Summary: To note the attitude necessary to be great in the eyes of the Lord.
Only Children Go To Heaven
Text: Matthew 18.1-4
Thesis: To note the attitude necessary to be great in the eyes of the Lord.
(1) Here is a story I came across:
I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult. I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of an 8-year old again. I want to go to McDonald’s and think that it’s a four-star restaurant. I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make ripples with rocks. I want to think M&Ms are better than money because you can eat them. I want to lie under a big oak tree and run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer’s day. I want to return to a time when life was simple. When all you knew were colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes, but that didn’t bother you, because you didn’t know what you didn’t know and you didn’t care. All you knew was to be happy because you were blissfully unaware of all the things that should make you worried or upset. I want to think the world is fair. That everyone is honest and good. I want to believe that anything is possible. I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited again. I want to live simple again. I don’t want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to survive more days in the month than there is money in the bank, doctor bills, gossip, illness, and loss of loved ones. I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, justice, peace, dreams, the imagination, mankind, and making angels in the snow. So…Here’s my checkbook and my car keys, my credit card bills and my 401K statements. I am officially resigning from adulthood. And if you want to discuss this further, you’ll have to catch me first, cause… “Tag! You’re it!”
(2) Jesus taught us that we must become like children in order to go to Heaven.
(a) John 3.1-5 – New Birth
(b) Our attitude must become like that of a child
(3) Let us note 3 key attitudes of a child of God:
I. Humility –
A. The disciples were concerned about whom would be the greatest.
B. Jesus responded by teaching that the greatest would be a child who was not concerned about who would be the greatest.
C. One once said, “True humility is not thinking meanly of oneself; it is simply not thinking of oneself at all.”
D. “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you” (James 4.10).
E. “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted” (Luke 18.14).
II. Dependence –
A. Think of how a child acts when he/she is separated from his/her parents.
B. We are wholly dependent upon God for everything.
1. Jesus taught us, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matt. 5.3).
2. Without God we are nothing!
3. With God we can do all things (Phil. 4.13).
III. Trust –
A. As children, we place our trust in whatever our parents tell us.
B. We must do the same with God.
1. God cannot lie (Titus 1.2).
2. God is only good.
3. Therefore, we must trust and obey even when we don’t understand.
C. Consider this poem entitled “If We Trust”:
When the frosts are in the valley,
And the mountain tops are grey,
And the choicest buds are blighted,
And the blossoms die away,
A loving Father whispers,
“This cometh from My hand,
Blessed are ye if ye trust,
Where ye cannot understand!”
If, after years of toiling,
Your wealth should fly away,
And leave your hands all empty,
And your locks are turning grey,
Remember then your Father,
Owns all the sea and land,
Blessed are ye if ye trust,
Where ye cannot understand!
(1) Will you become like a child and be great in the eyes of God?
(2) The first step is for you to humble yourselves and admit that you need Him.