(I write this fresh from watching the movie Unplanned, the true story of a woman who formerly worked for Planned Parenthood. Her story of being blinded by the world to the reality of abortion eventually led to her witnessing the truth of what abortion does changed her life forever. So this morning, my emotions regarding children and life are slightly raw.)
Today’s Scripture is from Matthew 18. It says,
“At that time, the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”?
And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”
Here’s the best part: Jesus goes on to say,
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”
I realize that Jesus is not specifically speaking about being a child, but rather having the faith and outlook as a child does. The “little ones” he is referring to is those that are believers but are perhaps either new to their faith or are easily taken advantage of, or possibly any believer that is trusting of others.
Jesus then went on to speak about the parable of the lost sheep and how the shepherd left the 99 to go and find the lost 1. That lost sheep was a part of the fold, but got lost. So how does this all tie together?
The Word of God speaks highly of faith and trusting the Lord for all things. Children fully trust that their parents will care for them from birth onward through all circumstances in life; with food, clothing, shelter, comfort and a closeness in their family unit. They have high hopes for their future, and enjoy every moment of every day. They don’t worry about tomorrow, because today has so much promise. They know that their parents have their best interest at heart, will counsel them in love, will punish them if they are bad, and will console and hug them when they are sad.
It is no different with our Heavenly Father! Jesus even said that the angels of these little ones “always see the face of my Father who is in heaven”!! WOW! Now that is truly a picture to take in. Think about that for a moment. Our angels are in constant communication with Father God about us. The Holy Spirit dwells within us. Jesus is our High Priest and intercessor. How much more can we ask for?
So if you wonder about heaven and your position there, know that as a believer, a child of God, you have a place of honor as long as you continue to trust Him as a child would its good parent, and don’t cause other believers to stumble in their walk with Jesus.
Sandwiched in between the verses above, are 3 more that speak of causing other ‘children’ – or allowing yourself – to be tempted to the point of sinning. This could account for a lost sheep that wanders away…
“Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.”
Friends, be as a child for the Lord, for you are his child. Put your hand in his hand, your head on his shoulder, and just be. He has you, He sees and hears you, and He loves you more than his own life.
Food for thought: Do you trust your Father for everything and in every circumstance in your life?
Fun facts: On average, a 4-year-old child asks 437 questions a day.
Photo by: Liane Metzler – Hand in hand with Dad