Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”Matthew 18:3
Children Are Exciting
There’s something about having a child in the room or in your family that just brings so much excitement.
I mean let’s face it, children bring excitement.
I like to use Charlie Brown and the Peanuts comic strip often as sermon illustrations.
Charlie Brown Is Excited
Charles Schultz was a good Christian man and he would infuse his Christian faith in a kind of a subtle way. He would convey simple truths that every adult needs to know but that somehow we learn better or hear better when it comes from a child.
One of those times was when Charlie Brown’s sister, Sally, was introduced. It brought to light the truth of children bringing excitement.
In the 1959 daily strip, Charlie Brown is on the telephone and he screams out “a baby sister!” He runs out of the house and Linus and Lucy are standing there. And in his excitement he shouts, “I’m a father! I mean my dad’s a father and I’m a brother. I have a baby sister! I’m a brother!”
He’s so excited because his little sister was born.
It is at this point Linus turns to his sister Lucy and says, “you didn’t act like that when I was born.”
Children Bring Excitement
Children bring excitement! And now as we get to October and then November and December this is a children’s time of year.
They’re excited about tricks-or-treats at the end of October. Then Thanksgiving when all the cousins and the family gather around. Finally, the holiday that nearly every child gets supremely excited about: Christmas!
Not only do children bring excitement to our lives, they are also very special to us and to God! I don’t think I’m telling you anything you don’t already know. But let’s explore just how special children are to God.
Children Are Special to God
Jesus specifically instructed us Christians in the church to let the little children come to him. He wanted them around him.
Jesus also specifically instructed us in the church to not hinder children to come him and hear about him.
Jesus then specifically tells you and I to be like children!
It seems that the older we get the more child-like we do get.
But it’s important to remember that while we need to become like children, I don’t think Jesus meant that we act like a child.
We’ve enough of that going on in congress and in our culture today.
So what Jesus means is not so much to act like a child. What does He mean? Look at the full verse from Matthew 18:3
“Unless you turn and become like children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
In this verse Jesus talks is talking about how we live the Christian faith given to us.
Not to act like a child again but to become child-like in our faith.
How does this look? A theologian who wrote an extensive work on the Gospel of Matthew sees the following in Jesus’ words.
It means to possess nothing but need everything. That’s childlike and that’s the faith we should have. We don’t own anything but we need everything that comes from God.
We are also able to do nothing but receive everything. God gives us so many good gifts – everything we need!
And to be child-like is to understand that we earn nothing but receive everything is a gift. I don’t know if you woke up this morning thinking today was a gift, but it is! You woke up today, receiving life once again from God himself, you were given something to do today.
A Child-Like Purpose
I was talking with the lady who is now in a nursing home and she’s only been there for about two weeks or so. She doesn’t know why she’s there, actually, and doesn’t think she should be there.
I told her that God has something for her to do and this is my my point for you today. What can you do with the gift that God gave you today?
You can smile!
You have a beautiful smile! You come across grumpy people all the time, but you don’t know what they’re going through. Everybody has a story. Everybody has a burden.
Maybe all you can do is smile! But you can also love them through your smile. You may not know who they are but you can at least smile.
Reflect the Light of the Son
And think about this: when you’re smiling you are reflecting the light of the Son. Not the sun that is shining in the window. I’m talking about the SON, the Son of God, Jesus.
Smile and reflect the love of Jesus. You are reflecting the light of the Son of God and it may be that somebody needs to see that smile that particular day and so that’s why you’re here. That’s why you got up this morning and that’s why you’ll get up every day, because God wants you to reflect the Son like a child.
Remember, children are happy most of the time. That’s the way Jesus wants us to be. So let’s reflect the love of the Son, Jesus Christ, like a child!
Heavenly Father, please forgive all my sins and use me to share the Gospel of Your Son, Jesus Christ, with all the world one person at a time. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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