Summary: A service of Infant Dedication proceeded this sermon. This sermon is based on Matthew 19:13-15, "Let the little children come to me..." A brief Service of Infant Dedication is included at the end.
Our Children Need to Know
Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
( A short service of infant dedication is at the end of this document)
Due to the fact that young children are so unpredictable, We are doing the infant dedication in two parts. Early in the service we brought the child to the front to pray for him and dedicated him to the Lord. Now, when the child may be sleeping (along with some adults), I want to preach about God’s love for children and our responsibilities to them.
Illustration – Some Things Change but Some Don’t
-Car seats designed for space travel
-Bottle warmers that are almost automatic
-Diapers that have a line on them to tell you when they are wet
But … Children still want to be held, to be loved, to know what the limits are …
They still need to know about a God who loves them –
1. Our Children Need to Know that Jesus Loves Them – Matthew 19:13
"Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them."
In the previous chapter Matthew 18) Jesus had used a child as an illustration:
"He called a little child and had him stand among them" (Matthew 18:2). The child wasn’t afraid to come to Jesus.
Jesus loves them as they are and so should we …
Illustration – Our Son David (6) – Soccer on the Farm
When our son was 6, we left him with some friends on a farm while we did an errand. He was allowed to play soccer with other boys on a dirty, dusty farm road. When we returned our friend said: I wanted to wash him off a little before you got here but they were having so much fun that I couldn’t do it. Our son was covered in dirt from head to toe but the joy in his face was so exciting to see.
Jesus loves them as they are and so should we.
They need to know that Jesus loves them.
2. Our Children Need to Know that Jesus Can Bless Them – Matthew 19:14a
"But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them…"
Bring your children to Jesus and don’t hinder them in their faith.
Their lives can be different – they can live a life under the Lord’s blessing
The Bible says there are two paths – one leads to destruction and one is the path of God’s blessing. I don’t mean that their lives will be free from struggles and problems but we can tell our children that there is a life that is far better out there than what the world has to offer.
Children Should Enjoy Church
Illustration: Awana Grandmother
Every week she brings her two small grandchildren and loves to see how happy it makes them. My prayer is that she will also discover that the love she senses here can be theirs for a lifetime and not just for an hour a week
Church Should be part of your child’s life
Illustration – Our daughter had a bag to carry her toys in when she came to church
As a pastor, our children had to come to church. We didn’t miss a service but when our daughter was young, her attention span was not long enough for the whole message so we allowed her to put some toys in a paper bag and bring them with her (bags used to be made of paper back then). When the service would start she would take a toy out and roll the bag closed. Later, she’d open the bag again and take out a different toy. Evidently, the paper bag made some noise because someone made her a cloth one after a few weeks. I think being in church all of her life was good for her.
3.Our Children Need to Know that Jesus Can Save Them – Matthew 19:14c
"… for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
God’s desire for our children is for them to know about the Savior and to trust Jesus as their personal savior early in life.
Theologians tell us that we are not only sinners but that we are born with a sinful nature. The sin of Adam and Eve affects everyone born. I look at little children and I see “innocence” but the day will come when their sin nature and their sin acts will be evident to us and to them.
The Bible tells us that we "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) and that all the good we try to do could be compared to “filthy rags” when we think of God’s holiness (Romans 6:23).