I think most people want to be liked, respected, treated decently. And I think most people would like to treat others, at least some others, similarly. You scratch my back. I'll scratch yours.
But there are individuals who are difficult to like, maybe even impossible to like—to love.
That's how we may feel about someone else, but that's not how God feels about us.
If a baby could talk, would you expect him or her to say, "What do I need to do to earn a place in this family?"
Imagine a wealthy heir asking his or her father, "What qualifies me to inherit the estate?"
Now picture a wealthy young man following the crowd around Jesus. He winds his way through the disciples and sees Jesus praying for the little children who have come to him.
He hears Jesus say, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
The wealthy young man is waiting for the right moment. Jesus finishes praying and stands to leave. The rich man steps toward him and asks, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
Had he just missed the lesson? What good thing did the children do? And didn't Jesus just tell everyone listening that "the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these?"
I've heard so many pastors talk about these words and focus on commitment and giving up everything. Those are good ideas, but they miss the point.
There is no good thing anyone can do to inherit eternal life. The law was given to show us God's ideal, the way we should live, and to show us that we can never do enough to earn his love, but we are always enough because of His great love for us.
There is no good thing that a baby must do to be loved by his or her mother. There is no good thing a child must do to be an heir.
My children don't have to be perfect to be my children. They don't have to earn love and affection.
The only thing the children had to do to receive the love of Jesus, his gentle hand, and his prayers was to be present in that moment with him.
Be present in the moment—in every moment with the savior who loves you.
We can do nothing to deserve his love—nothing to earn his love. Yet nothing can separate us from his love.