Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Daily Challenge - June 15, 2011 - Faith Like a Child

Matthew 18:2-4 - He (Jesus) called a little child to him and placed the child among them. And he said, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Imagine you were the child who Jesus summoned. Here is this man of whom you had heard your parents speak. You had heard of the wonders he had performed and might of perhaps witnessed one yourself. When you arrive to where he will be teaching, you hope that you might be able to get a glimpse of the great Teacher that some proclaim to be the Messiah. All of a sudden, you hear the sound of a calm baritone voice calling for a child. Before you can realize what is going on you are met face to face with Jesus. He places you in his lap and smiles a gentle smile at you. He then tells the crowd the words of Matthew 18:3-4." You think to yourself, "He is using me as an example, he must be mistaken! No one even acknowledges me. I have no say in decisions. I must trust in my Father's plan for me and follow in obedience." Jesus looked down at you with a warm smile, kisses your forehead and leads you back to your parents. You know your life will never be the same.

Jesus calls us to be like children, in that we are to have the humble attitudes of the heart of a child. A child is utterly dependant upon their caregiver and understands that need. Therefore, they recognize that their greatness is reliant upon someone greater than themselves. Small children innately understand the concept of respect because they are physically smaller and weaker than others, thus making humility an easier concept to grasp.

As we grow into adulthood, we inevitably become more independent. That independence usually leads to pride. Pride is the antithesis to the kingdom of God. To admit we are sinners that need God's grace and forgiveness (that is brought through Christ) takes humility. It takes humility to abandon our own wants and desires of this world and to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Yet, when we are able to recognize what our true position is as humans compared to the glorious nature of God, humility can be found.

The challenge today is to evaluate where you are spiritually. While we were created in God's image (Gen. 1:27) and we were able to have a relationship with Him, once sin entered into the world, that relationship was broken (Isa. 59:2). However, because God loved us so much, He sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to die for our sins, even while we were still sinning against God (John 3:16, Romans 5:8). Jesus lived a perfect and holy life in order to be a proper sacrifice (Romans 5:12). We must therefore, humbly admit that we are sinners and that we need Jesus to intervene for us and mediate our relationship with God. We must then turn from our life of sin and turn to God. (Luke 13:5) It is by our faith that we are saved. (Ephesians 2:8-9). God guarantees that whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13).

Where are you spiritually? Do you have a personal relationship with God? Christianity is not about going to church or placing money in an offering plate or following a bunch of rules. It is about having a relationship with Jesus Christ. Once you trust in Christ as Savior, you receive the Holy Spirit as a Helper to guide you in your walk with the Lord. Repenting and believing are the first two steps to a lifestyle of discipleship.

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