Sunday, April 29, 2012

How Does One Receive the Kingdom of God as a Child Would?

    Today’s Reading:
  • Mark 10:13 - 31
  • Psalm 44:9 - 26
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Mark 10:13 - 31
The disciples of Jesus stopped some parents from bringing their children to see Jesus.  In verses 10:4-15 Jesus rebukes his disciples:
"Let the children come to me.  Don't stop them!  For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.  I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it."

 As I read this passage, I have to wonder -- how does one receive the Kingdom of God like a child would?

Children believe so easily.  They believe without proof, they believe on faith alone.  A child feels with his heart and lets those feelings guide his beliefs.  A child will accept change and new concepts and rearrange her entire perspective of the world accordingly.

Adults.  Adults are full of skepticism, adults question all that is before them, adults want proof, adults are often set in their ways.  Adults have a hard time adapting and changing their lives and often resist a change, even when there is perfectly logical reasoning for doing so directly in front of them.

So what might a child-like belief in the Kingdom of God entail?  I think it starts with complete faith in the Lord, something children seem to grasp so easily.  And then one must change their fundamental being to align to the Lord's teaching and plan for their lives.  I also think it would be a lot easier for a child to drop everything and follow Jesus than it would be for an adult to do so.

Here we are being told that we need to receive the Kingdom of God the way that a child would.  To do that we must question ourselves -- how would a child perceive and act upon the Kingdom of God differently than I do?  Do I have child-like utter faith in the Lord?  Am I listening and obeying all the Lord is teaching me?  Am I drinking in the knowledge He is offering me the way a child would eagerly learn all he could from his teacher?

Please Lord, strip away the hardness that is inside of me to reveal the inner softness that I had before this hard world was imposed upon my heart.  Help me to become child-like in you, Lord, so that I might receive the full glory of the Kingdom of God into my heart.  Amen.

Psalm 44:9 - 26 
This Psalm is a dark one.  The descendents of Korah talk of their utter desperation and horrors that are befalling them.  They say they have been "covered [in] darkness and death" (44:19) and are "being slaughtered like sheep" (44:22).  They also say that they have not done anything wrong -- they have not deserted the Lord (44:18) and they are not worshiping foreign idols (44:20).  So why is the Lord ignoring them? (44:24).

This is one of these tough things to explain, and it's a question that we don't have the power to answer.  The question of WHY -- why does it seem like the Lord has abandoned us?  Unfortunately I have no answer to this one, all I can say is that the Lord is always aware of us, and we are not forgotten.  We are just blinded from seeing His plan at times and we don't understand how hard times, tragedies and tribulations fit into our lives.

I believe that often times these things are a result of Satan's destruction and not some unknown punishment doled out from the Lord.  Other times it is of our doing as we let Satan overcome our actions, or when we sabotage ourselves.  But in the end, regardless of what we see now, I know one thing -- the Lord will always turn a situation so that something good comes from it.  And while the times are tough, we just need to call on the Lord to be carried through it.  And He will.

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