He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 1 John 4:8
READ: Matthew 18:1-7
1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
In today's Bible reading, Jesus' disciples were asking Him "Who will be the greatest In the kingdom of Heaven?" He answered by putting a little child in front of them. He went on to say that anyone who wants to enter the kingdom of Heaven at all has to be like a little child. Matthew 18:3 says:
“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
What makes children good models? First, children do not understand bitterness; they do not keep malice. If you offend a little boy and he says he will not play with you anymore, five minutes later, you would most likely see him running all over you again. The heart of a little child is full of love and that's exactly what God expects of His children. Jesus says in Matthew 22:37-39:
“...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
If you want to enter Heaven at all, you have to love like a little child. Little children love irrespective of status, they do not care whether you are a pauper or the President; they play with everyone the same way. They do not keep records of wrong doings; if you wrong a child now, few minutes later, he or she would have forgotten about the matter.
Do you love like a child? Do you show love to even those who offend you? Do you discriminate against the cleaner in your office just because the fellow is junior to you? Ho w do you speak to your house help? All these things will show if you are like a child or not. They will determine whether you will enter the kingdom of Heaven or not. As for me, even if you step on my toes from now until tomorrow, I will not allow you to send me to hell so I will continue to show you love. we may not be friends because Jesus didn't say we should be friends with everybody, but I will still love you. I will forgive you even before you offend me. I will not wish you evil or withhold benefits from you just because you offended me.
lf you want to make Heaven, love like a child.
Father, please help me to love and forgive like a child.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Genesis 40-42
HYMN 20: PRAISE TO THE LORD THEALMIGHTY.
1. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.
2. Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires e’er have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?
3. Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee;
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.
4. Praise to the Lord, who, when tempests their warfare are waging,
Who, when the elements madly around thee are raging,
Biddeth them cease, turneth their fury to peace,
Whirlwinds and waters assuaging.
5. Praise to the Lord, who, when darkness of sin is abounding,
Who, when the godless do triumph, all virtue confounding,
Sheddeth His light, chaseth the horrors of night,
Saints with His mercy surrounding.
6. Praise to the Lord, oh, let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him;