Let Children Come

Ericka Loynes

Read: Mark 10:13-16 Do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. (v. 14) When I was growing up, if a child tried to engage in adult conversations, one of the adults would usually say, “Stay out of grown folks’ business.” That statement meant children had their place, adults had theirs, and the two groups rarely mixed. These unwritten rules were just part of the culture and we kids were used to them. I think if Jesus …

The Young Ruler

Ericka Loynes

Read: 2 Kings 22:1-13 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign . . . (v. 1) I love the movie Black Panther. It is the story of a prince who must rise to become the leader of his country after the tragic death of his father. Soon the son discovers a terrible secret from his father’s past. The son must decide whether he will follow his father’s pattern of secrecy and seclusion, or embrace a new way …

A Young Servant

Ericka Loynes

Read: 2 Kings 5:1-14 “Would that my lord were with the prophet . . . ” (v. 3) In 2003, my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. His doctor recommended aggressive treatment. I was hoping God would instantly remove the cancer. I knew he could. Growing up in church, I heard numerous members testify about God’s miraculous healing power. Though a supernatural healing was not part of my dad’s story, God used the treatments to destroy the cancer. My …

The Junior Prophet

Ericka Loynes

Read: 1 Samuel 3:4-18 And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” (v. 10) You’ve probably heard this old saying: “God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.” This statement implies we should listen twice as much as we speak. In their seminal study on listening, researchers Ralph G. Nichols and Leonard A. Stevens found people typically remember only about half of what they’ve heard someone say (Are You Listening?, p. 5). When we don’t listen with …

The Promised Child

Ericka Loynes

Read: Genesis 22:11-18 In your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed . . . (v. 18) George Muller was a man of great faith. He built an orphanage in Bristol, England, and decided to trust God for every detail, from furniture to dishes, to food and clothing, to the orphans themselves. Even when there was no food in sight, Muller instructed his staff to set the table for the children. Each time God rewarded Muller’s faithfulness …

An Unwanted Child

Ericka Loynes

Read: Genesis 16:8-15; 21:12-18 Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread . . . and gave it to Hagar . . . along with the child, and sent her away. (21:14) “How come he doesn’t want me, man?” This question is uttered at the end of a heart-wrenching episode in a ’90s hit TV series. A teenage son reunites with his father after being estranged for 14 years. Despite his guardian’s concerns, the son packs up his belongings …