Matthew – Fulfilled.
As grandparents our grandkids from time to time let us know that they think we can do anything. It comes up in conversation in the car or at home while doing an activity. I might say, “I don’t think I can do this right.” And the youngest will say, “Ah, grandma, you can do it…you can do anything.” Wow, his childlike faith in me is humbling. It comes from a place of love for us and our love for him. It is the same with God. We are his children. We are not to be childISH in our faith, demanding our own way and wanting our desires to be met. But we are to be childLIKE in our knowledge that God can and will do anything He says He will do. He is God and we are not.
“Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of God?”, the disciples ask Jesus. Listen to the response with more teaching than they asked for in this next passage. We even get a lesson on bullying. And yes, there are church bullies amoung us. We need to make sure we are not one of them.
Matthew 18, The Message
Whoever Becomes Simple Again
18 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. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.
6-7 “But if you give them a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you’ll soon wish you hadn’t. You’d be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around your neck. Doom to the world for giving these God-believing children a hard time! Hard times are inevitable, but you don’t have to make it worse—and it’s doomsday to you if you do.
8-9 “If your hand or your foot gets in the way of God, chop it off and throw it away. You’re better off maimed or lame and alive than the proud owners of two hands and two feet, godless in a furnace of eternal fire. And if your eye distracts you from God, pull it out and throw it away. You’re better off one-eyed and alive than exercising your twenty-twenty vision from inside the fire of hell.
10 “Watch that you don’t treat a single one of these childlike believers arrogantly. You realize, don’t you, that their personal angels are constantly in touch with my Father in heaven?
Grandma Lacquement was one of my greatest examples as a person with a simple, uncomplicated, childlike faith. No matter what, no one on earth was going to tell her that God would not hear her fervent prayers each day. This simple faith in Jesus led her to be loving and kind to others, serving them meals on their journeys from here to there. It also led her to teach her grandchildren to always stand up and testify for Jesus every chance available. I cherish the memory of this childlike faith and pray that I am following as closely as possilbe in her teaching in my own faith.
Simple does not mean you are dull and unlearned. It means you are smart enough to know that God is God and you are not. It means that you would rather trust the Creator of the universe than rely on mere mankind to save you. It means that in your heart, Jesus is King. Childlike faith draws you to the throne of God each day, with Jesus as your advocate, to learn more ways to love Him and to love others. This faith follows His commands without question for you know that what God wants for you is best. God’s Presence dwells in a person with childlike faith in Him. I saw God presence in Grandma. I feel God’s Presence in my own life. I praise God for the simplicity of faith.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for teaching us about our childlike faith in You. This is exactly what you want from us. We repent of trying to “grow up” our own way and grow away from you in the process. We come to you with knowing you can do anything. We come to you because you are everything to us. Thank you, Lord for Your Holy Presence in us. Thank you for signs of working all around us. No one is like You, God. Nothing is too hard for You. Help us to see Your wonders and immediately praise Your Name today.
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.