THE HOLY BIBLE (The Message – Matthew 18:1-5): 1 At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?” 2–5 For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom.
THOUGHTS: After growing up through childhood, many might find it challenging to understand why Jesus would declare that we become like that again if we desire to enter the kingdom of heaven. So I wanted to share a few things that might help us understand how Jesus may have been thinking. When children are very young, they are very trusting and gullible. They couldn’t care less who is in charge, as long as they get fed and cleaned up. Outward distinctions mean nothing to them, as long as they feel loved and cared for. They are free from malice, even when they don’t get their own way. They are teachable, and are willingly dependent on their parents. It is true that they soon begin to show other dispositions, and other ideas are taught them at an early age; but these are all marks of a maturing child. I believe that it is this type of character that Jesus is teaching us that would render us as lowly and ready to accept His love and His care. In other words, just as explained about a newborn child, that’s how Jesus teaches we are to be as a newborn Christian. There is no room for pride, or self-will or boasting, we are to be wholly and solely dependent on the Holy Spirit that takes control of us when we surrender. In fact, we are to continually, and daily, renew the spirit of our minds, that we may become simple and humble, as little children, and willing to be the least of all. Let us daily study this subject, and examine our own spirits. I have found that should I ever get stuck in a project and can’t seem to break through my frustrations, if I would simply start over I will usually avoid my original roadblocks and go on to victory. Perhaps we need to consider allowing Jesus to give us a fresh start also. As His precious child, receiving His special care, I know that we will be more than conquerors in the long run.
PRAYER: Starting over, sounds a lot like ‘born again’ – almost impossible. But Father, I know that our own self-will and our personal desires and knowledge presents roadblocks for us here in this tough life on earth. Please give us the strength to surrender to Your will for our lives. May we become so desirous of Your perfect will and Your powerful hand in our lives that we will be willing to surrender self and become obedient like a small child would be to a parent. Perhaps at that point we will be more apt to listen and obey. Lord, may we be usable instruments in Your perfect and all powerful hands, willing to be used of You to accomplish Your work. I ask these things humbly and in the precious and all powerful name of Jesus, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!