Jesus made it a special point to call children to Himself and He used them as an example of how we are to have childlike faith. A few Sunday’s ago I shared a message on having childlike faith and I thought I would share it with the readers here on this blog.
There is much to be learned by observing and watching children and then applying it to our spiritual life. Jesus demonstrated more than once that children are important to Him and to His kingdom. In fact I have told my own local church that children are not the “future church” but in fact they are just as much part of the church as we are and that they are our brothers and sisters in Christ as well. So let’s look just a moment at this passage and learn some things about having childlike faith.
New Living Translation (NLT)
The Greatest in the Kingdom
18 About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” 2 Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. 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. 4 So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Why is it important to have childlike faith?
First we see that Jesus called a little child to him. Jesus has a special place in His heart for children and taught that childlike qualities were important to the Christian life. He used them as examples to us and many times we ignore those examples. So what are some of the qualities that children have that we may need to work on?
- Children believe what they are told. Whether or not it is the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny, children believe and take things as fact. When we read about that God wants to use us in miraculous ways, or that He has a plan for our life, or even that God is for us and not against us, what do we do? Many times I know in my life I find myself being skeptical. We could learn a lot about just believing what God says without considering that God might be wrong.
- Children are forgiving. You can have an argument with as a child one day and be best buddies the next. Children do not take into account a wrong suffered. They forgive and forget. How many times have you struggled with the issue of forgiveness? You feel your rights have been violated? Maybe that is the key! Children do not think about their rights.
- Children are innocent. They have not been jaded by this world and the hurts and wrongs of life. They see everyday as a bright sunny future. They give anyone a hug, they laugh at the silliest of things, and they play with abandon. How many of us are like that anymore? We could all use some more laughter, innocent entertainment and even hugs.
- Finally children do not question orders. When you tell a child to do something, they don’t try to analyze and figure out why you are telling them to do it. It is only when they become teenagers that they lose that ability and become obnoxious in their questioning. How many times have we been given something to do by God and we sit an analyze why, or try to figure out a loophole to get out of just going and doing it? I know that in my own life many times I have looked for the loophole, or the exception rather than just go do it and leave the outcome to God.
Notice that Jesus said to be converted. That word in the original greek language means very simply to change direction. It means to stop going in the direction you are currently headed and reverse course. In the context here Jesus had men who were trying to vie for power and authority. Jesus said that they needed to become as little children if they were going to be something in the kingdom of God. How many times do we try to vie for power at work, or even in the church or try to do it politically and in other areas.
Recently I have had the temptation thrown at me with my website. It has become popular in many ways including by people searching for certain terms on Google. Now I believe in trying to find out what Christians want to know and answering their questions. It is part of my job. However if I let the method of search engine rankings and competition become my obsession rather than meeting the needs of my readers then I have become like the world and not like a child. I am called to help people and methods and rankings are secondary. So even I need to be converted and become like a child at times.
I would just like to encourage all of you to take a moment, stop what you are doing and all of your grown up plans and ambitions and ask yourself this question. Am I heading towards being more childlike or am I headed towards being more like the world and how the world thinks and acts as adults? If you see yourself headed the wrong direction, then maybe it is time for you to be converted and become like a child and have childlike faith.
Now that is something to think about!
This article was originally published on Taber's Truths Christian Blog