Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Thursday Thoughts: As Little Children…

August 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Articles, Thursday Thoughts

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:1-3 (NKJV)

The disciples had been quarreling over places of honor in the kingdom. (Mark 9:33-35)  Jesus teaches them the lesson that they needed to learn and one that we need to learn as well.  He sets a little child in the middle of them as an example of what they needed to learn to be in the kingdom.

There is much in the character of a little child that may prove to be a valuable lesson to all who will consider the child’s actions.  We have just finished our Vacation Bible School.  I am always impressed at the children and how much they are able to learn about the Bible stories that they study during VBS.  Not only by what they are able to learn but their enthusiasm, their desire to learn, their willingness to participate, their love for Jesus, their purity of heart and their humility. I am sometimes ashamed of my lack of these qualities.

 

HUMILITY

In our text, I think that Jesus is suggesting that they or we would need to turn from our pride, ambitions and jealousies and become like little children if we are to be in the kingdom.  He goes further and states that we must be humble like a little child to be in the kingdom.  Humility is difficult but necessary if we are to be what God wants us to be.  Children don’t have so much trouble with humility.

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

1 Peter 5:5 (NKJV)

The Christian ideal is not ruling but serving.

“Not as men of science, not as critics, not as philosophers, but as little children, shall we enter into the kingdom of heaven”

— Shairp.

“Heaven’s gates are not so highly arched as king’s palaces; they that enter there must go upon their knees”

— Webster


PURITY

The kingdom will be a place of purity.  Jesus is suggesting that unless we are pure as a little child we will not enter the kingdom.  Children are pure in life because they are pure in heart.  They don’t do evil things because they don’t think of evil things.  We must be like little children and seek a pure heart.  We must think pure to be pure.

Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.

Matthew 5:8 (NKJV)

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:8-9 (NKJV)

 

TEACHABLE

Children are so open-minded.  They are willing to learn.  They want to learn.  Their minds are not cluttered with preconceived ideas.  They trust the Word of God.  We must be the same as the little children if we are to please God.  We can’t continue to build barricades to learning about Jesus by closing our hearts.

So when they did not agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had said one word: “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, saying,

‘Go to this people and say:

‘Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand;

And seeing you will see, and not perceive;

For the hearts of this people have grown dull.

Their ears are hard of hearing,

And their eyes they have closed,

Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,

Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,

So that I should heal them.”‘

Acts 28:25-27 (NKJV)

 

LOVE

A child’s love is sincere.  There is absence of hypocrisy.  Their love is forgiving.  They hold no grudges.  They soon forget their quarrels.  This is the kind of love that God looks for in us. (1 Cor. 13)  We need to love like little children.

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;

Romans 12:9-10 (NKJV)

We learn from the text that Jesus looked at a little child and taught that we needed to become like this little child in character in order to enter the kingdom.  How do we stack up?  I can tell you that I was both inspired and shamed by the children at VBS.  How God must be please with these little children who love Him so much.  I know I need to learn from them and be better than I am.  What about you?

– Don Davenport

 

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