace and blessing, we can always be his children ... his dear ones with true child-like faith.
Paul Devantier, MDiv, MS, LLD
Speaker, syndicated BY THE WAY radio program
2509 Schuman Road
Arbor Vitae, WI  54568 USA
571-235-1616              pauldevantier@gmail.com
 
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