More on Matthew 18:2-4 {A Child-like Faith}

This is what Matthew 18:2-4 says:

Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

I wrote about the beauty of a child’s faith in the last post and why the Lord makes a perfect model of faith out of a child, and we examined that children are fervent in their love for the Lord and fully trusting in Him. If we try to analyze it, the real driving force behind this is their humble obedience. Yes, humble obedience (the Lord can’t possibly be mistaken when He said, “Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”!).

The Lord tells His adult disciples and the crowd (while a child plays on His lap) that unless they become like little children, they cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. The Lord knows exactly what’s in a man’s heart: pride, self-righteousness, inclination to rebel, etc. When it comes to loving and serving the Lord, a child fully believes what he/she is told by his/her God-fearing parents and acts on it as a manifestation of his/her obedience. Our kids Hannah and Tim, for example, are told by us that when they sing for the Lord in their respective choirs, they are serving and loving Him as they should and they will be blessed doing so. Because they believe this and they want to be blessed by the Lord, they act in obedience.

It is very unfortunate that it is not always true with us adults. Sometimes we try to argue, reason out, find excuses, and justify our actions and decisions why we cannot go and worship the Lord or why we cannot do whatever the Holy Spirit is urging us to do. My beloved parents-in-law, for example. (Please don’t think that I’m trying to bring them down. I love and respect them but I just want to illustrate how adults could be stubborn to the Lord at times).

Upon our persistent telephone calls to invite them to Hannah’s birthday celebration, they finally agreed, left their home in the province and traveled to the city. They arrived in our home Friday afternoon, the party was Saturday, and who would have thought that the following day, Sunday, they were ready to travel back to the province! They both had received the Lord Jesus Christ some years ago and continue to attend worship service in their place intermittently. I had thought that they will spend Sunday in Church (our Sunday worship service is from 10AM to 5PM) and praise and worship the Lord to keep holy the Sabbath Day. But no, they were raring to go home and no amount of convincing would change their minds! They said they needed to be home as soon as possible because they needed to plant peanuts, a work that could not be postponed!

While our two kids prepared for Church, I was somewhat worried about my parents-in-law, choosing to travel instead of worshiping God. I knew that if one of our kids made excuses to not go to Church, I would talk them out of it. I would impress in their hearts and minds that our disobedience displeases God and make sure that they would learn obedience (that is one of our main jobs as Christian parents!). But by God’s unending grace, our kids love to go to Church and sing in the choir.

What then?  Is the heart of a child a richer ground for the seed of faith to grow and flourish? Is it more tender and open to receive the Word and to humbly obey? And the heart of man a ground where weeds and thorns may grow (cares of the world, lusts of other things, etc.) and choke the Word that it becomes unfruitful? This may very well be and the Lord knows it! So, except we be converted and become as little children – listen, receive, believe, obey, follow, trust – we shall by no means enter the kingdom of God!

Friend, are there parts in your life right now that need to be illuminated? Where there are probably wrestlings with the heart and mind to make them listen, receive, believe, obey, follow, and trust? I pray we can all learn from the faith and humble obedience of a child.

Photos courtesy of Bro. Edu Cortez.

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