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I hope you had a blessed week and just as the Apostle Paul greeted his readers, I hope that the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ has filled your life in the last week. 

Do you remember when you were a kid? Remember the sense of wonder, the thrill of discovery, and the simplicity of life? For me, I recall the joy of playing with Lego, building forts, and having epic battles with my siblings. I remember the laughter, the tears, and the endless hours of imagination. As adults, we often lose sight of that carefree spirit. We become bogged down in responsibilities, worries, and adulting. But Jesus reminds us that to inherit the kingdom of heaven, we must become like children (Matthew 18:3-4). But what does that mean? 

At first glance, it might seem like Jesus is asking us to regress to our childhood state. But He's highlighting their humility, trust, and joy. Children are unapologetically themselves, without pretences or ego. They trust without condition, believing that their parents will provide for them, protect them, and love them unconditionally. They don't question or doubt; they simply receive with gratitude. As we gather together as a church family, I'm reminded of the refreshing joy that our children bring to our services. I've seen them laughing and playing together, hugging and high-fiving each other. Only last Saturday did I observe many of our children eager to see their friends, play down ball with one another and of course eager to learn during their children story. At times I've seen them simply sitting together, holding hands and looking up at us with eyes full of wonder. 

It's a beautiful thing to behold! It's a reminder that we can still experience that same sense of joy and wonder as adults. We can still be vulnerable, open-hearted, and carefree. 

So how can we apply this principle in our daily lives? 
   * Humility: Recognize your need for God's guidance and provision.
   * Trust: Let go of your doubts and fears. Trust God's sovereignty and goodness.
   * Joy: Find joy in the simple things – nature, relationships, and everyday blessings.
   * Vulnerability: Open your heart to others, sharing your struggles and needs without fear of rejection.
   * Play: Spend time in prayer, praise, and worship, finding joy in your relationship with God. 

As we strive to become like children in these ways, we'll discover a deeper sense of peace, freedom, and connection with God. We'll learn to trust Him fully and find joy in the journey. 

And let's not forget to encourage our children as they grow in their faith! Let's provide them with opportunities to play, learn, and worship together as a family. Let's create a culture within our church where kids feel welcome and valued. 

May this lesson inspire us to re-examine our hearts and seek a deeper relationship with God.

May God bless you richly,  David Peñate

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