Children’s Devotion: Growing Up

… follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
~ 1 Timothy 6:11

December means Christmas!  Christmas is the day we celebrate Jesus having been born in a manger—the best present ever! I hope you hear the story many times this month. But there is much more to Jesus than just being born in a stable and having shepherds and wise men come to visit.

You probably know he died on a cross and then came back to life and went to live in heaven with his Father. But what about all the years in between? Have you ever thought about Jesus being a kid like you and doing kid things like you do? Let’s try to imagine it.

He learned how to feed himself. Do you think he ate his vegetables? He learned how to dress himself. Tying those sandals on his feet might have been kind of tricky. He helped his mom and dad and, as he got older, he probably had chores to do. He went to school. Did he have a computer or a cell phone? No, but I’m sure he played games with his friends and neighbors. Do you think he ever got put in “time out” for doing something wrong—like when he stayed in the temple while his mom and dad had already headed for home? The story (in Luke 2:41–52) has a happy ending, and says that Jesus grew up, just like you’re growing up. He learned to love and obey his parents and to love and obey his Heavenly Father.

If you’re healthy, your body grows without you even thinking about it. But the inside (who you really are) needs some help. Your family and your teachers are helping you grow to be the best you can be. Going to church and Sunday school are helping you, too. Reading your Bible and praying will help you even more.

About 100 years ago, Joyce Kilmer wrote a poem that says, “Only God can grow a tree.” And only God can grow you up to be like Jesus—kind, gentle, patient, and loving. The Bible will help you want to do good things and show you when you’re going the wrong way. (2 Timothy 3:16 and 17)

December means the year is coming to an end, but the gift of Jesus doesn’t end. When you help put away the Christmas decorations and presents, don’t put Jesus away. Keep praying and learning and growing to be more like him.