Friday 11 October 2019

Makes Yourself Humble Like a Child

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How to Enter the Kingdom of Heaven?

“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."

 Jesus continued by saying, "Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven," Matt 18:2-4

Are there really two conditions to enter the kingdom of heaven. It surely sounds like it according to verse two of Matthew chapter eighteen. Therefore what about once saved always save without works_ by grace alone, by faith alone? Conversion is a decision to believe in the gospel that was passed down from the disciples' testimonies of Christ resurrected until now. To become (as) a little child isn't limit to salvation only but also reward.

Humble as a child is to trust in God daily

I remember my childhood.  I was carefree.  I never got hungry. My dad with the little salary he made by working on the railroad always managed to put food on the table.  My mom, who absolutely knew little about cooking before marriage, learned to prepare good meals. She became so good at cooking that my friends requested to be invited to my place.  Most of our clothes were second-hand, and I couldn’t care less because, for me, fashion was not even on my mind.  On the other hand, shoes and running shoes were new.  I remember the smell of new leather shoes coming out of the box. 

I hated school.  I preferred to play. I preferred to be outdoors and play with my friends.  Young families mainly populated our small town of less than 250 in population. Therefore, there were many children. There was no organized sport. We just gathered, and then decided what we were going to do. We had a black and white TV, with a few channels. Boring, except on Saturday morning, I would watch my favourite animated show, ‘Mighty Mouse’. Summer vacations were the best.  On the first Saturday of the summer holiday I would have a haircut, ‘the brush cut’ we called it. I loved the feeling of running my hand through my hair.  It was like stinging needles.  Summers were also very hot then as they are today.  Every day was an adventure, discovering new territories. With my friends, we would explore all the surrounding forests. 

We would prepare a small lunch and we would be gone all day.  Building a treehouse was fun. Wherever I went, my dog would accompany me. I have only fond memories of my childhood.

I realize as I am writing this that some of you who are reading this did not have a carefree childhood.  That some have been abused.  Some had to work to help out with family finances. Some were taught young about the law of the jungle. Some can’t imagine what a carefree childhood could be like. So when Jesus said, in this following statement is difficult to grab,

“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."

 Jesus continued by saying, "Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven," Matt 18:2-4.  

This is what I am aiming to become like, to return to, to make myself humble like a child. You may be surprised by what that means.

Dependence on God

To be humble like a child is to have a carefree attitude. It is to completely depend on God and to enjoy life as He meant for us to be now.  America and Canada, in particular, had been blessed abundantly since its foundation. The constitutions of both countries allowed their citizens to live free from oppression, free to choose their destiny, and free to make choices for their lives, at least for the majority of us. Humble like a child is about being worried free from all our needs; from the everyday meal to the clothes we are to wear, from the bed we sleep in, to the roof that protects us from the weather. As a child, I did not think about any of these things because my mom and dad were looking after me. So it is with God, Matthew 6:25-34.

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?" 

But then you will comment that my mom and dad did worry about these things, and I would reply that you are right. They did not understand the will of God.  They were taught, as so many good Catholics did that God helps those who help themselves. Guess what?  You will not find that teaching in the Bible. What you will find is that God helps those who completely depend on Him (Psalm 18:30), (1Timothy 4:10) just as a child does toward his/her parents, (Matthew 7:11). Secular society has made God so small and so powerless that we as Christians have been influenced by it and now have difficulty understanding the will of God and how to apply it in our lives. I was one of them.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification, (1 Thess 4:3), which means you belong to Him, so that in everything give thanks, (1 Thess 5:18), and that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men, (1 Peter 2:15), for you require endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise, (Hebrews 10:36), therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator, (1 Peter 4:19).  Doing good can only be accomplished by being as humble as a child, depending on God for all things as He had promised to take care of all things, (Matthew 6:33).

Christians convert and accept salvation but some take God's grace for granted and keep being busy in the care of this world (Mark 4:19). I am one of those.   Some go through life trying to figure out why God allows suffering, poverty, despair and not answering prayers?  We are saved from a terrible destiny in an eternal fire called hell by faith alone by grace alone, but we do not live the joy of being free from an oppressive master who is Satan. Jesus is now our new master and Lord.  Salvation is only the beginning of freedom. Jesus wants us to have an abundant life of joy, peace, and good living.  (I am not preaching the false gospel of prosperity)  This is the will of God your sanctification, (1 Thess 4:3).  

He did not create heaven and earth with all its complexity only for us to live a mediocre life in servitude to Satan. All things have been created for us.  It is our sandbox.  Does not a child enjoy the pleasure of playing in a sandbox, building an imaginary house and road?  God created a humongous sandbox called Earth for us to enjoy.  God gave you what you have now so that you could share it with others.

It is no secret.  It is only hidden from our eyes.  I thank God for giving me eyes to see the beauty in His creation.  And I thank God for giving me eyes to see the intent for His creation.

