What a terrible thing to think that what we said or did hindered a little child from coming to Jesus. Whether it be a little child physically or a little child spiritually, we must be very thoughtful of our actions and words. “When Jesus told the disciples not to forbid the children to come to Him, He was speaking to His followers in all ages—to officers of the church, to ministers, helpers, and all Christians. Jesus is drawing the children, and He bids us, Suffer them to come; as if He would say, They will come if you do not hinder them.” The Desire of Ages, 517.
“Let not your un-Christlike character misrepresent Jesus.
- Do not keep the little ones away from Him by your coldness and harshness.
- Never give them cause to feel that heaven will not be a pleasant place to them if you are there.
- Do not speak of religion as something that children cannot understand, or act as if they were not expected to accept Christ in their childhood.
- Do not give them the false impression that the religion of Christ is a religion of gloom, and that in coming to the Saviour they must give up all that makes life joyful. …
“The Saviour regards with infinite tenderness the souls whom He has purchased with His own blood. They are the claim of His love. He looks upon them with unutterable longing.” Ibid.
Each person in some way influences another. Our thoughts and feelings make up our moral character and it is these same thoughts and feelings which make up the atmosphere around us. (See Messages to Young People, 92.) It is to God’s glory that a heavenly atmosphere be maintained which will draw others to Him. Without that atmosphere many are turned away. “Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14). Remember, a person could be a child either physically or spiritually.
The first fruit of the Holy Spirit is love (Galatians 5:22) and an excellent description of that love is found in I Corinthians 13:4–8: “Charity (love) suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity (love) never faileth.”
An influence filled with the attribute of real, heavenly love will not hinder anybody but will draw all to Christ. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your influence drew a heart to Jesus?
Father: Remove the un-Christlike characteristics in me that would hinder others from being drawn to You because of the shadows about me. I need especially that first fruit of the Holy Spirit to shine through me that all may discern a heavenly atmosphere and find comfort and not gloom. Thank you for that heavenly influence filled with agape love that attracts all others to you. Amen.