As I sat and reminisced about the beginnings of these youth studies, one person came to my mind that I had not expected. He has been absent now for ten years, and the anniversary of his death hit me very hard this year compounded by my eldest graduating high school two days later. Suffice to say, that was an emotional week! It perplexed me a bit, that he should come into my mind while I was thinking of Disciplers for youth. After all, he hasn’t been here for any of its production. He wasn’t here when it started in my living room in 2011. What was the common thread that led him to my thoughts as a major contributor to the success of Diciplers, even today, ten years after his unexpected and sudden whisk up to Heaven.
Suddenly, the answer to my question was made clear. “Let the little children come unto me.” I had been thinking those words and how they shape each youth study. Pop Pop was another man who would call out loudly, without words, and the children would flock to him. In fact, when it came time to make his memorial program, a child had to be cropped from his arms to use as the close up photo, because photos of him without children in his arms did not exist.
But Pop Pop was not just about children. He had two other loves on this earth. One was his wife, Suzie, and the other, Disciplers. For many years, he taught the men’s study at Rolling Hills Covenant Church in Rolling Hills, California, alongside his wife who led the women. They were God’s dynamic duo armed with Bibles instead of capes. Pop Pop loved Disciplers and wanted to see it grow. In fact, when Suzie and I were discussing a new, shorter name for the website, she knew immediately which suggestion was right. “Pop Pop always said, ‘We need to get Disciplers online.’” Hence our new website name, Disciplersonline.org.
When I think of how a thousand years is but a day to the Lord, I can understand that a little better now. These ten years have passed in somewhat of a flash. And, just as Pop Pop has continued to be a constant thread throughout Disciplers, Jesus is also a constant thread throughout time. Time is very difficult for children to grasp. They spend a lifetime waiting to be 18 and then, as we all know, the years begin to fly by. Perhaps it’s the perpetual lie that the earth is “millions of years old” which makes time feel that much more elusive.
I long to make clear to students and children of all ages, ‘ that time is not afforded to us. As James teaches, we don’t know what tomorrowwill hold, we need to be right with our Lord God today. We need to seek to serve Him today. And, Jesus himself, called out, “Let the little children come unto me, of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” I can imagine the chubby, little, toddler feet that scrambled past the disciples to crawl up on His lap. I can imagine the comfort and the peace they felt being near Him. I can imagine because I watched it over and over again with Pop Pop.
Who is there in your life that reflects Christ to you? Have you told these people what a blessing they are to your understanding of salvation? Take time today to thank them for their efforts to walk in an upright manner and give glory to God. We are to imitate Christ, and it’s not easy. So, when you see others doing it, encourage them in their faith, as they have done for you.