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Childlike Faith

21 January 2024

Close up view of potters hands with clay in them

By Julia Post

 

Can you imagine the excitement of standing with Jesus—the most important “influencer” and teacher of all time??  Just being in His presence in a crowd must have felt electric.  As the disciples were already vying for the title of “greatest” (Matthew 18:1), being the ‘inside guys’ in the midst of the multitudes following Jesus seemed to be getting to their heads a little.  It is evidenced in their turning away the children brought to Jesus in Matthew 19:13-15.  Can you imagine feeling so confident in your position that you actually “rebuke” others about theirs?  Yet they actually couldn’t have more wrongly calculated.  Jesus shocked everyone around Him when he pulled what was outside the “circle” IN.

 

Jesus had just spent time answering these same disciples’ questions about greatness with an answer on the importance of children.  In following Jesus, the disciples might have been expecting the rewards of serving a powerful, influential Messiah.  He instead compares everything in His kingdom to something so inconsequential to their minds as the children they thought so unworthy of Jesus’ attention.

 

Although I do believe Jesus intended in every way to elevate the importance and status of children (in a society that gave them none) with this declaration of their value, I believe there is also a greater underlying meaning as well.  His saying “become like children” implies not just the child itself, but the spirit of a child is a thing to be imitated and learned from.  Yes, we need to value children, but we also need to see the things of value IN children.

 

Have you ever heard the term “baby face” used to describe someone when they look young?  I’ve also heard the term “baby hands”, usually referring to someone who has very smooth skin with no callouses or aging on their hands.  Why is that term used?  Because children have no callouses.  If you’ve ever felt it, it seems that the softest thing in the world is a baby’s skin.  Likewise, to be like a child is to have an uncalloused heart—a soft heart.  It’s not having hard places in your heart.

 

Mark 4 tells the parable of the sower and the great difference the quality of soil makes in receiving from the Lord.  We know that good soil makes ALL the difference in how much multiplication we produce, and in how much we receive from God!  Mark 4:19 is the soil that most resembles a callous to me: the cares of the world, the distractions, the pleasures, false glamour, deceit, cravings… They all DULL the word.

 

My little brother got a tooth knocked out early in life (when he 3 years old) long before the adult tooth was ready to make its debut.  As a result, he developed a callous in that spot that made it difficult for the adult tooth to come through later.  Here’s my thought to you—there are some things God has told you to do—some greatness for God that He wants to come out!  Yet there may be some callouses that have built up and are hindering that from happening.

 

Hosea 10:12 reads “Break up your unploughed ground because it’s time to seek the Lord.”  Let’s examine our soil!  Good soil is soft and mouldable. Get your heart soft so the good seed being planted is not wasted.

 

You can be positioned by Jesus every day - the disciples were - and yet miss the posture He’s asking you to take.  Humble yourselves.  Break up the hard soil.  Then you will be ready to receive the next level that God has for you this year!  Your posture can change your position from far from Jesus to close.  Childlike faith can change everything in your life!