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
As adults, we can become like children in two different ways. We can make decisions based on our wants and feelings with no knowledge or concern of what the consequences might be. This happens when we want to exercise control or when we make decisions that are based on what we want and not what is good for ourselves and others. An example is not sharing with others as we should and becoming angry when we are asked to do so. Another example is being disobedient. This is being “childish”. The other way we can become like children is to live our lives with the innocence of childhood, accepting others without question, being humble and being obedient to parents and authority figures. This happens when we base our decisions on knowledge and when we consider the outcome of our decisions. An example of this is to do what is best for the family and/or those around us regardless of what our desires and wants may be. The best example is that of Jesus and that is to love without conditions and without expecting anything in return. This is being “childlike” and that is the attitude that Jesus says we must have to enter the Kingdom of God. If we are childish, we seek to satisfy our wants and we seek the approval and praise of men. If we are childlike, we humble ourselves before God, do His work and seek His approval.
17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. —- 1 John 3:17, 18 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Joy is contagious and it attracts other people to us when we are joyful. No one wants to spend all day, every day, with a complainer. So, if we want to attract others to Jesus, we should serve with a heart full of joy. That joy should be as pure as the joy of a small child. It should have no pretense, people can easily see through that. We want to be bright lights leading others to Jesus. We should be the kind of lights that cause as much excitement and joy as a lighthouse on a shore that is being beaten by crashing sea waves causes when it is seen by the lookout on a ship. Our lights should warn people of the dangers of sin just as surely as the lighthouse warns sailors of the danger of rocks. Keep your lights trimmed and burning bright by studying and meditating on God’s Word daily. Spend time each day with just you and Jesus.
14 All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin[f] will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’) — Isaiah 7:14
Ahaz was king of Judah. Judah was being attacked by a coalition of nations and Ahaz and Judah were in deep trouble. God sent Isaiah with a message of reassurance, but Ahaz refused to honor God’s request. His refusal to ask for a sign was not faith, it was arrogance. God gave him a sign anyway. A virgin would bear a child and call His name Immanuel (God is with us). This prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew.
And God is still with us, He will never leave us nor forsake us. That’s the Good News that we are to spread to the world. That is the hope that we have as Christians. It is that hope that sustains us and gives us our joy. A joy that no one can take from us because “nothing can separate us from the love of God”. Nothing, absolutely nothing, no time, no where!!!! Rejoice, for a child is born!
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. 6 It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 8 In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.” — Romans 9:5-9 NIV
The promise that God made to His friend, Abraham, was fulfilled. Abraham did become the Father of many nations through his first two sons, Ishmael was the frist born, a child concieved with Hagar ten years after the promise. It was another 13-14 years later before Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah. It was sixty years later when Jacob (Israel) and Esau were born to Isaac and Rebekah. It was through Jacob that we trace the lineage of Jesus Christ. This promise was very slow in being fulfilled, but it was confirmed over and over throughout the Old Testament. Though Abraham did become the Father of many nations, the promise was not made regarding the physical descendants but, rather to the Spiritual descendants through One person. It was not to the “seeds” of Abram but to the “Seed” of Abraham. That Seed is Jesus Christ.
16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. — Galatians 3:16 NIV
In His own words, Jesus told us that He came to seek and to save the lost.
9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” — Luke 19:9,10 NIV
Jesus also said:
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. — John 3:16, 17 NIV
It is for these reasons that all nations, tribes and kindreds can join in the celebration of the birth of Chirst. We have been commissioned by Christ to go tell “the old, old story that we have loved so long.”
1 What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir– Gal. 4:1-7 (NIV)
It was God’s plan from before the beginning of time as we know it that every person that was born would have an opportunity to become His child and an heir. Under the law, man was a slave to that law and could not become an heir. When the set time had come, God sent his Son. Born under the law to a fleshly woman. God did this so that we could be adopted into His family. Now, that Jesus has been resurrected, we have the opportunity to become children of the Most High God and He would send His Spirit to make His home inside us. Because of the indwelling Spirit, we can call out “Abba”, which is Aramaic for Daddy. We are sons and heirs of God, not because of anything we did or could do, but simply because God loved us enough to make a way for us. He is not only our Father, but we have a closer, more intimate relationship with Him. So close that no matter how big we may get, we can still crawl up in His lap and He will hold us and love us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.–Romans 8:38, 39 (NIV)
1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. 2 We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. 3 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. 5 And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.—1 John 5:1-5 (NLT)
Because of His great love for sinners, such as us, God made His salvation plan very simple and free. Just believe! Once we are saved, we start on a journey that will require everything and every part of us. It is not easy to love all of God’s children. Even so, it is not a choice we can make, it is a command given to us by our Father. Then we must learn to obey His commandments. This obedience and faith in the work of the Holy Spirit in us, we can become overcomers. The flesh alone can not defeat satan in the smallest battle, we have to depend on Jesus to fight our battles. Our job is to “trust and obey”. Instead of worrying and being filled with fear, we just need to lean on Jesus. The world says “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. Jesus says something totally different. 28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”–Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)
Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us, just rest in His arms and praise Him!