Daily Spirit & Word: 788:
Enter Like A Little Child.
The Way Into God’s Kingdom.
“No BIG People Allowed”
Good morning my friends, yesterday we had an awesome day. In the morning on the way to worship I bumped into two men. They initiated the conversation after I said, “Good morning”. They had so many questions about faith, God, Jesus, Christians and life. It was inconvenient, so I knew it was a God MOMENT… Instead of rushing ahead to get things ready for our gathering, I stood and took some time with them, answering as many as I could, but listening to the Holy Spirit. I ended up by saying, “If God is real, and heaven is real, will you be spending eternity with Him or with the Devil?” They both said, “Well, we’re good people, so if God is good, then He’ll let us in”… That’s what the MAJORITY of people in the world believe. It’s like this is the de-facto-faith of the whole world today. They only live next door to me, so I’ll be fixing a time when we can meet for a coffee and a chat. They enjoyed our conversation so much, they readily agreed to meed. Please pray!
Also, below is the message I proclaimed in church yesterday morning. Be blessed and please let me know how it impacts you today?
ENTER LIKE A LITTLE CHILD.
We noticed at some theme parks like Lego-Land there are little height bars; a lower one and sometimes a higher one.
- The Lowest Bar: Determines the smallest person. (For safety reasons, people smaller than the bar can’t go on the ride).
- The Highest Bar: Determines the tallest person. (For who knows what reasons, big people can’t go on these rides) 🙂
What they are really saying is “No BIG People Allowed”… Some of those rides looked really cool too. I was wishing I was a little kid again. Those rides that I couldn’t go on always looked the most exciting. 🙂
Today we’re going to see that’s exactly what Jesus was saying about the entry requirements for the Kingdom of Heaven.
i.e. “To get into the Kingdom of Heaven you must become like a little child”…
Remember, two weeks ago, we talked about the Disciples and how they were ARGUING about who was the greatest in their group. They were jostling for position, but Jesus turned that notion on it’s head and said, “If you want to be great in God’s Kingdom, you must become the SERVANT of all”…
So, did the Disciples LEARN their lesson from Jesus? “NO!” They didn’t get it, because they’re at it again.
Let’s read God’s Word together now:
Mark 10:13-16 (NIV)
13 People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them.
14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
15 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
16 And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
Let’s take a quick look at our reading from God’s Word:
1) The Disciples: Rebuking the People: What for? “They wanted Jesus to “TOUCH” their children”…
Why is it so important to get a TOUCH for these Parents (from Jesus upon their children)?
It was typical for Jewish mother’s and fathers to have their child blessed regularly by a famous Rabbi. If a Rabbi visited, they’d flock to him and ask him to bless their kids.
My friends, if we’re going to see and hear anything about this passage today, then let it be THIS: Jesus was the kind of person who LOVED to have time for the little children: It casts one of the Brightest LIGHTS upon our Lord Jesus Christ, and the kind of person He was:
- He wasn’t gloomy (though He knew he was facing the Cross and Death).
- He wansn’t too serious all the time; because children wanted to come to Jesus.
- He was the kind of man who had time for children (everyone) was welcome into Jesus arms.
No wonder those mums and dads couldn’t wait for Jesus to TOUCH their kids.
In similar ways, we can draw close to Jesus and have Him touch our lives today. Not physically, but none-the-less, just as real a touch from Heaven.
BUT: THE DISCIPLES (instead of welcoming the children) REBUKED THE PARENTS.
Our passage tells us: “When Jesus saw it, He became INDIGNANT”…
See this my friends;
- The Disciples told the Parents off:
- The LORD told His Disciples off:
When we’re getting things wrong in this Christian life: Jesus will also tell us off. (The LORD Disciplines EVERYONE He accepts as a child).
What was it the Disciples were doing that was so wrong? So wrong that they got told off publicly by Jesus?
FUNDAMENTALS: When we get something fundamental, foundational, critical to our FAITH and Belief wrong: God’s going to bring in His rod of correction.
Samson: Got his hair cut off, His eyes poked out, His ankles chained and He had to grind the wheat for God’s enemies. (Samson didn’t LISTEN to God’s warnings). He was being led astray by his flesh (Read Proverbs 7, it could have been written for Samson). When we’re being driven by our fleshly desires, we’re headed for trouble like a fool who can’t see the danger ahead.
When we get the fundamentals wrong; we’re ready for Discipline from the LORD:
So often in Church we get it so WRONG: i.e. We wait for little George, Jenny or Mark to become an adult to accept Jesus and come into God’s Kingdom.
