People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
- Mark 10:13-16
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
- 1 Corinthians 13:11
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
- Philippians 3:7-16
“Her village was seized by Islamic State and she was forced to begin a rough life in an unfinished mall in Kurdish-protected Northern Iraq. This displaced nine-year-old Christian refugee child asked God to forgive the ISIS militants. Little Myriam said, ‘God provides for us. He loves us. Jesus will be with us no matter where we go.’ Though a child, Myriam understood faith in Christ and the power of His resurrection in her life. Unfortunately, little more is known of Myriam. She may have been forced to face untimely death at the hands of Islamic State.
“In America, some Christians are being harassed for their values or are facing legal bullying for standing for biblical principles. But the persecution that faces Myriam and others like her in the Middle East has not yet arrived in this nation. Pray, indeed, that it does not!
“Your charge as you face whatever tomorrow brings is to press on – to strain forward – toward the eternal citizenship in Heaven awaiting all who believe, and it takes resurrection power to do that.”
- Presidential Prayer Team Devotion
I was going a different direction with this post until Dave of Live 4 Him wrote his post, There is More. He spoke of how we need to grow as Christians in a few powerful words.
Myriam, the young girl mentioned in the devotion has such a mature faith at such a young age. Age is not the factor here, but a spiritual maturity. Maybe, regarding age, young people have a purer sense of such things. They have not been forced into corners and required to choose between bad and worse. They may not yet be cynical.
In the Scriptures chosen, I started with Jesus stating that we must all come to Him through a childlike faith, not a childish faith. In 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul gives a transitional verse of moving from a childlike faith to a mature faith, then in Philippians, he goes into more detail about Christian maturity.
We do not need the persecution of Christianity mentioned in the devotion to shock us into that maturity. We only need the desire to become more like Jesus. With becoming more like Jesus, we grow in faith, but we also set ourselves up for persecution, as Jesus faced Himself. With mature faith, we can face that challenge.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.