LIKE A CHILD
by Keith Giles
"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young."- Isaiah 40:11
This verse, written by the prophet Isaiah some 500 years before Christ, is a prophetic look at the Messiah who would come to set people free and bring salvation to every Nation.
The prophecy is fulfilled in The Gospel of Mark when Jesus allowed the children in the crowd to come to him. The full text says, "People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them." - Mark 10:13-16
There are several key things to notice in the passage above. First, that the Disciples (sometimes referred to as the "Duh-Sciples"), didn't get it. They wanted to keep Jesus from the nuisance of children. Instead, Jesus grew angry and not only did he allow them to come near, he used this as an opportunity to teach us something about the Kingdom.
Great teachers were often found blessing children. Greek philosophers enjoyed blessing the youth of their day, but here Jesus does something that none of the others ever did. He took them into his arms and held them in his lap, and he loved them.
All other teachers who blessed children did so from a distance, but Jesus allowed them to come near enough to embrace. He held them in his arms. He carried them close to his heart.
I had never before noticed that the passage in Isaiah was fulfilled by this scene in the Gospel of Mark. I had missed that the prophetic verse referred to a shepherd who would gather the lambs in his arms. Lambs are the children of the sheep.
This passage also shows us that Jesus had a heart for women as well. It says, "He gently leads those who have young", showing his compassion for women who care for children every day.
Most striking in the verses from Mark is the comment made by Jesus that "anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it". He doesn't say that it will be hard for those who do not receive the kingdom like a child. He says they will never enter it. Never.
To receive the kingdom of God like a child is to submit totally to the Master. It is to crawl into his lap and to trust him, to let him bless you, and to obey his words because you take comfort in his love for you.
Today I woke up and realized that God has been working this simple attitude of gentle submission into my heart. My first thoughts today were, "What is your will for me today, My Lord?"
I know it sounds hokey, and maybe you doubt it, but it's true. Before I rolled out of bed I whispered those words to God while I was still halfway asleep. It was almost a reflex action.
Let me assure you, this is not my usual practice. Maybe it's the process of being humbled over the last few months that I have endured? Maybe it's that I've given up on my plans for my life and I've finally started to rely on God for direction? I'm not entirely sure, to be honest.
After rolling out of bed, I got up and prepared to return to a temporary job assignment that I had worked at about four months previously. Here again I was getting ready to go back to that same old desk and that same sense of uncertainty about my future employment.
When I got to the office I had a few minutes to catch up with my old supervisor on a few things. She said she had been praying for me all this time, which really blessed me. I told her about my various contract jobs over the last several months, both good and not so good. That's when she said something that made me blink.
She looked at me and said, "Well, I guess every day is another chance to wake up and say, 'Ok Lord, what do you have in store for me today?'"
I just had to nod my head and smile.
The rest of the day was as mundane and uneventful as ever, but that moment alone was enough to remind me that I have a Good Shepherd who loves me and cares for me and who daily longs to draw me into his arms to bless me like one of his dear lambs.
Learning humility is not an easy thing. It's one of those traits of character that you lose as soon as you realize that you might have developed it.
Every day is another chance to receive the kingdom of God like a little child.
Don't miss your chance.
FREEDOM DAY- SUNDAY, MARCH 25TH (2PM TO 7PM), Vanguard University.
Here's a great FREE event coming up next Sunday afternoon that I want to invite you to.
I'll be there along with event host Greg Russinger (my friend), and several hundred others who are concerned about human trafficking, children-at-risk and slavery.FREEDOM DAY Event website: www.onevoicetoendslavery.com
The event is being endorsed by various organizations including International Justice Mission, WorldVision International, STOP the Traffik, Soliton Network, The Salvation Army, and several universities.
[Subversive Underground] has also committed to help promote the event.
The idea behind Freedom Day is to mark the 200th anniversary of whentransatlantic slavery was abolished in Europe, and to remind the worldthat slavery--human trafficking--still exists. March 25th is a callto awareness and action in our own backyard, and in our world.
REGISTRATION IS FREE!Just click on the website http://www.onevoicetoendslavery.com/ to register,and see more info.
Even if you can't join us, please help us spread the word.
THE NON-CON -MARCH 2008:
Jackie Pullinger and David Ruis are on board. So are worship leaders Cindy Rethmeier (Vineyard Music) and John Thomas (Soul Survivor USA).
Only 100 seats will be made available.
A few more details are online here:
CHASING THE DRAGON- Jackie Pullinger's classic book is being re-released in May of this year by Gospel Light and Regal Books, just in time for the NON-CON promotion!! If you've never read this amazing book you need to pick up a copy and read it before the NON-CON next March.
Inside of Hong Kong lies the infamous Walled City. Strangers are not welcome there. Police hesitate to enter. It is a haven of filth, crime and sin. Prostitution, pornography and drug addiction flourish. Thirthy thousand people-maybe twice that-live in a few cramped, dismal acres.
Jackie Pullinger had grown up believing that if she put her trust in God, He would lead her. When she was 20 years old, God called her to the Walled City. She obeyed. And as she spoke of Jesus Christ, brutal hoods were converted, prostitutes retired from their trade, and heroin junkies found new power that freed them from the bondage of drug addiction. Hundreds discovered new life in Christ. Chasing the Dragon tells the whole amazing story-exactly as it happened."
ORDER ONLINE HERE: