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On Christmas morning, a little girl was singing “Happy birthday to you.” Below in the kitchen making breakfast her mother immediately thought, “Dear little thing is all confused. She’s gotten Christmas mixed with someone’s birthday. But as she listened more closely she heard her daughter sing, “Happy birthday, dear Jesus, happy birthday to you.” We are reminded of Your statements regarding childlike faith. Matt 18:3: And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
During his days as guest lecturer at Calvin Seminary, R.B.Kuiper once used the following illustration of God’s sovereignty and human responsibility:
I liken them to two ropes going through two holes in the ceiling and over a pulley above. If I wish to support myself by them, I must cling to them both. If I cling only to one and not the other, I go down. I read the many teachings of the Bible regarding God’s election, predestination, his chosen, and so on. I read also the many teachings regarding ’whosoever will may come’ and urging people to exercise their responsibility as human beings. These seeming contradictions cannot be reconciled by the puny human mind. With childlike faith, I cling to both ropes, fully confident that in eternity I will see that both strands of truth are, after all, of one piece.
The more we know of God, the more unreservedly we will trust him; the greater our progress in theology, the simpler and more childlike will be our faith.
J. G. Machen.
"YES VIRGINIA, THERE IS A JESUS."
It is truly heartwarming to know that millions of people around the world believe in Santa. Sure, most are under four feet tall, but still it’s amazing that so many believe in the big guy in the red suit. Consider the following:
Around the globe, today, live approximately two billion children (persons under 18). Santa doesn’t visit all of them, of course. Subtracting the number of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, or Buddhist children reduces Santa’s Christmas Eve workload to 15 percent of the total, or 378 million children (according to the Population Reference Bureau). At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, and presuming that there is at least one good child in each home, Santa must visit about 108 million homes.
Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per second. That means that at each household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, and get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh, and get on to the next house.
For the purposes of our calculations, we will assume that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false). We’re talking about a trip of 0.78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks. To cover that ground in 31 hours, Santa’s sleigh moves at 650 miles per second--3,000 times the speed of sound. By comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour.
The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh must carry over 500 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. In air, even granting that the "flying" reindeer could pull 10 times the normal amount, the job can’t be done with a mere eight or nine of them—Santa would need 360,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).
Six hundred thousand tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance—this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft reentering the earth’s atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip.
Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from a dead stop to 650 miles per second in .001 seconds, would be subje...
Those of us who had anything to do with the Billy Graham Crusade here in St. Louis a few years ago know how well organized everything was. In fact, if you involved in any way shape or form, you know that practically every detail is planned. You might even be tempted to think that the well organized effort is what brings people to Christ, while it’s necessary, it is not the secret of Billy Graham’s incredible success. This story took place during the last Billy Graham crusade in Sacramento, California. The night before the crusade was to begin the crusade choir rehearsal went late. One of the musicians in the choir was a pastor by the name of Ray Johnston. He was driving through downtown when he noticed a homeless man slumped over on the steps of the state capital building. It was cold outside, almost midnight and at that time of night, definitely not the safest place to be. He decided he couldn’t ignore the plight of this poor homeless man. He was nervous as he approached him, not really sure what he was going to do. The homeless man was crouching almost cocoon like on the steps and the choir member reached out & gently touched his shoulder and asked, "Sir, can I help you, are you okay?" The man looked up and in that instant he recognized the man, it was Billy Graham himself praying for the city of Sacramento. It’s not just the incredible preparation and work that brings thousands of people to Christ each time he holds a crusade, it’s the fact that Billy Graham depends upon the Lord’s power. (As Told to Mike Yaconelli in Dangerous Wonder: The Adventure of Childlike Faith)
"A simple, childlike faith in a Divine Friend solves all the problems that come to us by land or sea."
Perhaps it is the reason that I embraced Christianity so easily was that the Christian faith doesn’t demand intelligence. I have an above average intelligence level. Well, actually, although it was above average according to the IQ test I completed at School, it was more tilted towards the average side than the above part. I have imagined having an intelligence level that would ASTOUND people, but unless that miracle happens I will remain who I am, without the ENCUMBRANCE OF GENIUS and I will always have to examine things carefully before I can understand them.
Jesus prayed an unusual prayer in Matthew 11:25-27. After the cities of Korazin and Bethsaida had ignored Him and rejected Him, He prayed "O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank You for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased You to do it this way!"
Jesus says that only the childlike can understand spiritual things. He doesn’t say childish, just childlike. I must admit I can have a little trouble with distinguishing between the two at times, but I do recognise God as my Father and I know that I am in His family.
A. Todd Coget
I believe I got this story from Bob George…
Mac was a hard driving, though businessman in his 70’s.
He had been a church member for many years.
But one Wednesday night as he heard the associate share his testimony, he realized that he had never personally trusted Jesus Christ as his Savior.
Though he had been involved in a lot of religious activity, he never really had a clear idea of what it meant to be a Christian.
After spending a few days pondering and asking the associate questions, Mac made up his mind.
At the Sunday night service of their church, he decided to come forward to make a public profession of his faith in Christ.
The associate was down front serving as a counselor, and was deeply moved by the sight of this tough old businessman coming forward to receive Christ in childlike faith.
They were both in tears as they stood before the pastor.
“This is tremendous!” the pastor exclaimed.
He told the associate, “This man is one of the most brilliant businessmen in our city! He’s...
E. K. Simpson, in commenting on this verse, points out that the Christian is to be ever a child and childlike in one sense of the word, pertaining to their faith, but not child-ish. In reference to verse 14 he says:
“What is here censured is the fickleness of children’s volatile moods, shifting like a kaleidoscope, dazzled by the first glittering bauble or flimsy distraction that catches their eye, and liable to be beguiled by every siren ditty of allurement within earshot.”
I want to summarize a statement that an Episcopalian minister by the name of Robert Capon made about the greatest threat to Christianity today. I don’t think I could agree with him more. Listen to what he said, "The most critical issue facing Christians is not abortion, pornography, the disintegration of the family, moral absolutes, MTV, drugs, racism, sexuality, or school prayer. The critical issue today is dullness. . . The good news is no longer good news,...