Satan motto is; ‘they must not believe, they must not see’. Why? If people would see and understand the purpose of God’s creation they would easily accept salvation the free gift of life. It is not only Satan that causes obstruction.  Our sins cause blindness and separate us from our heritage.  That is where the simplicity in the gospel comes in.  Jesus did all the work.  All we have to do is to believe in Him and accept Him as Lord.  He only wants to share all He has with us.  He wants to share His sandbox and all that in it.  He wants to play with us.   Do you understand what it means to be humble like a child?  To be humble like a child we must totally depend on God.  We must believe Him, we must trust Him, and therefore we must rest in Him.  

God has given you your own little sandbox.  That sandbox is your present condition and circumstance that you are in now.  It is your family environment, your job or no job and even your health condition, good or bad. It is God’s gift to you.  Do you not understand?  It is not what you have that is important to God, it is your mindset of what you do with your sandbox.  Humble like a child. When things are not turning out as they should, what does a child do?  A child makes a modification or even starts over again.  A child even keeps on humming a song as he/she is creating/building a castle.  Do you understand what it meant to have a humble spirit as a child?   

Now, what is Jesus meant to say by “The greatest person in the kingdom of heaven is the one who makes himself humble like this child?”  It is about not worrying about making a living to take care of you; it is about a carefree heart and mind, totally depending on God by enjoying the sandbox that God gives.  It is about sharing with others the entire blessing you have received. Carefree is worry-free so that you can let Jesus do His work through you, therefore doing good works.

Are you now in financial difficulties due to whatever reason?  Then please read my article titled, “Economic Crises, What are we to do? The answer is ‘REST’.

Example of doing good works

Look at the example of the Macedonians in Chapter 8 and verse 2 of the letter to the Corinthians. “... and now brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God gave the churches in Macedonia. They have been tested by great troubles.  And they are very poor. But they have much because of their great joy.  I can tell you that they gave as much as were able. They gave even more than they could afford.  No one told them to do it.  But they asked us again and again – they begged us to let them share in this service for God’s people.  And they gave in a way that we did not expect:  They first gave themselves to the Lord and to us.  This is what God wants.

So we asked Titus to help you (the Corinthians) finish this special work of grace.  He is the one who started this work.  You are rich in everything – in faith, in speaking, in knowledge, in truly wanting to help, and in the love, you learn from us.  And so we want you to be rich also in this gift of giving.”  Paul goes on to teach the Corinthians about sharing their sandbox and everything in it. Have you not witnessed a parent teaching their children to share their toys?  So what’s the difference here?

An anthropologist proposed a game to African tribe kids. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told them that whoever got there first won the sweet fruits. When he told them to run they all took each other’s hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they had run like that as one could have had all the fruits for himself they said: UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad? UBUNTU in the Xhosa culture means: "I am because we are"

The Macedonians did not give for the sole purpose of receiving a blessing from God, no, this is the false gospel of prosperity. They gave because of the grace that God gave the churches in Macedonia. They have developed a mind, carefree by trusting God for all things. They understood to give not to receive but because they received first. What they received is God’s promise. They took Jesus by His word. “Seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness and all these things will be added to you," (Matthew 6:33). Seek to live now as one who makes himself humble like this child. Share your sandbox and all that in it. 

David taught his man who followed him while he was in hiding from King Saul this concept to share with his fellow man.  It became a model for Israel for a long time. You will find the story in Samuel 30. David's two wives, his man's wives, children, and all their belongings including their cattle were taken by the Amalekites.  We pick it up in verse 18 after David defeated the Amalekites:

David got back everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. Nothing was missing. They found all the children and old people, all their sons and daughters, and all their valuables. They got back everything the Amalekites had taken. David brought everything back. He took all the sheep and cattle. His men led these animals to the front of the group and said, “This is David’s prize.”

 David came to the 200 men who had stayed at Besor Ravine. These were the men who were too weak and tired to follow David. They came out to meet him and the soldiers who went with him. They greeted David and his army as they approached. There were some troublemakers in the group who went with David who started complaining, “These 200 men didn’t go with us, so why should we give them any of the things we took. These men get nothing but their own wives and children.”

David answered, “No, my brothers. Don’t do that! Think about what the Lord gave us. He let us defeat the enemy that attacked us. No one will listen to what you say. The share will be the same for the man who stayed with the supplies and for the man who went into battle. Everyone will share alike.” David made this an order and rule for Israel. This rule continues even today.

As of today, shouldn't we also applied this rule so that we could become as humble as a child?
To be humble as a child is to trust in the Lord
To be humble as a child is to face the every day challenges of the world as a spirit of a child calling for God's helps in all avenue of our life decisions.
To humble as a child is to have a carefree hearth knowing God our Father is looking after us every single moment of our life.

Proverb 3:5-6

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall [a]direct your paths,"

Therefore Enjoy all of God's Blessing Now Forever to Eternity and Beyond.

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