Become as Little Children

Become as Little Children

Become as Little Children

William Stout / General

Matthew 18:1–6

 

Become As Little Children

 

 

 

Matthew 18:1–6 NKJV

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them,

3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5 Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.

6 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

 

 

  • Everyone wants to be “greatest”
  • We want to be greatest at our careers
  • We want to be greatest among our friends
  • We want to be greatest at sports
  • We like the recognition, the power, the privilege that come with being “greatest”
  • This is the natural state of man – to desire to be “greatest”
  • Perhaps there should be a distinction here between achieving “greatness” and being “greatest”
  • We should. always strive for excellence, and do our best
  • This is different than measuring ourselves by ourselves, and only feeling great if we are greater than another.
  • When the disciples asked Jesus “who was the greatest”, he replied:
  • Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3).
  • As if who is greatest was irrelevant –
  • So, today I want to discuss: how do we “become as little children”?
  • Not also that He said that to do so, you must “be converted”. In other words, we may have to give up some of our natural thinking
  • He knew that it may not seem normal to let go of this desire to be greatest in favor of being childlike,

 

   Practice Humility

  • The first step should be to practice humility
  • He said “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child …” (Matt. 18:4).
  • We like to tell everyone that we are grown – we don’t need anyone – don’t have to answer to anyone
  • But little children realize they are small and must look up to grown-ups.
  • They are aware of their lack of strength and wisdom.
  • They ask for help and guidance.
  • God wants us to be aware of our lack of strength and of our inability to understand everything.
  • You don’t have to have all the answers
  • But stop acting like you do
  • Children are not embarrassed to ask for help and instruction.
  • He wants us to ask Him for assistance and wisdom
  • Don’t worry, it is not troubling God to hear your prayer

James 1:5 NKJV

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

 

  Practice Trust

  • Trust is a wonderful characteristic of little children.
  • They trust their parents implicitly to meet their needs. And their parents delight to do so
  • Yet so Many people are trusting in material things and depending on their own abilities.

Proverbs 3:5 NKJV

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;

  • God wants His children to trust Him completely to meet their needs
  • Jesus said it was His good pleasure to give us the kingdom –
  • This “trusting” is not apathy or laziness – but rather a childlike confidence
  • That God, our Father, is willing and able and has placed you in an environment where you can succeed

Philippians 4:19 NKJV

19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

 

 

Practice Light-heartedness

  • It is normal for little children to be light-hearted and carefree.
  • Most children are not troubled about the light bill, or the car payment
  • It is normal for them to be light, and joyful – knowing their parents will care for these things
  • God wants His children to be light-hearted and carefree, too. He is able to bear their burdens

1 Peter 5:7 NKJV

7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

  • It’s too bad that so many Christians seem unable to do this
  • so often we carry our burdens out in front of us with disgruntled attitudes and
  • So many people, even Christians, can allow our circumstances and responsibilities to rob us of this light-heartedness, and joy
  • instead of walking around stressed and depressed, often ready to blow if anyone adds some pressure
  • Yet, Jesus described a simplicity, being childlike – Children are not stressed out because of their to-do list…

 

 

Practice Persistence

 

  • Most children are also persistent – they don’t give up easily – they don’t quit
  • A little child falls many times but he never gives up until he learns to walk.
  • Only as we grow up and suffer some of the disappointments of life to we tend to become easily discouraged and quick to turn back
  • Christians make lots and mistakes and sometimes really blow it, but they should keep trying and refuse to give up.

Hebrews 10:23 NKJV

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

 

    Practice Anticipation

  • (Phil. 3:14).
  • Children continually look ahead with anticipation.
  • Ever hear a child talking about Christmas? Or their birthday?
  • How excited they are as they look forward to what’s ahead

Philippians 3:14 NKJV

14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

  • Paul said he was pressing toward a goal, expecting a prize
  • we should have childlike excitement and anticipation as we look forward to the goal!!
  • Discouragement is short-lived with children. They look to the future with hope.
  • Christians should look ahead with anticipation, too. They should look for and expect the best to come

John 14:1–3 NKJV

1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

  • So, lets cast off our selfish pride, and worldly dignity, and become like children
  • Like children looking forward to a wonderful destination, and trusting our Father completely during the journey!!

 

 

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