Jesus is turning that notion on it’s head today my friends, he’s saying to you and me; “Unless you become like a child Donald, you can’t get into My Kingdom of Heaven: You must RECEIVE the Kingdom like a child receives something awesome”
GIVE IT A TRY: I’ve been leading people to Jesus for years. I’ll never forget the time a man came to Jesus. He was so proud. He said, “I’ll give Jesus a go for a couple of hours, if it doesn’t work, I’ll go back to my old life”… Thankfully, it did work, Jesus came into that man’s life and BROKE his proud heart. He wept all night long, he was crying, asking for forgiveness, repenting. Jesus came into his proud heart and showed him what he was like. In the morning, he was like a new man; a babe in Christ. He ran up to us, to me and Ronnie Chew and said, “He’s real, it works, He came”… You know, when I walked away from that man, I didn’t think he’d ever come into Jesus Kingdom Family… I thought to myself, but didn’t say it out loud; “Give Jesus a try for a couple of hours, you’ll never follow Jesus”… How wrong I was. But Jesus came and broke his proud heart…
So often, many people approach Christianity like that today: “Oh I’ll give it a go” or “I try it and see”… “I’m exploring my options”…
What they’re really doing is putting God to the test:
- To see if God works for them.
- To see if God improves their life down here on the Earth.
- To see if God is real, before they’re ready to fully commit.
They’re not really coming to Jesus because they see their NEED to be; forgiven, cleansed or renewed: They’re coming to give the Christian RELIGION a shot, as they would any other religion.
However, Christianity is NOT a Religion: It’s FUNDAMENTALLY A RELATIONSHIP:
“Christianity is NOT a Religion: It’s FUNDAMENTALLY A RELATIONSHIP With God”
To enter that relationship, Jesus said, “We must become like children and RECEIVE the Kingdom like a child does”… i.e. You can’t try on the Kingdom of Heaven: If you do, then you’ll soon shake it off again… (Because when you come to Jesus you are then going to experience the 3Ts; Trials, Tribulations and Temptations. Yes! Jesus tests our faith / commitment / decision, to see if we’re genuine Disciples). So we must come like a child to Jesus. You’ll note that a child, when things get tough in the family, won’t cling to those hurts, they move on quickly, because they know their place in the family. So a genuine Christian, who’s trusted Jesus like a child, won’t leave God’s family when things get tough.
What is a CHILD LIKE:
We’ll see now what we must become like to enter into God’s Kingdom.
When you give a child a present: Their eyes light up, “A present? for me? Oh WOWzer”
When you observe children:
- You’ll Notice A Child is TRUSTING: Children, normally, are too young and innocent to be suspicious of people: That’s why they’ll walk up to a complete stranger and start chatting away. There’s no thought in a child yet, to think they’ll be rejected by anyone. They’re not cynical; they’re trusting.
- You’ll Notice A Child is OPEN: They don’t doubt anything. I’ve told hundreds of made-up stories to my children and grand-children over the years. They believe every single one. Only one child, Leila, says, “Granny, Papa tells stories doesn’t he”… LOL. Most children are OPEN to new ideas, they don’t doubt your word, they accept, because you are an adult, that you KNOW… A Child is OPEN (A Child Believes)… Are you open, do you believe in Jesus? Are you OPEN to the idea of New Life, Abundant Life, Full Life, Eternal Life, Holy Life, Cleansed Life, Forgiveness, Gifts of Holy Spirit?.. or have you begun to DOUBT? (If there is any aspect of Jesus teaching that you don’t or will not accept, then you are not open, you are CLOSED… then my friend, become OPEN like a child.)
- You’ll Notice A Child Feels SHAME: When a child gets caught doing something, they’re readily admit it (sometimes after coaxing), when they admit it, they feel ashamed. It’s humbling when a child gets a RED FACE (It reminds me, Don you should be RED FACED about that; Ashamed). I know some people who are into SIN in their lives so much, that they FEEL NO SHAME about it. They are Brazen (Like the immoral woman in Proverbs 7). My friends, we need to get a conviction again about SIN in our lives. And FEEL the SHAME just like a child does. I don’t think you can ever really come to a true faith in Jesus until you’ve felt the shame of all your sins. Until you know your need of His forgiveness and cleansing from sin.
