Last weekend was an exciting one for us! Daniel was baptized by his Daddy and our whole family celebrated it with dinner at our house after church. Here's a couple of pictures of Travis baptizing him and of Daniel soaking wet. He was one excited little boy!
Daniel's decision to accept Christ as his Savior and his desire to be baptized (a sign of obedience to God, Matt. 28:18-19) has made me examine some of my beliefs a little more carefully.
I have never questioned whether or not a young child should accept Christ... until my own children reached that point of decision. I've had this discussion with more than one friend: Can our children really understand the basics (to the point of "believing unto salvation") at such a young age? Do we risk them making a decision, but not really meaning it or living it - and then having a false assurance? These worrisome thoughts went through my head as Travis sat Daniel down to make sure he understood the basics and had the right motive.
As I sat across from Daniel wondering if my happy-go-lucky four-year-old could possibly make a decision to follow Christ, the Holy Spirit convicted my heart and brought these words to my mind: "Forbid not the little children to come unto me." Who am I to determine whether or not the Holy Spirit can make a child understand the Gospel message and convict him of his sin? I must rely on the Bible to give me that answer. Being tempted to discourage Daniel put me in the same place as the prideful disciples, who "rebuked" the people who brought children to Jesus. Jesus was "greatly displeased" with the disciples. He told them not to forbid the children, for "such is the kingdom of God." Salvation is simple belief. Believing Jesus to be who He said He is. Believing He'll do what He says He'll do. And when you truly believe Him, you follow Him. That is child-like faith. That is saving faith. The Bible then says that Jesus "took them up in his arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them." (Mark 10:13)
An interesting side note is that this small, seemingly insignificant interaction took place in the few days between His Transfiguration, when God spoke audibly and declared Jesus His Son, and the Triumphal Entry, when Jesus entered Jerusalem to initiate the series of events that would lead to the cross. The countdown to Calvary was nearly complete; there was a sense of urgency that even His disciples could feel; and Jesus stopped. He took time to deal with children. He said "let the children...come." And then He ministered to them spiritually. That, my friends, is a very convicting realization to me as a mother. He took time in the midst of earth-shattering, life-changing busyness to minister to children.
And, again, why would I think that God would not compel a child to, now, "come"?
It was a blessing to hear Daniel pray and to see the joy on his little face -- true joy that comes from being in a right relationship with God!
"Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as [like] a little child will by no means enter it." Luke 18: 15