Pillar Journal

The Blessing of Childlike Faith

"Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3)

There once was a gentleman in New York named Mr. Smith, who said he did not believe in God. He never went to church, of course, and never read the Bible. He did not believe that Jesus is God, or that He died and rose again to save sinners. Yet, when he had been a small boy, his mother had taught him from the Bible. She had filled his memory with Bible verses, and had prayed often with and for him.

Mr. Smith was married. His wife was not a Christian either. They had one child, a bright, intelligent little boy named Tommy. The boy’s nurse was somewhat religious, though not religious enough to worry Tommy’s parents.

One evening Tommy was lying on his bed, waiting to be tucked in for the night. He had not been a good boy that day, and had been scolded and punished by his nurse and his parents.

All was quiet for a while, when suddenly the child burst into tears, which surprised his parents. His father went to him quickly and asked what was the matter.

“I don’t want it, Daddy, I don’t want my sins in a book!”

“What do you mean?” asked Tommy’s father, not wanting to understand.

“Ellen says God writes down all my sins in a big book, and I don’t want them there! I wish they could be wiped out!” Then Tommy cried again, and his father felt like crying with him.

Suddenly, Mr. Smith remembered the truths of the Bible, which his mother had so faithfully taught him when he was a child. After a great inward struggle, he now tried to comfort his weeping child with these truths.

“Don’t cry, my dear boy,” said Mr. Smith. “It is possible to have them all wiped out.”

“What?” cried Tommy eagerly. “Tell me how, Daddy!”

“You get on your knees and ask God for Christ’s sake to wipe them out; He is able and willing to do it.”

He didn’t have to speak twice. In an instant Tommy jumped out of bed and kneeled down by the bedside. He folded his little hands and began to pray. Then he looked up at his father and said, “Daddy, won’t you please help me pray?”

This was a hard thing to ask. Mr. Smith had never really prayed in his life. But when he saw the great distress of his child, how could he refuse? So the proud father got down on his knees by the side of his dear son, and asked God to wipe away Tommy’s sins and his own sins. Then they got up, and Tommy went into bed again.

“Daddy, are you sure they’re all wiped out?”

What a question this was for Mr. Smith! But he felt that he had to answer according to the truths taught him by his mother. “Tommy, the Bible says that if you ask from your heart for Jesus’ sake to wash away your sins, and if you are really sorry for what you have done, they shall all be wiped out in God’s time.”

A tender smile passed over the face of the child as he laid his little head on the pillow. But in a moment, Tommy sat up again. “Daddy, with what did God wipe out my sins? With a sponge?”

This was another difficult question for Mr. Smith. He liked to say to his friends that the Bible was just a collection of stories. People didn’t need to be saved, he would say; they didn’t need the blood of Jesus. But now he felt that the blood of Jesus was necessary.

“No, my child, not with a sponge, but only with the blood of Jesus Christ who died for sinners. The Bible says, ‘The blood of Jesus Christ… cleanses from all sin.’” (1 John 1:7) The father then went on to explain in detail how God can forgive sins based on Jesus making satisfaction to the justice of God for them.

Finally Tommy was satisfied and fell asleep. From that moment, Mr. Smith gave up his false beliefs and began to seek the Lord. The work of the Holy Spirit is amazing and wonderful. He used the simple faith He gave to Tommy for Tommy’s father, who was in due time led to the very cross he had so long rejected and yet had been compelled to explain to his son.

“Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).

Question: How does God wipe away sins? What does God say we should become like if we are to enter into heaven?

Scripture Reading: Psalm 131.

Excerpt from
How God Used A THUNDERSTORM: And Other Devotional Stories
Joel R. Beeke & Diana Kleyn
Illustrated by Jeff Anderson