Grateful Children

“God is spirit [the Source of life, yet invisible to mankind], and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

John 4:24 AMP

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”

Matthew 18:1‭-‬5 NRSV

And they, [the ungodly in their spiritual apathy], having become callous and unfeeling, have given themselves over [as prey] to unbridled sensuality, eagerly craving the practice of every kind of impurity [that their desires may demand].

But you did not learn Christ in this way!

If in fact you have [really] heard Him and have been taught by Him, just as truth is in Jesus [revealed in His life and personified in Him], that, regarding your previous way of life, you put off your old self [completely discard your former nature], which is being corrupted through deceitful desires, and be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude], and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation].

Ephesians 4:19‭-‬24 AMP

What do children do?

Or rather, what do good children do?

They obey.

They do what they’re told.

They come when you call them.

They want to please their father.

What do bad children do?

They don’t listen.

They don’t obey.

They’re rebellious.

The trouble in our world today is that we have a fatherless generation.

I suppose those who grew up in good Christian homes can’t readily relate to the struggles of spiritual orphans.

They might lack compassion for those who were born deaf and blind.

It’s a shame because no one discipled them when they were young so that they would know the way of life.

The blind lead the blind.

Who will open their eyes and show them a better way?

I think all the problems in our world can be blamed on sin.

Both our own sins, and the sins of the world.

Anything not done in faith is sin.

Disobedience is sin.

Did you ever disobey or dishonor your parents?

Then you broke one of the Ten Commandments.

A commandment with a promise.

The fifth commandment.

Why do I plead the fifth?

Because I want to show you that you’re a sinner in need of saving.

Just like everybody else.

How do you get saved?

By believing that Jesus died for your sins and rose again.

When you believe, you become a believer.

Before you believed, you were an unbeliever.

The moment you believed, you made the switch, you became a believer.

You became born again.

Born from above.

Born of the Spirit.

A child of God.

Human beings are a lot like onions.

We have many layers.

And lots of tears are shed as we peel back those layers.

The layers on the outside are the oldest.

They protect us.

But they’re also the most exposed.

Are we that outer, visible layer?

The one that’s always wearing out?

Or are we something hidden?

Something that cannot be seen with the eye?

The growth in an onion comes from inside, at the center.

It’s connected to the root.

You can’t see the growth, but you can see the effects of the growth.

If you peel back enough layers of yourself, and you believe, you’ll find God, right at the center of your being.

It’s your new nature.

You’re a new creation.

Quit identifying with your old nature.

It stinks and makes people cry.

Your new nature is sweet and mild and tender.

It’s always growing.

As long as it stays rooted and grounded in love.

Love is the good soil from which every good work grows.

For those who love God, we are given the right to be called children of God.

Be thankful that God chose to reveal Himself to you as your Father.

You didn’t deserve it and you didn’t earn it.

God chose you.

He saw you struggling and about to die and decided to intervene.

And Jesus welcomed you into the family.

No one comes to the Father except through Jesus.

The Good Shepherd found you.

You had wandered away, perhaps carried away with your curiosity about the world you found yourself in.

He brought you back to the flock.

He will protect you.

He will lead you by still waters.

Still waters run deep.

On the surface, nothing’s happening.

But underneath, the deep current cannot be stopped.

If you tried to dam it, it would spill over the banks and flood the Earth.

I think as we walk in the truth, our hearts will be transformed.

We will know peace beyond understanding.

Our faith will be unshakable.

We will see the lost as God does.

Victims of sin.

Trapped in sin.

Like a child who wandered away and got their leg captured in a bear trap.

They need our help to get free.

They’re bleeding out.

They can’t save themselves.

They need a blood transfusion.

Only Jesus can save them.

Only His blood can save them.

Only He is strong enough to break the hold of sin and death.

How will He know to come and help one of these little ones?

Pray for the lost.

Pray that God will open their eyes to their situation.

Pray that God will knock on the door of their hearts.

Pray that the Holy Spirit will draw them back to relationship with God.

Pray that God will send workers out into the field.

To share the Good News.

God loves you.

He wants to rescue you.

He wants to break the hold of sin and shame.

He wants to adopt you and make you His own.

He’s got a big, loving family, too.

And you’ll never have to be alone.

We were once all trapped, too.

But our God had mercy on us.

He wanted us to live.

He gave us another chance.

God save us all.

Amen.

I will give ⌊you⌋ thanks, O Lord, with all my heart. I will tell about all the miracles you have done.

Psalms 9:1 GW

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