We share our experience of raising up the second generation of the church as well as our own growth together with them. In Matthew 18:1-3 Jesus told us that we have to change and become like little children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 18:1-3) At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”
From the interaction with our children, we can learn how to be children of our heavenly Father.
In our physical life, we are easy to be influenced by the people around us(parents, siblings, grandparents, friends, relatives and etc.) and we may imitate how they talk, how they do things or even how they think. We may become similar type of persons as they are.
Our spiritual life is similar. We grow spiritually by imitating the good examples in Christ or we continue our worldly living as before.
God commanded the Israelites not to follow the detestable ways of the nations around them. But Israelites failed and they sinned against God. 2 Kings 17:15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do.”
Apostle Paul urged the Corinthians church to imitate him. 1 Corinthians 4:15-17Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me.17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.
Paul also urged the Thessalonians church to imitate him. 2 Thessalonians 3:9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate.
Hebrews author did the same. Hebrews 6:12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. Hebrews 13:7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
Apostle John said the similar thing in 3 John. 3 John 1:11Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.
Yes. Let’s imitate what is good. Study of the word of God is good because the word of God is eternal (Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away). Let’s study the word of God like children.
Joshua’s muscle seems to be weak since he was born. But today he managed to climb the slide by a different way. Lillian was warm-hearted to help him. Mom wanted to record such historic moment. But I only catched part of the moment.
I asked Joshua to repeat the same action. Camera is ready. Action! …Oops! Stage fright or too much laugh? He failed to climb up. Lillian didn’t give a good example: laughted at Joshua and gave him up. But Joshua didn’t give it up. He used the way that mom taught him last time(though he couldn’t do it last time).
It surprised me. What stimulated him to complete the actions? Was it that mom’s video recording was on? This reminded me of the word of God in 1 Corinthians 4:
1 Corinthians 4:99 For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings.
God puts us in a show before everybody . Let’s obey the director and complete the show!
I read the story of a crow drinking water from a bottle with the children . Because there is too less water in the high bottle, the crow has to think how to drink the water. It picks up some small stones and put them into the bottle. Afterwards, the water is high enough for the crow to drink.
So I put a cup with half water on the table for the children to do the experiments. They can pick up small objects to put them into the glass to see what will happen.
They discovered something exciting! The water in the glass magnifies the objects they put into it!
After a while, the two eld ones were not any more excited and only the younger ones continued to check different objects.
In the end, even the youngest one started to do something else: dry the stuff. What’s going on? Because the oldest one was doing it. All the three younger ones were following her.
Are we(adults) the same? We discover something new in God and are excited. But after a while, our focus switches to something else because we are bored of it or somebody else influences us. We are bored because we don’t press on deeper to discover more or to understand more. Keep the focus! Press on to know more about Jesus. Knowing Jesus is eternal life!
(John 17:3) Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
Half a year ago, I led them to say sorry to each other because they made big noises during the communion time. With the disciplines and constant reminding, they are much quieter during the communion time nowadays.
Mom: say sorry to the younger children.
Mom: I won’t be like this(making big noises) in the next communion time.
Lillian: I won’t be like this in the next communion time.
Mom: I won’t give bad example to others.
Lillian: I won’t give bad example to others.
A few days ago, lillian made a big commitment to Mom by herself. I recorded it to remind her later. Hope she remembers her words all the time.
Lillian(a little shy): From now on, I will say “OK” to whatever you tell me to do. I won’t ask “Why? Why? Why?”.
Mom: Really? Will lillian be so submissive?
Lillian: Yes. I will.
Mom: Next time if you do wrong, I will show you this video.