Sunday School Material 5-22-16: Childlike Faith

(Luke 18:15-17; Mark 10:16; 5/22/16)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that Jesus blessed children and urged His followers to be “child like” in their faith. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to work on our children’s ministry and our “child like” faith.

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Read Luke 18:15-17

I. Jesus Correction. People are bringing babies to Jesus for Him to lay His hands on them. In our Sunday School material the disciples try to stop them. However, Jesus urges the babies to be brought to Him and makes a teaching point. Those who enter the kingdom of God must have childlike faith.

Applications –

- Baby blessings. Notice in vs. 15 that babies were brought to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them. First, while some traditions, have baby baptisms or christenings, as Baptists, we have baby blessings.

This is at time to thank God for the baby’s safe delivery, pray for the baby’s holistic development (i.e., physical, spiritual, etc.), pray for the parents and support system, and pray for the church to be a part of the support system.

Second, it is a good idea for at least one caregiver to bring the baby to be blessed, but it would be great if both parents and godparents (i.e., adults who will be a godly influence in the child’s life, if something happens to the parents and while the parents are living).

Children who are born out of marriage should be prayed for just like those born in marriage. The baby is here and needs spiritual nurture. Let’s work on understanding and supporting the ideas involved in blessing babies.

At SBC, baby blessings are announced in the bulletin about quarterly and a certificate and picture are provided for those who register by the announced deadline.

- Inviting those who Jesus invites. Notice in vss. 15-16 that Jesus’ disciples were rebuking, while Jesus was inviting. We should work to make sure that this is not the case with us. Whatever Jesus wants is what we should want.

Some modern examples of this idea may be young men who “sag” and want to wear their hats in church or women who want to wear overly revealing outfits to church. In spite of how we may feel about their appearance, there is merit to the idea that God is inviting to be transformed, instead of excluding them until they transform into what we consider acceptable. Let’s seek God’s wisdom and courage to invite who He invites and love on those who come.

- Being “child like.” Notice in vss. 16-17 of our Sunday School material that “child likeness” is encouraged. First, as children are known for being dependent on their parents/caregivers, we should be dependent on God. The American culture praises independence, but God is calling us to understand that at our best, we are still dependent on Him.

Second, children are known for faith. Because of their faith, they can be coasted into doing things like taking those first steps, eating their vegetables, and going to perfect strangers. We are called to have so much faith in God that we do whatever He tells us to do.

Third, children/babies are known for humility, according to the Sunday School commentary. As believers we should be known for our humility. We should be known for not thinking too highly of ourselves. Let’s work on being “child like.”

Being “child like” should not be confused with being “childish.” Examples of the latter include temper tantrums and pouting, when we don’t get our way, being mischievous, and giving to my attention to negative peer pressure.

- The kingdom of God. Notice in vs. 16 the mention of the “kingdom of God.” The “kingdom of God” is wherever the King – God – rules. Thus, the kingdom of God should include our entire lives, our families, our churches, and because of our involvement, even our communities to some extent. The kingdom is made manifest by our obeying God’s principles for our lives.

Let’s work on living like we are in the kingdom and striving to build the kingdom. “Building the kingdom” involves helping people to get saved and helping them to grow in their faithful obedience to God’s will.

Read Mark 10:16

II. Jesus’ Action. In our Sunday School material Jesus is shown taking some children in His arms. He places His hands on them. And Jesus blesses the children.

Applications –

- Children’s Ministry. Notice in vs. 16 that Jesus handled and blessed the children. The Church of Jesus Christ should be concerned with ministering to everyone, which includes children.

Children’s ministry should include some teaching, fellowship, and service. Teaching should include Bible, principles to live by, and life enrichment material like getting along with others, hygiene, and developing career aspirations that they think will be pleasing to God.

The church is at her best when she supplements what parents should be teaching at home. The church is ill equipped to be substitute parents. Let’s work on supporting our children’s ministry. Everyone can pray for it, but we also need some people to volunteer their services and time.

Conclusion: Let’s work on our children’s ministry and our “child like” faith. God has much for those who obey His will.

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