Lord, prepare my heart as I read and reflect on the passage from Matthew today. Amen
Matthew 18:1-5 (NIV)
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
When I was a child, I had no appreciation for what it meant to love as a parent loves. All that changed when Sally and I had children of our own. Suddenly we had a profound appreciation for the love and sacrifice that our parents showered on us. After the birth of our first child we learned very quickly how needy and totally dependent a child could be.
As our heavenly Father, God wants to shower us with His profound love and His unending affection. A love He demonstrated to us through the cruel death and triumphant resurrection of His only Son. He knows that unless we recognize our total dependence on Him, the dependence of a helpless and needy child, we cannot enter the kingdom He has so lovingly and sacrificially prepared for us.
In this passage, He is asking us to lay aside all our inadequate striving to get our lives together and rest in Him. He is a loving father who longs to shower His profound love on each of us. By the power of the Holy Spirit in us, He enables us to change and become as totally dependent little children. Then and only then, as His dearly loved children, are we able to celebrate our citizenship in the kingdom of heaven. It’s good to be a child of the King!
Lord, help me to rest in you today. Help me, by the power of your Holy Spirit, to lay aside all my striving and celebrate the reality that I am loved as a child of the King. Amen