“Giving from the Heart”

The Upper Room devotional reflection for Sunday, January 23, 2022 comes to us from Larry Dowell of North Carolina

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.

3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

Matthew 18:1-5 NIV

“Giving from the Heart”

While attending a book fair at my oldest grandson’s elementary school, I witnessed an act of kindness that warmed my heart. Andrew, my grandson, had earned money to spend at the book fair, by helping his mother at home. He chose a couple of books and made his purchase. He had money left over, but one of his friends didn’t have any money. His young companion had picked up a couple of books and was about to put them back.

Andrew made eye contact with me and I could tell he was seeking my approval. He wanted to purchase the books for his friend. I told Andrew he had earned the money so it was his to spend, but yes, it would be nice to share. And he did. When I witness acts of kindness, especially from children, it renews my faith in the Lord and assures me that God is at work in the world. Paise be to God for acts of kindness that reveal God’s presence.


Friends –

I have always been drawn to this scripture. It is important to remember that in Jesus’ time, children weren’t valued in the same way children are in our time. So, Jesus was reminding those around us and near him that God is present for everyone, especially those who are disenfranchised or thought to be somehow “less than”. Through this action, Jesus calls us to reach out to those who are somehow vulnerable, especially the children. Also, Larry Dowell reminds us that Jesus is calling us to remember that we have much to learn from the innocence of children whom God has placed in our midst to inspire us with enthusiasm and energy.

--Pastor bea


Dear Lord, thank you for the children in our lives who teach us about your unselfish, genuine love. Help us to become more like them. Amen.

--Larry Dowell

Prayer Focus:


Thought for the Day:

How do those around me teach me about Jesus?