- You’ll Notice A Child Receives Presents with JOY: They don’t think they deserve it, they know they don’t need to earn it, they know it’s theirs, they just accept it as it is FREELY GIVEN. My friends, you’ll never be able to earn or deserve God’s Kingdom: you must RECEIVE it like a child does a present.
- You’ll Notice A Child is WILLING to RISK EVERYTHING: My son Joe, when he was a toddler, jumped into my arms (he nearly gave me a heart-attack at times). My grandchildren do the same: They’ll launch themselves off things and shout “Catch me Papa”…
Catch Me Papa: My friends, are you ready to RISK your EVERYTHING to Jesus Christ today? Will you Jump as a child would into the arms of the Saviour?
My friends, you can’t get into Jesus’ Kingdom of Heaven: Until: You TRUST HIM, You are OPEN with Him, You are ashamed of your life without Him and You are READY and WILLING to RISK EVERYTHING to Jesus. (That’s what it means to be child-like).
Some people mis-interpret this teaching of Jesus: They’ll say, “A child is innocent, so we must become innocent like little children”… No my friends, we can’t EVER become innocent like children, because we’ve all sinned, we can’t make ourselves good, that’s why Jesus came, to make us good and fit for Heaven. So it must mean what I’ve just been saying;
I’m going to tell you today; HOW to become like little Children to Enter into Heaven:
To do that my friends, you NEED to become like a little child to RECEIVE the Kingdom of Heaven.
Are you ready to come to Jesus Christ today?
- Will you TRUST Him: He’ll welcome you. Be Trusting Jesus.
- Will you be OPEN to Jesus: Believe Jesus’ teachings, Believe in Jesus life and death? BE OPEN to Jesus.
- Will you come REPENTING? Be sorry and ashamed of your sinful choices in life.
- Will you RECEIVE? Receive the KINGDOM without trying to earn it by your good works, religious devotion or something else. Salvation cannot be purchased or won by merit, because we’ll never achieve perfection. So we must receive it as it is offered to a child; FREELY.
- Will you RISK EVERYTHING: TO the Lord Jesus Christ. Throw yourself into the arms of Jesus today.
My friends, thousands will testify, that
- Jesus has CAUGHT them in His loving arms.
- Jesus forgives all their SINS (They’ve experienced the cleansing of His blood).
- He’s revealed the TRUTH: His Word is Truth: You’ll soon see that Jesus’ promises are ALL TRUE:
- They’ve EXPERIENCED: The JOY of the Kingdom.
- He’s TRUSTWORTHY: They’ve discovered that Jesus can be trusted with everything in their lives.
I visited Eleanor (An old church member), I took Holy Communion to her, we prayed, chatted; She’s been ill for a few weeks now; She said to me “God is so good and faithful to me, I don’t deserve it, but He’s looked after me so well”…
We sang the song; “Great is Thy Faithfulness, O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with Thee, ALL I have needed Thy hand hath provided, Great is Thy Faithfulness, LORD unto me”…
When Eleanor and I sang that song, HEAVEN came into her house. It was such an AWESOME moment. The presence of the LORD was with us.
My friends, until you’ve become like a Child, you are NOT in the Kingdom of Heaven:
I’ll repeat the LORD Jesus’ words again;
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Childlike Faith: They trust, they believe, they accept, the feel shame, they are willing to risk everything to jump into the everlasting arms of Jesus.
Will you RECEIVE the Kingdom of God like a little child?
- Repent, of ALL SIN.
- Believe, ALL of Jesus’ teachings and what He did on the Cross for your SINS.
- Receive, The Lord Jesus Christ as your LORD, SAVIOUR, MASTER, FRIEND, KING…
(NOTE: No BIG People Allowed: We must get low, humble, on our knees to get into God’s Kingdom). Receive it as a child would a gift freely offered.
PRAYER: O LORD, My Heavenly Father! I can see that to be able to enter into Your Kingdom, I must receive it like a little child. Please Lord Jesus, give me the faith of a little child, who trusts without questioning, who simply and gladly believes in You and runs into your arms to be blessed. Help me to come to You today Lord Jesus Christ. There are so many things in my life that I know have been wrong, I’m embarrassed about them Lord, I turn from all those things I know to be sinful. I’m filled with awe and amazement that You would choose to die in my place upon the Cross. I’m turning to You today Lord Jesus. Come into my life and be my Lord, my Saviour, my King. I want to be with You forever in Your Kingdom Family. Amen!
My friends, I want to see every single one of you in God’s Kingdom: So, become like children today.