Please read today’s scripture, praying for an open heart and mind to listen to the wisdom God has for you through his Holy Spirit. Today’s Scripture Reading is: Mark 10:13-16
The Message (MSG)
13-16 The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: “Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.
As Mike shared with us today at worship, Jesus used the parable of the four soils to hold up a mirror to His people. His people had witnessed Jesus’ many miracles, had heard Him proclaim Himself to be the Son of God, and they still questioned Him. And to make matters worse, they began criticizing the way He taught them - “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” (Matt 13:10). They continually challenged His authority. Yikes! As Mike outlined the context of the people’s reaction, it reminded me of my journey through this life – the many times my heart has been hardened, the many times I’ve treated my heavenly father as the third or fourth priority in my life, the many times I’ve allowed the distractions of this world capture my attention. Jesus gave me this parable to shine a light on the many ways the evil one would keep me away from relationship with Him. So, what’s the answer? When I studied today’s scripture reading, it began to make me smile, because the answer is very simple – the reminder that God wants us to come to Him like children to a father. He wants me to come to Him with the innocence of a child - the completely trusting, dependent attitude that children are born with. There are many studies in child development that describe what happens to babies and small children that are raised by negative, controlling, abusive parents. The natural dependence children have on their authority figure can totally shape their lives – good or bad. The Good News is that we know we have a loving and forgiving Father, and when we can come to Him with receptive souls like children, HE WILL fill us. As children are totally dependent on their parents, we are totally dependent on Him, and desperate for His love. As a father should care and love his children with gentleness and respect, Our Father will never cease to seek us and call on us for a relationship with Him. What a comfort!
What are ways we can seek Him? As we seek Him, what kind of attitude should we have?
Heavenly Father, we thank you and praise you for never ceasing to seek us. In this life, we are desperate for the love and grace that only you can give. Our friends, our family, our acquaintances will sometimes fail us, but you never will. Make us yearn for your presence in our daily comings and goings – help us know you better, so that we can share the hope that we have in you with everyone we meet. In your Son’s name we pray. Amen.