And He 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. Matthew 18:3
Throughout Jesus’ ministry, He began teaching about the kingdom of heaven. It was a radical teaching in that day because He taught that you cannot see the kingdom of heaven on the outside, it is inside of each believer. (Luke 17:21) This is an important detail to keep in mind when reading scripture, especially the words of Jesus. Every time he talked about the kingdom of heaven he was not talking about the place of heaven that we go to after we leave this body in this world. He was talking about the kingdom of heaven principles that we live by after we receive salvation. Or you could say the kingdom of heaven is God’s government and statutes that He set up to be successful and to empower His family in this world. Principles such as Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, love one another, tithing, reaping and sowing just to name a few. The kingdom of heaven is the citizenship with authority over the curse of this world that you receive at the point of inviting Jesus into your heart and life. (See Gal. 3:13)
In today’s reading, the disciples are trying to figure out who will be the greatest in the kingdom. I don’t know exactly what they were thinking, but the interesting part is the answer Jesus gave them. He said you have to become as a little child to enter His kingdom. I’m sure this was not the answer they were expecting. Maybe they were thinking it was the high priest or one of the prophets of old? Someone who looked great in the eyes of the people.
Jesus went on to expand on the idea. He said you must humble yourself as a little child. When you receive a little child like this in His name you are receiving Him and if you cause one of these little ones to sin there will be a terrible outcome for you. Then He goes on to teach about how precious and valuable the lost are to Him.
Some of the childlike mentality to consider in this teaching are: Trusting God and people, innocence, sweet and pure, honesty, energetic and eager to learn new things especially about God’s ways and love for others. Not weighted down with the cares of life. Always happy and ready to face each day. When you consider these attitudes, it is easy to see the difference between a grown up and someone with a childlike heart. That is how you become great in God’s kingdom.
Today I want to encourage you to take a look at your heart and attitude in your life right now. Are you heavy with things going on in this world? Are you worried about the latest conflicts and inflation? Do you carry this weight around with you and talk about it everywhere you go? Change the direction of your heart and life today by looking at your heavenly Father and His word about this life. Be eager to believe what you read in His book of promises. Enjoy the blessings that He has graced your life with such as family, friends and employment. Drop those cares and concerns that the news and media would have you focused on and admit that these things are no surprise to God. Acknowledge Him in all your ways and realize He is bringing everything together for the good of those who love Him in agreement with the power that you fill your life up with. (Romans 8:28) Get in line with the kingdom of heaven’s ways today and walk out all the blessings and purpose God has for your life.
Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 18:1-5
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.