Your Part?

Josh WannerDevotions

Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them.

– Luke 18:15

I’m a grandpa again! It’s Friday, October 14, and earlier this morning little Amberleigh Rain made her appearance in this world – our third beautiful granddaughter.

One thing that amazed us about her birth was how quickly it happened. My daughter arrived at the hospital at 7:00 am, and Amberleigh Rain was born at 9:20.

People might say, “That baby really wanted to get out!” Or they might say, “That child was certainly ready to make her appearance!” Or they might say, “That little girl must be a strong one!”

People might say these things, but of course, they’d be wrong.

In reality, as amazing as my granddaughter is, she didn’t actually have anything to do with her birth. It was something that happened to her, not something she did. She didn’t even help!

In Luke 18:15, people were bringing children, “even infants”, to Jesus, and Jesus welcomed them gladly. Then he taught His disciples an important lesson, a lesson we need to learn as well.

Jesus directs our attention to those beautiful babies and says, “whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it” (Luke 18:17).

What does He mean with those words? People might say that in order to receive the kingdom of God, God wants us to be more trusting, like a little child who completely trusts their mother. Or people might say God wants us to be more loving, like a little child who delights in giving hugs and kisses to their daddy. Or people might say God wants us to be more joyful, like a little child who skips down the road singing and laughing.

People might say these things, but of course, they’d be wrong. They are forgetting about two important words in verse 15 – the words, “even infants”. The children Jesus is talking about are not just grade school kids, or preschool kids, or even toddlers. He’s talking about infants.

In reality, as wonderful as babies are, the one thing that is true of every single infant is that they are completely helpless. That helplessness is what Jesus is talking about when He says we must “receive the kingdom of God like a child.”

Infants don’t receive life by being more trusting, or more loving, or more joyful. Neither do we receive the kingdom of God by doing any of these things.

What’s your part in all this? You don’t have one! It’s all been done for you. You don’t even help.

Well then, how do you receive the kingdom of God? In the same way that an infant receives the gift of life – by just being there.

When Jesus died on the cross saying, “It is finished,” your sins were forgiven and the kingdom of God was opened to you. And when God’s Word took root in your heart, whether that happened when you were baptized as a baby, or in later years when you heard His Word proclaimed, you received that kingdom of God which Jesus won for you.

So my friends, stop trying to win God’s favor. Stop thinking you can add anything to what Jesus did for you on the cross. Stop stressing yourself out by trying to deserve God’s grace.

Instead, thank God for what He has already freely given you. Then grow in His Word, and express your joy as His child, trusting in His promises, loving Him and those around you, and skipping down the road of life, singing His praises for every blessing He gives.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Pastor Steve Moser