To Be A Child Again

ChildrenI sometimes think about what it might be like to return to my childhood and experience some of those events that are simply memories. I remember Christmas as a child, the anticipation and excitement. I remember birthdays. I remember toys. I remember building a tree house. I remember working in the garden. (Some memories are not as positive!) I remember going to my grandparents’ house to hang out and play. I didn’t have much to worry about as a child. I didn’t have responsibilities like I have now. I didn’t have other people counting on me. I could just enjoy my life within the guidelines of my parents. There is still a big place in my heart for children. I spent 20 years of my life in student ministry and I enjoyed pouring into students. Now that I’m old, I want to be young again!

Jesus was always teaching and speaking with purpose with His disciples. They were all celebrities because they were part of Jesus entourage. They felt important – they were important. Sometimes, they got a little “out of bounds”.  Check this out…

13 One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.

14 When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 15 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” 16 Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them. (Mark 10:14-16 NLT)

Children are all in.

Children are filled with wonder.

Children are light-hearted.

Children are pure-hearted.

Children are innocent.

Children love to be loved.

Children are humble.

Jesus made it crystal clear that I must receive His Kingdom as a child. I need to let Him love me. I need to love Him with an “all in” spirit of gratitude. I need to trust Him. I need to live within the guidelines of His Protection. I need to love like He loves. I need to be humble before Him and everyone else as well. I need to be pure hearted. I need to be filled with wonder.

As I celebrate Christmas with my family, it’s a joy to see how my children have grown into adults. It’s still a joy to see their faces when giving and receiving gifts. It’s a joy to see the innocence of my grandchildren. I want to be a child again today before the Lord. I want to see His Kingdom through child-like wonder.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

All Of Me

 

White Box with the Word Love on the Sides Isolated on a White Background.I thought I meant what I was saying when I said that “I love you with all my heart”. If I examine this statement pretty close, it’s actually quite bold when you think about it. I can’t begin to put into words how I love my wife and children. Some of my children now have wives and children who have expanded my capacity to love even more. I realize that the words I love with all my heart is meant to be profound and powerful – and they are, but I’m just not sure it’s true. I’m not sure I’m capable of loving any one person with my whole heart.

Moses, in teaching the people of Israel before their conquest of the Promised Land began, articulated the way God wants us to love Him. Check this out…

4 Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NIV)

I believe that really loving others is a priority issue. For example, Loving God first is paramount. I believe God wired me to love-period. I believe people who don’t love have quenched or killed their ability to love. I will tell you that I love certain people much more than others. I grew up loving my Mom & Dad, Mammie and Pappy. I loved my brothers and sisters. When I became a man and decided to love my wife – she took priority over all others. Then the kids came along – another adjustment. I still believe my wife to be the priority, but my kids are a close second.

Jesus gives a hard command in speaking on this subject. Check this out…

26 ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even their own life – such a person cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26 NIV)

I have never thought that the Lord was asking me to hate my family. He was asking that He come before my family. I actually believe that if I’ve got my love in proper priority with Him as #1, then I actually love them more because He’s the Author of Love. He wants all of me first then I can give more of me to others. This is quite an odd formula, but I believe that love is a simple, yet complex concept.

I want to love the Lord God with all of me so that I can give more of me to those I love dearly.

Pressing On!

Dwayne