Feed His Lambs Samantha Harrell // September 29, 2020
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At some point, you’ve probably invested some of your resources in anticipation of growth and return. Have you ever considered that children are the best investment of your time and money? Even if you don’t have children of your own, there are plenty you could still help. Children need the basics: food, shelter, and clothing. But they also need spiritual food. They need mentors, someone who will direct them to Christ and show them His love. The return on this investment is invaluable.

“Then Jesus asked him again, ‘Peter, son of John, do you have great affection for me?’ Peter was saddened by being asked the third time and said, ‘My Lord, you know everything. You know that I burn with love for you!’ Jesus replied, ‘Then feed my lambs!’” (John 21:17 TPT).

One day I opened my Bible to a random page and read something to the effect of, “Dearest woman, I’m glad to see your children are being taught.” I can’t quote the chapter and verse because it was in the middle of the night, at a time when I was just hungry for God’s approval. It could have been in John or James, but I certainly can’t find it now. I’d like to think maybe God inserted a personalized note just for me in my dark moment of doubt. I’m not a perfect parent, but that night when I stopped to wonder what God thought, He had only words of encouragement and affirmation for me. He sees our efforts to shepherd the young ones He’s entrusted us with— our children. As a good Father, He encourages and kindly corrects us along the way.

As long as we make the effort to feed our children spiritually, God will fight the inevitable battles that arise. We are always up against insecurity, feeling overwhelmed or exhausted, and the occasional disinterest and distraction on the kids’ part. So it’s important to use what our kids enjoy as a springboard for teaching. Jackson, my eldest, loves comic-style books, including the Bible and children’s classics that are illustrated in that style. Charles, a few years younger, loves to learn about Jesus and God’s creation from a scientific perspective. We frequently read from Louie Giglio’s children’s books, which use basic scientific concepts to explain God’s love. Evelyn, as a preschooler, loves all kinds of toys and watching their unboxing and demonstration on the adorable Internet video channel, “Growing Little Ones for Jesus.” My sweet baby, Nick Jr., has so much fun dancing along with praise and worship music anywhere.

After Jackson completed first grade (well before Coronavirus), we made the tough decision to withdraw him from his lovely private school in favor of homeschooling. I had not considered it seriously until my youngest reached nine to ten months, and I’d made it through the newborn survival fog. I was simply convicted one day that we weren’t getting to see Jackson enough! We would spend about fifteen minutes together in the mornings, and after school he was understandably tired, just wanting to decompress in front of the television. Homeschooling has been a wonderful transition, bringing more health, joy, ease, and togetherness into our lives. Let’s invite our children to spend their best hours with us.

“Jesus called out to them and said, ‘Come and follow me, and I will transform you into men who catch people for God.’ Immediately they dropped their nets and left everything behind to follow Jesus” (Matthew 4:19-20 TPT).

 

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for the gift of children! We all want to feel loved, and there is no one more loving than a child. Please give us opportunities to help children who need to see and feel Your love. Help us to see them through Your eyes of compassion. In Your holy name, amen.

(Excerpt from my book, His Child: Asking Jesus for Your True Identity

Samantha Harrell

Samantha Harrell