Summary: Think of children for a moment. There are many characteristics that our children display with us that correspond to our relationship with our heavenly Father. One of those characteristics is trust.
July 24, 2006
Lesson: "A Child of the King!"
Matthew 19:13-15 (NKJV)
Children are very trusting, and Jesus said that that was a quality that the citizens of heaven will have. He loved children, because they believed what He said, and they weren’t all wrapped up in the cares of the world. For the most part they were innocent and happy. In the 19th Chapter of Matthew, there’s an incident recorded that we’re all familiar with, and it shows the Lord’s special love for children.
13 Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them.
14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
15 And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.
For five weeks now we have been discussing a wonderful place called the Kingdom of God. But, as we have discovered, the Kingdom is not a place as much as it is a lifestyle, a mindset, and a way of living.
Being a citizen of the Kingdom of God is the most important decision that one will ever make in one's life.
As citizens of the Kingdom of God we are called to:
• Embody His name.
We have taken His name—we call ourselves Christians—and that carries with it a responsibility. We shouldn’t ever do anything that would hurt our testimony or damage the Lord’s good name.
• Embrace His mission.
God's mission is the same today as it was in the Old Testament—To redeem a lost humanity to Himself and to allow His people to participate in that mission.
• Obey His Word.
If Israel was to enjoy the blessing of the Promised Land, obedience must pave the way. Exodus 19:5 says, "Now IF you obey me fully and IF you keep my covenant..." Jesus’ reemphasized these words for us when He stated, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:27)
Obedience to the word and will of God through Christ is essential for Kingdom Living. So, remember that as citizens of the kingdom of God we are to Embody His name, Embrace His mission, and Obey His Word. However, we not only find ourselves being citizens of the Kingdom of God, we also discover that we have a another identity—WE ARE CALLED TO BE A CHILD OF THE KING! It’s one thing to be a citizen, but it’s an entirely different thing to be a child. Being a child, means that I have a greater obligation to carry out the three characteristics that we mentioned. Why is that? It’s because we are members of the family, and here’s something great: The Bible declares that we are joint heirs with Jesus. We will even share His glory.
Have you ever thought about what it means to be a child or what it would be like to be child-like in our thinking or in our relationship with our heavenly Father? When we think of being a child we often think of being immature, selfish, mischievous, or spoiled. But our relationship with God as Father and us as a child is very different from an earthly relationship. Think of children for a moment. There are many characteristics that our children display with us that correspond to our relationship with our heavenly Father.
One of those characteristics is trust.
In proverbs, we are told to, “Trust In the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."(Proverbs 3:5) There is a lot of wisdom in the Proverbs, and this verse is no exception. What Solomon is saying here is that we must make a full commitment of ourselves—spirit, soul, and body—to the LORD. We must trust Him not only for the salvation of our souls but also for the direction of our lives. It must be a commitment without limitations.
There is another child-like characteristic that we should have, and that’s obedience.
Luke said of Jesus, "Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them.” (Luke 2:51) The humility of Jesus is seen in the words “He ... was obedient to them.” Although He was the Creator of the universe, He took His place as an obedient Child in this humble Jewish family. If we too want to be obedient children, the Bible tells us not to do something. We are told in 1 Peter, “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.” 1 Peter 1:14
Peter has something very important to say here. It’s that obedient children should not be involved in the same sins that characterized their former life. Now that they are Christians, they should pattern their life after the One whose name they bear. But if they choose to conform to the ungodly world, they are denying their heavenly character. The things they did in the days when they lacked spiritual knowledge should be put away, now that they have been illuminated by the Holy Spirit. We are told in Romans, "It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on Cod's mercy." (Romans 9:16)