It takes children to teach us

By | June 10, 2019 9:25 am

Bu Derrick Coble – West Sparta church of Christ

Our Lord often used some unconventional teaching methods or sayings that were sometimes confusing. For instance, when he told the parable of the soils, the disciples asked, “What might this parable be?” (Luke 8:9). Furthermore, he taught by walking to the disciples on the sea (Mat. 14:25), paying the temple tax with money from the mouth of a fish (Mat. 17:27), and by cursing a fig tree (Mark 11:14). Yet, beyond his powerful parables and miracles, perhaps one of His more simplified methods of teaching tends to get overlooked—the day He used a child to teach about greatness (Mat. 18:1-6). Last week, at Short Mountain Bible Camp, I witnessed the power of what young people can do to teach us. We had 160 campers (ages 8-18) and Jesus’ lesson on greatness through children is one in which every adult should learn.

  • Eagerness—Without fail, every day we witnessed several children who voluntarily served by picking up trash, helping friends, clearing the table at mealtimes, holding doors, turning in lost money, etc. Beyond that, I could ask any child or teenager to tackle a certain job and they immediately did it with not complaint. It reminds me of how each of us should be “fervent in spirit; serving the Lord” (Rom. 12:11).
  • Love to sing—We had beautiful singing sessions every morning and evening. There are always more songs than time! It is certainly a sacrifice of praise to God (Heb. 13:15).
  • Energetic & Enthusiastic—There was a seemingly tireless excitement with young people that is contagious. There were young men who offered to lead singing, lead prayers, and read the Scriptures before anyone could even ask. Enthusiasm about serving through worship was unsurpassed! It reminds me of how Paul said that Jesus wanted us to be “zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14).
  • Willing to follow—Numerous young people had already obeyed the Gospel. There were three precious souls who did decide to obey during the week. This is not counting many more who were extremely interested in growing in the faith and obeying soon. What an example for those adults who are not willing to give all and follow Jesus (Luke 9:57-62)!
  • Willing to learn—Learning is a priority at Bible camp. We had children who were very attentive, and several spent all week studying and memorizing Bible questions for the Bible Bowl. It reminds me of the Bereans who “searched the Scriptures” (Acts 17:11).
  • Long to be with fellow Christians—There is a kinship felt at Bible Camp that is like none other. It is a family atmosphere as it should be with brothers and sisters in Christ. Even some of our seniors (who enjoyed their last year as campers) shed some tears knowing it was a bittersweet ending. Christian adults who do not feel that bond, are certainly missing out. It reminds me of Paul’s relationship with the brethren at Ephesus as they cried when he had to leave them (Acts 20:38).

Jesus certainly knew how to teach us about being His brother and God’s child by using children! Let each Christian follow their example of humility and love moving forward in service to Him!

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