This week we will be looking at children and the differences between bringing or leading them to the Kingdom, and hindering them from doing so. As you probably well know, most Christians come to faith at an early age. There are several theories as to why this is, but I believe that it mostly has to do with the fact that children are far more faithful and trusting than adults are. They lack the cynicism and distrust that plagues the majority of adults. If you tell a child that something is true, nine out of ten times they are going to believe you. Our early years are the most formative and much of who we become rests on the type of childhood we had. In my conversations with people of other faiths and religions, one common factor has stood out to me. We believe what we were taught to believe when we were young. What are we teaching our children to believe? Are we gently leading them to Jesus? Or are we hindering them in some way? What kind of Jesus are we teaching them? One who welcomes them with open arms? Or one who can't be bothered with them because He has more important things to do? Of course we would never intentionally teach our children that Jesus is too busy for them, but what are we teaching them through our actions? What portrait of Jesus have we put on display and modeled for our children? In my dealings with the youth I have found that many of them have based their faith on someone else, a parent, a teacher, a grandparent or pastor, etc... Very few have developed a personal relationship with Jesus, they simply rely on someone else for their faith. My point is this, are we leading them to Jesus or simply telling them about Him. And if so what is the difference and how do we fix it? Of course I should mention that if you have not cultivated your own deeply personal relationship with Jesus it will be difficult to lead someone else into one. On the flip side, what about the children who have been actively hindered from coming to Jesus? I am hard pressed to think of something more horrible than a child barred from the Kingdom of Heaven because they were led astray by an adult. Unfortunately it happens every day. In fact I would say it is rather common place. If it wasn't our jobs we be quite a bit easier. I propose we all keep these things in the forefront of our minds. How can we effect the children around us? How can we lead them to Jesus? How can we be a help to them and not a hindrance? How can we use our own talents and experiences to help mold and guide them into the truth? In a world where the secular has obtained a large foothold in our lives, how do we stand strong as an example for our children? Take some time this week and ponder these things, I will be praying for us all. God bless you and the children in your life.