Summary: And now, praise God, now I can receive the Kingdom of God with the peace, confidence, trust, excitement, joy as a child, because I trust God as a man.
As A Man
Last week we learned quite a bit about the Kingdom of God; First that we must receive the Kingdom of God as a gift of the Grace of God. It is not automatic. The gift is always there for us but it is up to us to decide whether or not to receive the gift.
We also learned how to receive the gift. With excitement, with joy, with almost overwhelming anticipation of what the gift will hold for us IF we decide to accept it. And we learned from Jesus that we must receive the gift “As A Child.” We reflected on the enthusiasm and excitement of children when they receive gifts on birthdays and at Christmas. In the same way, Jesus tells us, we must be willing to accept God’s Gracious Gift of the Kingdom of God.
We also learned that the Kingdom of God is where? Jesus tells us in Luke 17: 20-21 “The Kingdom of God is within you!” So, the Kingdom of God is available to us, each and every one of us if we are willing to accept God’s gift. And if and when we make that decision, to accept, then, we can begin living the words of the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
But to receive God’s gift involves a whole lot more that just excitement and anticipation. It involves a totally surrendered life of faith in God.
We talked about how a child is not required by a parent to perform certain tasks, or act in certain ways to be loved by the parent. We talked about how our children and grandchildren can cause us great concern, sometimes cause us to become angry with the, sometimes saddened by them and often they bring us great joy. But through all these times, we still love them. In the same way, our Father in Heaven loves each one of us.
We talked about
We talked about the faith of children; how a child does not worry about things they have no control over. How children have faith in their parents because they know they are loved and the one who loves them provides for them.
We used the analogy of a child crossing a street, how they do not naturally know to look for traffic, and how to guide them safely on their journey, all they have to do is reach out and grasp their father’s hand. We discussed that as a child gets a little older he may be able to provide for himself, as we see tragically how some homeless children do, but that a child who has a parent recognizes the consistency of provision of the parent. The child recognizes trusts and believes the parent will provide all his needs.
We said if we have faith like a child, then God can pour living water through us because our faith is in Him. Not in the world, not in us, not in anyone else, but only in God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
We talked about simply having knowledge of the Word, being able to quote scripture and verse is good, but without understanding and believing the Word, the knowledge is useless.
We discussed about how God just wants to simplify our relationship with Him, and how He asks us only to be obedient to His Word.
We talked too, about our sinful nature. Our sin is something we don’t like to talk about. We don’t want to think of ourselves as sinners. If point my finger at you I call you sinners, each and every one of you, you probably begin to feel some anger, some resentment at those words. But if I include myself in that accusation, perhaps we all begin to realize the truth of who we are. When I point my finger at you, suddenly I realize there are three more fingers pointing back at me.
We talked about how familiar we are with our sinful nature, but that we all have within us the desire to be in the Devine nature. We learned and I pray are beginning to understand, that as we gain in knowledge and belief in the Word, we begin to make the Divine nature more familiar and as we do, God reveals to us more of our sin and our desire to be Holy increases.
We begin to realize, and believe the truth that our Holy God, the Father can never come near us because of our sin. But praise God the Father for His Son, Jesus Christ, because through His death of the Cross, and ONLY through Him can we enter the Holy of Holy’s.
But to accomplish this, we must be totally surrendered in our faith to God as a child.