When Jesus described the great
white throne judgment, He said to those on His right, “Truly I tell you,
whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine,
you did for me” (Matthew 25:40). Many categories of people could be called
“least of these”—one is most certainly children.
The church has taken a strong
interest in children from the day Jesus uttered, “Let the little children come
to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as
these” (Matthew 19:14).
This legacy of the church
continued in Europe through George Müller (1805–1898). The founder of
orphanages and champion of children, Müller himself had a troubled youth. Born
into a middle-class family in Prussia, he was often in trouble. By the age of
ten, he was known to be a liar, gambler, and thief; he even stole government
money collected by his father. Müller’s father sent him to college, hoping that
a Christian education would reform the youth. Instead, Müller remained
belligerent and drank heavily.
His life changed when a fellow
student invited him to a prayer meeting, where those who gathered welcomed him.
Müller began studying the Bible and discussing Christianity with others who
attended the meetings. The moment of Müller’s conversion came when he observed
a man praying on his knees. The man’s act convinced Müller that God was real and
that He could be known. Müller’s life changed immediately as he prayed for
forgiveness of his sins and changed his ways. He renounced his previous habits
of drinking, stealing, and lying and pledged to become a missionary.
Although Müller’s father had
wanted to see changes, he disapproved of his son’s newfound passion to become a
missionary. His father cut off his financial support in hopes of bringing his
son to his senses. With tuition due, Müller prayed. An hour later, one of
Müller’s professors offered him a position as a paid tutor, providing the
needed income for Müller to continue in school. Müller discovered the power of
prayer and faith and spent the rest of his life trusting God to provide for his
While still in his twenties,
Müller founded The Scriptural Knowledge Institute for Home and Abroad. He dedicated
the institute to many causes, including missions, Christian education, and the
care of children. Over ten thousand orphans received care in the five
orphanages Müller built in his lifetime. As a Christian organization, The
Scriptural Knowledge Institute not only provided care for children but also
ensured that each child received a faith-based education.
This post has been adapted from my book How Jesus Changed the World. You can learn more about it here.