“Become Like Little Children”

3 Then he said,“I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. — Matt. 18:3 NLT
Matt. 18:1-6 NLT

When some hear this passage, they think of the innocence of a little child who has not yet learned the difference between right and wrong.  Perhaps that’s what Jesus was referring to but I am not so sure.  I think in the context of His remark about humility, He may very well have been referring to something deeper than that.  After all, small children who truly do not know the difference in right and wrong would not need forgiveness, would they?  No, I believe Jesus is referring to us becoming as dependent on Him for everything we need as a small child is dependent on his/her parent for everything they need to survive.  We have to come to Jesus in such humbleness and humility because we realize that we can do nothing about our situation. We are lost and will stay lost without his mercy and grace. But I believe He is reaching even deeper than that. We must humble ourselves to the point that we really and truly understand that we can do nothing in any situation without Him.  Just like a little child comes to us and says “Daddy, tie my shoestrings because I can’t”,  so must we humble ourselves before our Daddy and confess that we can’t.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 05-04-2019

“He Will Lift You Up”

even-smaller-bug-light1

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 1 Peter 5:6 NLT
 
In today’s “me first” society, we are fed a steady diet of “it’s all about me”. Everything from billboards, ads, commercials, to the design of the clothing we wear screams “look at me”.  This worldly diet leads to death, not life.  If we can get past all the nonsense about atheism and “Jesus was just a good man, not a Messiah” arguments, we find that the real problem people have with Christianity is that it requires submission to a higher power. That word “submit” lights a fire under those who are proud and haughty. “I have come this far by myself, why should I submit to anyone?”  There is not one single vocation or avocation that does not require us to submit to someone sometime. Retailers submit to the demands of their customers. Designers submit to the whelms of modern society. In a peaceful society, we all submit to one another to some degree. Spouses and parents submit to each other and to the wants and desires of their children. Jesus submitted to death on a cross, the most painful and shameful way to die. Jesus humbled Himself, giving up all His glory in heaven to experience everything a human being experiences and He did so without sinning. His humbleness and humility defeated sin and satan and God exalted His Son above everything and every being, giving Him all authority in heaven and earth.  If we want to have great power in our lives, we must go through the valleys of humbleness and meekness. If it weren’t for the valleys, we wouldn’t have any mountains.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-21-2018

Do Not Be Conceited

even-smaller-bug-light1

16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited..—Romans 12:16 NIV

To live in harmony or peace requires us to put the needs of others above ours. To develop and maintain a relationship requires giving from both sides. It isn’t give and take, it is give and then give some more. To do this requires each of us to be humble, not just with those close to us, but with the strangers we meet on the street. We should never presume that we are better or of higher position than those that God brings across our path. Our birth and our address do not give us, as Christians, any right to feel or act better than others.  In fact, it requires us to do just the opposite. It requires us to love the “unlovable” and to touch the “untouchables”, just as Jesus did. If ever, we should meet someone and presume that we are of higher or better position than they are, it is pride that makes us feel that way.  Presumption and pride are sins.12  People cannot see their own mistakes. Forgive me for my secret sins.
13 Keep me from the sins of pride; don’t let them rule me. Then I can be pure
and innocent of the greatest of sins. 
Psalm 19:12,13 NCV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 03-23-2018

” Puffed Up”

even-smaller-bug-light1

10 Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you claim to be so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are honored, but we are ridiculed. – 1 Cor. 4:10 NLT
Paul continues to admonish the Christians at Corinth about their attitude. They are boastful of their salvation as if they had done something to earn it. They have made assumptions and “gone beyond what is written”, even though they have no way of having knowledge that Paul, Apollo, and Peter would not have access to. They mistakenly think that because they are saved, they are already rich and powerful here on earth. Paul contrasts their attitude to the way he, Apollo and Peter think and act. They are mistreated, abused, imprisoned and “made spectacles” for the world and the angels to look upon. They have become fools for Christ’s sake, but the Corinthians are “puffed up”, thinking they are wise. Paul, Apollo, and Peter have become weak so that Jesus might show His strength through their weakness.  They have given up their honor for the sake of the glory of God.
They have come to understand what John the Baptist meant when he said:

30 He must become greater; I must become less.”–John 3:30 NIV
And we need to have that same attitude. We can do nothing of heavenly value without Christ but we can do all things through Christ.
13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.–Phil. 4:13 NIV


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 02-07-2018

Does the Success of Others Bring Us Joy?

even-smaller-bug-light1

29 It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the bridegroom’s friend is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success

​. – John 3:29 NLT​

Over and over in Chapter 3, we are reminded of John’s faithfulness and steadfastness in following the plan that God had laid out for Him. In today’s society, with all of it’s “me first” attitudes, we need this constant reminder. We, like John, need to know our place in God’s plan and be faithful in carrying out that plan. God’s plan is for us to teach and preach the “foolishness” of the gospel. God has gifted each of us with a special gift that He wants us to use in spreading His Word. What is our gift and how are we using it to further the Kingdom of God here on earth? There is not one job in God’s Kingdom that is not important. Every part of the body has to function well for the Church to work as God planned it. Do we do our job with gratitude that God has chosen us to help Him? Are we filled with joy when those that have more visible jobs are successful? Do we honestly and fervently pray for those in authority over us? Are we “filled with joy” when those around us are promoted to a position over us? In our hearts and minds, we must see ourselves as less important and Jesus as Lord or as Paul puts it, we must mortify the flesh and follow after the Spirit.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 08-14-2017

Be Humble – Respect Those Over You

even-smaller-bug-light1

12 Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance.– 1 Thess. 5:12 NLT
We must remain humble where God has put us. We need to learn “to bloom where we are planted”. In other words, we should work diligently where we are until God moves us. Be obedient to those He has ordained to be over us. Since we are all parts of one body, we must work together in unity and unison to accomplish the work God has for us. If it is truly God’s work, it is not just “busy” work. If we do our part, God will certainly do His part. Work well and willingly with others. Encourage and help others with patience and love. We must always seek to do good to others and let God take care of the rest. Even though, we may never see what becomes of the other person, the one thing that we can be sure of is this: God will not be mocked, each of us will reap what we sow.
 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 03-21-2017

In His Service

even-smaller-bug-light1

 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, — Mark 10:43 NIV
 

Jesus left His honor and glory in heaven and became a man. Not just any man, but the perfect man, a man without sin. He spent His time here serving others and humbled Himself, even to the point of allowing Himself to be crucified on a cross. A sinless man dying for the sins of a corrupt human race. Yet, He did it without complaint. If our Creator and Redeemer humbled Himself to that degree, how should we respond to that act of love? We are to follow His example and humble ourselves. We should consider it an honor to be ridiculed for righteousness sake. Because of His obedience, God exalted Jesus to the highest position and put everything under His feet. If we humble ourselves and stay obedient in serving others, God will exalt us in due time.

1 Peter 4:7-10 NLT


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 01-15-2017