Jesus Loves the Little Children

It is important to notice that there is not a single verse anywhere in the Bible that tells us to exclude children from the covenant. What we see through the biblical writings is that Children are always included with the parents in the covenant. And this inclusion is important to God. He said at the beginning of the history of the covenant with Abraham, " And I will establish my covenant between you and me and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you" (Gen. 17:7). So here we have an everlasting covenant that includes children. He inspired the apostle, on the very day that the covenant became new, to proclaim as gospel, "the promise is unto you, and to your children... even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:39). Rebuking His unfaithful wife, Judah, in Ezekiel 16:20-21, God states, like as a Husband and Father, “ And you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your whorings so small a matter that you slaughtered my children and delivered them up as an offering by fire to them?”  In Malachi 2:15, God condemns the divorcing that was prevalent in Judah because divorce jeopardizes the "godly offspring." (And still today the unchangeable God hates divorce in the covenant community because it is destructive of the children who, as covenant children, are His children.)

The importance of our children's inclusion in the covenant is displayed all throughout the gospels. Jesus welcomed the children to himself, which is welcoming children into his covenant.  Luke 18:15–16, Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”  The word used for ‘children’ is paidion which is used exclusively to describe very young or infant children.  When Jesus says “let young children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God” this is clearly covenantal language - as no one comes to God except through covenant. Jesus’ inclusion of children into the people of God is prolific in the gospels.  There is no example where Jesus tells parents to consider their children unsaved until they can repent and believe. There is no spirit in the text of keeping children from participating in the worship of God with the people of God.  Does God receive praise from the lips of unbelievers? No. yet he does receive praise from the lips of infant children. Matthew 21:15-16, 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “[Hosanna] to the Son of David!” they were indignant, 16 and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “[Yes]; have you never read, “ ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” Is there ever a suggestion in the gospels or anywhere in the NT that we should keep our children from addressing God as Father? Father being a covenantal privilege. In Mark 10:16 after calling the children to himself took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. This is what Jesus does to those who are his own, should we really think that those children were not part of the covenant because they were not old enough to make a personal choice? Mark 9:36 continues this theme when Jesus “… took a little child (infant) whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” Into what is Jesus telling us to welcome this child? 

Paul writes in Ephesians 6:1–4, Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. The Law was given to and was for the covenant people of God.  The fifth commandment is given to children (covenant members). Paul affirms this commandment for children, thus affirming the children’s inclusion into the covenant.  He then builds on this covenantal inclusion of children when he writes to fathers saying, “…bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” He does not say bring them to the discipline and instruction of the Lord, but to bring them up in this covenantal reality. 

Along these same lines we see in Titus the qualification for elders which include having believing children Titus 1:6, if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. If we view our kids as unbelievers until they reach the age of accountability, then it would follow that fathers of young children cannot be pastors or elders. However, if we believe that children are included in the covenant, they are objectively Christian because they are in the covenant.  

As faithful Christian parents, we should take great comfort from Acts 2:39: “the promise is for you and for your children,” and rest in the reality that God’s promises are multi-generational. Paul’s assurance that children even of just one believing parent are “holy” (1 Cor. 7:14) ought to reinforce our confidence in God’s inclusion of children in the covenant. Acts 16:31 should also bring us great rest and comfort as parents when Paul says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Bible Reading Part 1 – Tear It Out


We are blessed to live in a time and place where the Bible is made available to us through so many different mediums. Bibles are available on our phones, tablets, computers, watches and, my personal favorite, bound in highland goatskin leather. If you prefer to listen to the Bible, you can download a free app and have your phone read the scriptures to you on your drive to work, or while you’re working out at the gym. Not only is the Bible available in many different forms for ingestion, but there are hundreds of English versions as well.  We have versions for intense study, and we have versions conducive for reading to small children.

We are blessed to have God’s word so readily available. We should also be humbled knowing that there are men and women who risk their lives to obtain even a single copy of the New Testament.

Acutely aware of how blessed we are to have copies of the sacred holy scriptures, I want to encourage you to consider doing the unthinkable… I want you to tear a page out of your Bible and throw it in the trash. There is one page in the Bible that has significant theological implications and contains a message that will cause you to stumble as you seek to understand God’s story of redemption.

When driving on a multi-lane highway, the rearview mirror is one of the most vital necessities to operate a vehicle appropriately within the rhythms of the traffic.  Without your rearview mirror you won’t know who is coming up behind you, you will struggle changing lanes, and you won’t know if you are being tailgated by another vehicle. Good drivers check their rearview mirror all the time without a conscious thought – it’s instinctual.

When navigating the many different lanes of the New Testament, it’s important to regularly check your rearview mirror to make sure that where you are going is in keeping with where you have been.

When reading John chapter one, you should instinctively look in your rearview mirror and see Genesis chapter one clearly behind you because John chapter one is written with Genesis chapter one in mind.  Both chapters speak of creation, beginnings, and God as the agent in creation. Likewise, when you read Acts chapter two and the story of Pentecost you should have Genesis 11 clearly in your rearview mirror, as the unifying of tongues in Acts 2 is the great reversal of the confusion of tongues at the Tower of Babel.

Perhaps one of the more frustrating aspects of nighttime driving is when you are blinded by the big truck behind you with his brights on.  His high beams flood your car through your back window and reflect off your rearview mirror rendering your rearview mirror useless.

The page I want you to tear out of your Bible offers a similar distraction to good Bible reading.  When reading through the New Testament, it’s often difficult to clearly see what lies behind us in the Old Testament because of the high beams of the page that come just before Matthew chapter one, which reads, The New Testament.

This page that separates the Old Testament from the New Testament has caused countless readers to bend the rearview mirror to the side to not get blinded, and thus to not see what’s behind them in the Old Testament.  This page represents an uninspired quagmire in Bible reading.  It keeps many readers from understanding that the Bible is one grand narrative about one glorious King. The whole Bible is about this one glorious King reestablishing his kingdom by redeeming for himself a people. The Old and New Testaments do not tell two different stories, about two different kings who save two different people. The Bible is a unified whole; the book of Matthew picks up where Malachi left off (though 400 years later).

By tearing out this unfortunate page, you will remove a glaring distraction allowing you to read the Bible as it should be read, as a unified whole.

Lord, Teach Us To Pray


One day, the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray,” and among other things, Jesus taught them to pray to their heavenly Father, “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Some may find it shocking that Jesus did not teach them how to pray to get into heaven. He instead taught them how to pray to get heaven into them.

Growing up I used to love watching the movie, “All Dogs Go to Heaven”. Like most movies as a kid, I probably watched it 50 times and could quote every line for you. There was laughter and friendship (Charlie, a cartoon German shepherd, voice by Bert Reynolds & his dog buddy, “Itchy”), there was love (Charlie & Anne-Marie, a sweet little orphan girl), and there was a battle between good and evil (Charlie vs. the evil Carface). And of course, the good guys win in the end, Charlie goes to heaven, Anne-Marie and Itchy are adopted, and Carface goes to hell! (Yes, this was a very vivid children’s movie that burned quite the image of the afterlife into my young mind.)

Though there were a lot of good lessons I learned from the movie, I was left with a boring image of what Heaven was like and an even worse theology of how to get there.

The Gospel is so much better than my childhood movie. There is love like none other, the only true “good guy” dies in our place and transforms us “bad guys” into “good guys”. So then, getting into Heaven is not by our doing good works (sorry Charlie), but only by faith in the good work Jesus did for us. And now, for us bad-guys-turned-good, getting into Heaven is less of the focus while we remain here on earth. Rather, we pray to the Father, as Jesus taught us to pray, not that He immediately take us up to heaven, but for heaven to come down in and through us!

Imagine what God could do if you prayed, “God, let your will be done here in my house, and in the lives of my family, just as it is in Heaven.”

Sometimes parenting can have you crying out, “Lord, take me now!”, but what if instead of praying for an escape to heaven, we prayed for heaven to come down and reside in our kids and in our homes? “Lord, thy will be done. Come into my home and have your way with my family.”

Consider what our marriages might look like if we prayed for God’s will for us as a spouse, and not just for our profession or career. We can be kind all day long to people we don’t even know, but then get home and speak to our spouse in ways we’d get fired for speaking to a customer. It’s a good thing our God turns “bad guys” into “good guys,” because that means there is hope if we would humble ourselves and pray, “Lord, your will be done in my marriage, as it is in heaven. Lord, help me be the husband and/or father, the wife and/or mother, that you would desire for me to be.”

Now, we could just stop here, and Lord knows, there would be a great healing and gospel power at work in our homes, but we would miss out on what Jesus wants to do in our workplaces and city, too.

God is not just the God over Christian families; He is the God over all the earth.

An old professor of mine from seminary once said, “God was the God of Adam before He was the God of Abraham.” In other words, our God is not just “Judeo-Christian,” He is the creator of the heavens and the earth, and every human being therein.

So, if Jesus is teaching His disciples to pray for God’s kingdom to come, then His hope is not simply for Revelation 21 to happen in the distant future, but right now. Jesus wants His people to pray that God would use His church throughout all the earth as a conduit of heaven, to transform in part now what He will one day accomplish in full.

If disciples of Jesus would pray like that today, then we would also have need to pray for our daily bread of strength, patience, and endurance.

We’d also need to pray for the Lord to lead us not into temptation that might derail us from our mission. And we could not go forth preaching a gospel of forgiveness without forgiving those who have sinned against us.

So, here’s my advice, if you want a vivid picture of the afterlife, no need to dust off that old VHS from your childhood. Instead, turn your Bible to Revelation chapter 21. It is the perfect ending to the Gospel. Good triumphs over evil. Death and Sin, are no more, neither is there crying or pain anymore. Our God rights every wrong, restores all that is broken, and best of all, He and all of heaven come to earth. And this future reality is available in part, now through His Church, by the power of the gospel, in our homes, marriages, workplaces, and city. If only Jesus’ disciples would begin to pray, not just to one day walk through the gates, but for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done, in and through us, on earth as it is in heaven. Oh, “Lord, teach us to pray…”

Celebrating our Launch Service


Wow. That was incredible! Thank you to all who came out for our launch service on the 22nd. We were blown away by what God did.

His presence alone was so evident it was difficult to hold back tears of joy on multiple occasions. Thanks to all our ministry team members for everything you did to make Sunday not only possible, but a joy.

Starting with a core team of about 40 adults, we set up 120 chairs in the sanctuary. (Mainly so that the guests we were expecting wouldn’t have to sit on top of each other.)

There were 60 people, comfortably seated, when service started. Then, after the first song, we realized waves of people kept coming in, and we had to add an additional 30 chairs. We counted 99 total adults in our building and 41 kids. But, most importantly, the gospel was proclaimed and Christ Jesus was exalted!

Pastor Kyle Lammott preached a sermon, explaining why the Exodus, is the greatest story every told, and how it is told even better in Jesus (Luke 9:31). So, if like us, your story needs “re-writing”, I encourage you to listen to this powerful message of redemption. Because His story, the greatest story, can also be your story.

First Words Preached at Exodus Church


I would like to start off by stating that the subject of the ministry at Exodus Church, as long as this Church stands, and as long as this Church is frequented by worshippers, will be the person of Jesus Christ. I am never ashamed to identify myself with a specific theology, I have no concerns about partnership with our denomination, or church planting networks.

But to quote Charles Spurgeon:

“If I am asked what is my Creed, I reply, ‘it is Jesus Christ.’

The TRUTH to which I would pin and bind myself forever, God helping me, is not a theological system, or any other human ideologies, but Christ Jesus, who is the sum and substance of the Gospel, who is in himself all theology, the incarnation of every precious truth. I believe with all my heart, and as long as there is breath in my lungs I will proclaim that Jesus alone is the Way the Truth and the Life.”

As long as Exodus Church stands we will preach Christ!

– Pastor Kyle

*Adapted from C.H. Spurgeon’s first words at the Metropolitan Tabernacle