Meditations: Luke 18:16-17

Copyright Clarissa Pardue 2014
Copyright Clarissa Pardue 2014

Luke 18:16-17
NLT

16 Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 I assure you, anyone who doesn’t have their kind of faith will never get into the Kingdom of God.”

 

Matthew, Mark and Luke all share about this event, about how Jesus rebuked His disciples for trying to keep the children away. Mark and Luke both quote Jesus’ declaration that only those who have childlike faith will enter the Kingdom of God. All good students know that when the teacher repeats himself you can be sure that the information he’s giving will be on the test. So what all was Jesus saying, that God ensured it would be repeated to catch our attention?

First, any time His disciples tried to keep people from Jesus they were rebuked. Here He rebuked them and then the event was recorded repeatedly in the Gospels.

Moral: Do not stand in the way of anyone who is trying to reach Him; He does not appreciate it (and may well make an example of you for posterity’s sake).

Then He explains that the Kingdom of God belongs to those children and others like them. We cannot enter the Kingdom of God, He says, unless we have their kind of faith. This is a powerful warning. How do we heed it?

The key, of course, lies in understanding a child’s faith. A child’s faith is, in a word, absolute. The child of a normal father – even one who is only decent, rather than outstanding as a father – tends to trust his father completely. Whatever Daddy gives him he receives with confidence that it is a good thing. When Daddy holds him, he knows the world is safe. Whatever his need, he walks convinced that Daddy will fill it. That is, after all, what daddies are for.

God wants us to trust Him in just this way. He desires…demands…our absolute confidence in Him. He wants us to come before the throne of grace as boldly as any child would run to his father’s chair. He wants us to whisper in His ear, sharing as any earthly child would, telling Him about our hopes, our dreams, our needs and concerns.

He also wants us to love as freely as a child loves, throwing our arms around his neck, climbing up into His lap, playing “I love you most” with him, and in general letting Him know that He is the most important One in our whole world.

Our tendency, in today’s culture, is to rush to grow up. He says, “Come as a child.”

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

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Meditations: Matthew 6:33

Copyright Clarissa Pardue 2014
Copyright Clarissa Pardue 2014

Matthew 6:33
AMP

But seek for (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right], and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.

 

But seek for (aim at and strive after)

This is no small thing. Whatever it is I’m seeking, I’m to aim carefully for my goal. Someone told me once that in the earliest archery targets there was nothing but a mark in the center of a plain field that was called ‘sin.’ If you “hit the mark” you did well, but if you fell outside the mark you were “in sin.” I don’t know if this story is true or not, but it does illustrate the importance of proper aim. The fact is that in anything we do “hitting the mark” is the only fully acceptable result.

And then there’s the word “strive.” According to Webster’s 1828 dictionary, it means, “To make efforts; to use exertions; to endeavor with earnestness; to labor hard.” This is a meaty word, one that implies the necessity of WORK on our part.

 

first of all

Before anything else!

 

His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right]

So here is what we are to work so hard to attain.

His kingdom

His righteousness

His way of doing and being right

I’m told that one translation says we are to seek first the expansion of His kingdom and that makes sense too, considering Jesus’ command to go into the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15)

And if we do this, then…

 

all these things taken together will be given you besides.

“All these things” would be the things He talked about in verses 25 through 31, the things the Gentiles seek and the things that He commands us not to worry about. He is, after all, our heavenly Father who knows we need them. If we just do things His way, those other ‘things’ are automatically ours.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C