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Old 02-19-2011, 06:04 AM
 
Location: Florida
5,965 posts, read 5,573,110 times
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I'm thinking this morning of the importance of becoming child-like in our faith. And it is important. Jesus said so:

Then he said, "I tell you with certainty, unless you change and become like little children, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 18:3

This is a very bold statement by Jesus. One of many bold statements. And it is one of those "hard" sayings of his, especially for those who have grown cynical because of all the evil in the world.

What do you think Jesus meant by this? Let's discuss...

I think he meant that you had to get rid of all the fear that you'd been loaded down with from being in the world. When children are little (under normal circumstances), they have innocent minds. They believe the good that is told to them. They trust what their parents tell them. They believe in magic even - because they are innocent. Doubt does not rise up in their minds immediately when you tell a child you have something good to give them. Keep in mind, we are talking about a normal child who has been in a loving family and not abused.

Childlike faith was hard for me to get to. Why? Several reasons, but the main two reasons were because of unfortunate things that happened to me while growing up and not having a stable, loving home. And also because I grew up hearing all the time how angry God is with the whole world, how disgusted he is with our sin, etc.... how he is pretty much ready to bring the hammer down on us because we are basically worthless. Many churches teach this. It is child abuse. When it is laid on adults, it is "child of God abuse".

God forbid that we should find ourselves in the business of making the God's people (all the people in the world) more cynical, more suspicious, more unbelieving in goodness.

Believing in heaven and believing that death will be done away is very much like believing in magic. It is a very child-like heart that believes such wonderful things. No doubt that is why the preaching of such things sounds foolish to many people. It sounds "too good to be true". But the gospel is good news. It is marvelous. It is glorious. And in order to enter the Kingdom, Jesus said you MUST become like a little child. I do not believe he said that as a threat of any kind. He was just stating the fact.

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Old 02-19-2011, 10:01 AM
 
Location: RV Park
7,543 posts, read 11,559,868 times
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Indeed. If you think about it, the carnal mind dispels the truth of the Kingdom - we're just programmed to reason away things that we've never seen or can't understand.

But God is spirit, His kingdom is spiritual, and His words are spirit - all in opposition to our systems and "kingdoms" we've built. We've got our entire world built upon these systems that depend on the strength of the flesh, and it's resulted in our bondage to them. That's why the promise of destruction in Revelation is such good news.
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,610 posts, read 3,963,999 times
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It is easy to become child-like. Just get married and let your wife take care of all the details that make our lives so crazy.

You want to see a bunch of kids at play? Come watch us retirees at our golf course in the morning.
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Niagara Falls ON.
10,024 posts, read 10,148,122 times
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I believe the most childlike quality that the Lord was talking about here was Trust. As Christians we must trust completely in God. In our security as His children. In unquestioned faith in His promises. In our total love for Him as our heavenly, Abba, Daddy.
Trust and obey for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:53 AM
 
6,824 posts, read 4,874,288 times
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I read this not too long ago as well. It's a passage that I thought about for a while. I think the biggest thing is children are obedient. They follow the rules of their parents. As adults, we like to make our own rules. As a child we don't have this essence of self pride. As adults we are encouraged to have this destructive self pride and that it is good. God clearly points out that it is not. In fact that's what got Satan in trouble, his own self pride. So I think looking over scripture the message is the following:

1) Be Obedient to God by following the rules
2) Humble one's pride so you don't get yourself into trouble
3) Fear God

The last one is very important. Throughout the old testement God tells us that if we fear him we will be led to salvation. While a crippling fear that has one hiding in a closet is not the answer (not to be a coward), but to have fear of him when we come to our choices and when we are faced with sin will lead us to the right path.

Pride is important because once we get self pride it becomes addicting. We like it when people praise us. While this is good to an extent for confidence, it can become dangerous if this pride gets too high. Sadly I know too many people that think they can level with God and talk it over or something. I guess that's what they are getting at. They just don't get it. We are now seeing a movement that will once again, proclaim man as gods. The science religion. We can do whatever we want and get away with it. Of course for those not paying attention, they will only be falling prey to Satan's lies.

Of course I can't claim righteous either, or then I'm a liar. I struggle with all this daily as we all do.

God Bless
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Gaston, North Carolina
4,213 posts, read 4,903,045 times
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The fear of God is reverance of God not to be confused with being scared of God. He doesnt want anyone to be afraid He wants us to worship Him in everything we do. Sin, even what some consider small sins, is not not worship but rebellion.
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:45 PM
 
Location: NW Nevada
13,340 posts, read 10,919,127 times
Reputation: 12291
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heartsong View Post
I'm thinking this morning of the importance of becoming child-like in our faith. And it is important. Jesus said so:

Then he said, "I tell you with certainty, unless you change and become like little children, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 18:3

This is a very bold statement by Jesus. One of many bold statements. And it is one of those "hard" sayings of his, especially for those who have grown cynical because of all the evil in the world.

