Today I spent time reading in Matthew 19 during my Time Alone With God (TAWG) and two great scriptures stood out to me. The first scripture that stood out to me is a scene where Jesus is telling His disciples to “let the children come to Me”. The second scripture that stood out to me is when Jesus shares about how “nothing is impossible with God”. In today’s blog I will focus on the first scripture, and in next week’s blog I will focus on the second scripture. Let’s dive into that first scripture to not only take a deeper look at it, but also to see how it might apply to our lives today.
“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.” (Matthew 19:13-15). Wow, this is so beautiful! In this scene, Jesus is basically showing that there is no one that is too insignificant for His loving embrace. He is showing that He can take time out of His busy schedule to love on, encourage, and pray for these little ones. Let me encourage you that no matter where you are in life, no matter what you are going through, no matter what you have done or not done, Jesus loves you and wants to meet with you and embrace you right where you are in this moment.
As you can see in the photo that I chose to use for today’s blog, I am in Uganda on a mission trip surrounded by a bunch of Ugandan children. One of my greatest moments in Uganda was the first time I stepped off the bus in the Smile Africa village and was immediately clobbered with hugs by 100’s of Ugandan children. Some of the adults in the village were trying to tell the children to step back and give us space, but it was in that moment that I heard the voice of the Lord say, “Let the little children come to me”. That was such a powerful moment to me and it was in that moment that the Lord gave me an overwhelming amount of love for these children. I embraced them, I held them, I prayed with them, I encouraged them, and at the same time I felt so much pain for them too. The Lord was constantly ministering to me while I was there that I was His hands and feet. He was constantly filling me with His love so that I could pour it out on these children. He was constantly giving me His words of wisdom, knowledge, and encouragement to share with these children. I experienced a whole new level of being the hands and feet of Jesus as I knew that my broken heart for these children was also His broken heart for these children. He loved every moment that I was embracing those children there, because it allowed Him to also embrace the children through me. I get a tingling sensation even as I type about those amazing moments that I had there in Uganda.
So, what can we learn from Jesus’s example set in today’s scripture focus? Well, I learned that no one is too insignificant for Jesus and His time, which means that no one is too insignificant for me and my time. In other words, I need to always be available and ready to be used in divine appointments for Jesus. I need to be willing and ready to embrace, encourage, and pray with whoever He calls me to moment by moment. He loves and cares for everyone regardless of how the world or a so-called ‘religious’ person might look at any and all individuals. He can use us to love people where they are in this moment (sin and all), rather than judge people in this moment where they are (sin and all). Jesus says to “come as you are”, because He will begin to love you where you are and gain your trust where you are. When you begin to trust Him and love Him is when He will show you that He loves you too much to allow you to stay where you are (in sin, guilt, shame, anxiety, depression, etc.), because He has so much better for you and He has amazing freedom for you too.
In conclusion, please understand that I am not saying that it is okay to continue living in a life of sin, because I am certainly not saying that (refer to Romans 6:1). What I am saying is that if a person is expected to change their ways before coming to church and/or before coming to know Jesus, it will likely never happen, and that is why Jesus says to “come as you are”. Allow people to come as they are and when they encounter the love of Jesus, they will begin to trust in Him and allow Him to do the healing and renewing work within them. Always remember, it’s his loving-kindness that leads us to repentance. Thanks for reading my blog, and be sure to come back next week to read “Part 2” of my Matthew 19 blog. Until then, get out there and be the loving hands and feet of Jesus y’all. : )
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