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To Be a Child! - Matthew 18:2-4

Jesus called a little child to come to him. Jesus stood the child before the followers. Then Jesus said, "I tell you the truth. You must change and become like little children {in your hearts}. If you don't do this, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. The greatest (most important) person in the kingdom of heaven is the person that makes himself humble like this child." (ERV) Full Text

Key Thought

Without being syrupy or sappy, Jesus' words hit us like a cold slap in the face. "Unless you change," he insists, "you won't enter the kingdom of heaven!" Jesus isn't subtle. Jesus is not politically correct. Jesus is multi-cultural as long as all cultures surrender to his Kingdom rule and become a new culture, the culture of the humble. If we are honest, we spend most of our childhood trying to grow up too "fast." We don't want to be children. Children are the ones hurt by divorce, abuse, abandonment, poverty, and predators. Children can't vote, can't drive, can't date, and can't choose at different points in their childhood. While on one hand children rule the day because of permissive or non-involved parents, on the other hand they are in more danger and suffer more abuse than ever before. Who wants to be vulnerable, powerless, and humble like a child?
"Unless you change and become like a child!" I MUST change. I MUST be humble. I MUST surrender to the King of glory so I can find life. Only then, in becoming a child, like God himself in Jesus our Immanuel, will I find greatness!


Today's Prayer

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O God, Creator of the universe and Almighty Lord of my life, since you humbled yourself and became a child for me, I now surrender my heart and humble myself to become a child in your presence. Make me fit for your service and use my weakness in your strength to bring yourself glory and to bring others to your salvation. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


Today's Verses in Context


At that time the followers came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Jesus called a little child to come to him. Jesus stood the child before the followers. Then Jesus said, "I tell you the truth. You must change and become like little children {in your hearts}. If you don't do this, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. The greatest (most important) person in the kingdom of heaven is the person that makes himself humble like this child. "If a person accepts a little child like this in my name, then that person accepts me. "If one of these little children believes in me, and another person causes that child to sin, then it will be very bad for that person. It would be better for that person to have a millstone tied around his neck and be drowned in the deep sea. I feel sorry for the people in the world because of the things that make people sin. Those things must happen. But it will be very bad for the person that causes those things to happen. "If your hand or your foot makes you sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose part of your body but have life forever. That is much better than to have two hands and two feet but be thrown into the fire (hell) that burns forever. If your eye makes you sin, take it out and throw it away. It is better for you to have only one eye but have life forever. That is much better than to have two eyes but be thrown into the fire of hell. "Be careful. Don't think these little children are worth nothing. I tell you that these children have angels in heaven. And those angels are always with my Father in heaven. "If a man has 100 sheep, but one of the sheep becomes lost, then the man will leave the other 99 sheep on the hill. He will go to look for the lost sheep. Right? And if the man finds the lost sheep, the man is happier about that one sheep than about the 99 sheep that were never lost. I tell you the truth. In the same way, your Father in heaven does not want any of theselittle children to be lost.

Matthew 18:1-14 (ERV)

 



123132: God With Us: 365 Devotionals from the Gospel of MatthewGod With Us:
365 Devotionals from the Gospel of Matthew

By Phil Ware

Join the author of the Gospel of Matthew in God With Us, a devotional that will immerse you in exploring the glories of Immanuel. The book uses one short passage each day and follows the Gospel text from beginning to end. Each day's passage is followed by a brief Reflection to open up the day's Scripture and a Prayer to show how the verses challenge you to live for Jesus.


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Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.


 
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Salmon was the father of Boaz. (Boaz' mother was Rahab.) Boaz was the father of Obed. (Obed's mother was Ruth.) Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon. (Solomon's mother had been Uriah's wife.) Solomon was the father of Rehoboam. Rehoboam was the father of Abijah. Abijah was the father of Asa. Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat was the father of Jehoram. Jehoram was the father of Uzziah. Uzziah was the father of Jotham. Jotham was the father of Ahaz. Ahaz was the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh. Manasseh was the father of Amon. Amon was the father of Josiah. Josiah was the grandfather of Jehoiachin and his brothers. (This was during the time that the {Jewish} people were taken to Babylon {to be slaves}.) The mother of Jesus Christ was Mary. And this is how the birth of Jesus happened. Mary was engaged to marry Joseph. But before they married, Mary learned that she was pregnant with a child. Mary was pregnant by {the power of} the Holy Spirit. Mary's husband, Joseph, was a good man. He did not want to bring shame to Mary before the people. So he planned to divorce her secretly. But after Joseph thought about this, an angel of the Lord came to Joseph in a dream. The angel said, "Joseph, son of David, don't be afraid to accept Mary to be your wife. The baby that is in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son. You will name the son Jesus. Give him that name because he will save his people from their sins." All this happened to make clear the full meaning of the things the Lord said through the prophet : "The virgin will be pregnant and will give birth to a son. They will name him Immanuel." (Immanuel means, "God with us.")Matthew 1:18-23; 2:5-11 (ERV)

Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth. A person must be born again. If a person is not born again, then that person cannot be in God's kingdom." But Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth. A person must be born from water and the Spirit. If a person is not born from water and the Spirit, then he cannot enter God's kingdom.John 3:3, 5 (ERV)

Jesus saw what happened. He did not like his followers telling the children not to come. Jesus said to them, "Let the little children come to me. Don't stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to people that are like these little children. I tell you the truth. You must accept the kingdom of God like a little child accepts things, or you will never enter it."Mark 10:14-15 (ERV)

 

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