What do you think Jesus meant by this? Let's discuss...

I think he meant that you had to get rid of all the fear that you'd been loaded down with from being in the world. When children are little (under normal circumstances), they have innocent minds. They believe the good that is told to them. They trust what their parents tell them. They believe in magic even - because they are innocent. Doubt does not rise up in their minds immediately when you tell a child you have something good to give them. Keep in mind, we are talking about a normal child who has been in a loving family and not abused.

Childlike faith was hard for me to get to. Why? Several reasons, but the main two reasons were because of unfortunate things that happened to me while growing up and not having a stable, loving home. And also because I grew up hearing all the time how angry God is with the whole world, how disgusted he is with our sin, etc.... how he is pretty much ready to bring the hammer down on us because we are basically worthless. Many churches teach this. It is child abuse. When it is laid on adults, it is "child of God abuse".

God forbid that we should find ourselves in the business of making the God's people (all the people in the world) more cynical, more suspicious, more unbelieving in goodness.

Believing in heaven and believing that death will be done away is very much like believing in magic. It is a very child-like heart that believes such wonderful things. No doubt that is why the preaching of such things sounds foolish to many people. It sounds "too good to be true". But the gospel is good news. It is marvelous. It is glorious. And in order to enter the Kingdom, Jesus said you MUST become like a little child. I do not believe he said that as a threat of any kind. He was just stating the fact.
My personal take on this finds me in agreement with you. My own awakening to God came as a realization that the questions I was seeking answers to had no point in this life, here on earth. None. We ARE but children, playing in our sandbox. ^The mysteries of the universe are so far over our heads that there is no point in even asking any answers of The LORD. Thankfully, HE was quite forgiving of my presumptuousness in the time of my life I felt the need of even asking. So, just as children are, we were born knowing how to run, we must be taught how to walk. We do not determine when we are ready to have Gods mysteries revealed to us. Just as we judge when our own children are ready to recieve certain knowlege, so does God judge us (though HE is a tad better qualified than we are in his timing and methods).
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,965 posts, read 5,573,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NVplumber View Post
My personal take on this finds me in agreement with you. My own awakening to God came as a realization that the questions I was seeking answers to had no point in this life, here on earth. None. We ARE but children, playing in our sandbox. ^The mysteries of the universe are so far over our heads that there is no point in even asking any answers of The LORD. Thankfully, HE was quite forgiving of my presumptuousness in the time of my life I felt the need of even asking. So, just as children are, we were born knowing how to run, we must be taught how to walk. We do not determine when we are ready to have Gods mysteries revealed to us. Just as we judge when our own children are ready to recieve certain knowlege, so does God judge us (though HE is a tad better qualified than we are in his timing and methods).
I agree with you in that we are completely dependent on God to reveal himself and his mysteries to us in his own timing. I find that it goes against man's mindset to acknowledge that God is sovereign. Man always wants to keep a "little control" over things, even to "take credit" for "making a decision". I believe God reveals himself when man comes to the end of himself and admits that without God, he knows nothing. I believe that is the humility God requires. Jesus' biggest problem was with those who insisted they already knew the truth.
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Niagara Falls ON.
10,024 posts, read 10,148,122 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinD69 View Post
The fear of God is reverance of God not to be confused with being scared of God. He doesnt want anyone to be afraid He wants us to worship Him in everything we do. Sin, even what some consider small sins, is not not worship but rebellion.
I don't agree with you. Just take a look at the reactions of some of the old testament prophets when they even get a glimse of the glory of the Lord. This fear is not a negative thing in any way for the believer. Just as we can come to God as our own personal Daddy as Abba Father is translated we still have a holy fear of His awesomeness. Just as I have a type of fear as I stand near the bottom of Niagara falls contemplating it's power in relation to my feebleness I have this fear of the Lord when I contemplate His Majesty, His Power, His Holiness in relation to my lowliness and powerlessness. This fear in no way impacts me in my assurance of His love for me but does strengthen my love for Him when I contemplate His Glory.
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:38 PM
 
5,500 posts, read 4,418,503 times
Reputation: 5147
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
It is easy to become child-like. Just get married and let your wife take care of all the details that make our lives so crazy.

You want to see a bunch of kids at play? Come watch us retirees at our golf course in the morning.
Women can't help but love your kind...makes our "reign" peaceful and complete!
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