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Remain Like a Child


By Steve Troxel
God's Daily Word Ministries

In the message "Hold Me" we saw how our Heavenly Father desires for us to reach up to Him with outstretched arms and how this is perhaps His greatest joy. We considered the example of a child reaching up to be held by their parent. This is where our relationship with God begins and, in many ways, it's where we must remain.

When the disciples asked Jesus, "Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?" (Matthew 18:1), He responded with a harsh rebuke; "Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 18:3). The disciples were arguing about their eternal "greatness" and Jesus said unless they changed they would not even enter Heaven! Obviously, following Jesus, listening to His teachings, and having a general belief is not enough.

Salvation, or as Jesus said, "enter{ing} the Kingdom of Heaven," involves a submission which understands our inability to save ourselves. We can do nothing but present the "filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6) of our life and receive the mercy and forgiveness of a loving Father. Salvation is not something we rise up and achieve; rather, it's a gift for which we must submit and receive. When we understand this gift, we will be filled with such thankfulness that our only desire will be to love Him and do ALL to bring Him glory and honor.

Matthew 18:4
"Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven."

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Becoming like a little child, humbly dependent on Christ, is necessary for entering the Kingdom; but walking in humility as we grow is God's desire for our entire life. We are to be "conformed to the likeness of His Son" (Romans 8:29). But it was His Son "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing...He humbled Himself and became obedient to death" (Philippians 2:6-8). We are being conformed to His humility.

The great temptation of Spiritual "growth" is in thinking we have all the answers and thus desiring to establish our own path with its own set of rules - we become like the know-it-all teenager. When this occurs, we must immediately, and with great determination, humble ourselves and put to death the rebellious pride which leads us astray. We must "trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5). We must daily remember the children we really are...and the children we need to continually become.

We must continue to grow and mature. We must learn more of our Heavenly Father and His desire for our life, walk in faith and be obedient to all He has commanded. But we must also remember that as we grow, we are to walk in humility and always remain like a child.

© Steve Troxel
Note from Rach: Steve, of God's Daily Word Ministries, writes the BEST daily devotional series I've ever received. Subscribe here.

 

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