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Childlike Faith is what is needed

The Story - "An interwoven Gospel"   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Childlike faith is a must to enter the kingdom of God

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Prayer, Faith and an Illustration too

(Slide) Persistent and consistent prayer
(Slide) Proclaim more than the promises in prayer, the the promise keeper
(Slide) We also looked at when Jesus returns will He find us praying, will He find us faithful.
Today as we continue to look at prayer, we pick up with the arrogance of the Pharisee and the innocence of the children, so let’s continue our study broken down into two sections
(Slide)The Pharisee and the Publican (vv.9-14)
Let the children come (vv.15-17)
(Slide) Remembering what we just finished looking at last time, it is about prayer, what do you notice about prayer in this section?
(Slide) Somethings to notice in (v.9)
(Slide) Trusted in themselves
(Slide) Thought they were righteous
(Slide) Thought of themselves as better
(Slide) Look at (v.12) what can you learn about the Pharisee?
(Slide) How about the Publican in (v.13)?
Some Contrasts
Pharisee - praying to self; Publican praying to God
Pharisee - self righteous; Publican -professing sinner
Pharisee - prideful; Publican - humble
If to summarize what we looked at regarding the two parables on prayer, the judge/widow and the Pharisee/Publican let me close this part with this thought.
We may think that our prayers are answered in direct proportion to how often we pray, how often we go to church, how often we fast, how often we do good. In reality the Publican had it right, answered prayer is in direct proportion to God’s mercy on the sinner.
We need not go to God and say “forgive me, I’ll never do it again,” for that is relying on self, on our flesh. Go to God as a repentant sinner knowing we all fall short and are in need of His mercy and His grace.

Let the Children Come

Let’s add another contrast to the story, from the proud Pharisee to children brought to Jesus and let’s see what we can learn
(Slide) What do you notice, what sticks out to you in this short passage?
Historically speaking: Children were normally brought to rabbis to receive their special blessings. They were bringing the children to Jesus to be blessed. Others may have been brought to Him to be healed for it was a time and environment that was plagued by infant illness and death. The Apostles thought of themselves as the protector, the door, the clearinghouse to get to Jesus and wanted to hinder them.
It was strange to withhold the children from him unless they thought caring for adults was more important, or that they thought He was tired and needed to be rid of them and the distraction from what they thought was important.
Now this was not out of the ordinary for the Apostles to try to send or hinder people.
(Slide) Send the crowd away hungry - Mt14:15f
(Slide) The Canaanite woman about healing daughter - Mt15:21ff
(Slide) In looking at (v.15) what did the disciples do?
(Slide) In (v.16) what did Jesus do?
(Slide) More importantly in (v.16) what did Jesus say?
How about a reminder of something similar that Jesus said before
Luke 17:1–2 NASB95
He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble.
(Slide) Seems Jesus has a way that is different than man’s way. He wants to reach
(Slide) little ones, unknown ones
(Slide) the powerless ones, the broken ones
(Slide) God seeks child like, not the powerful in worlds eyes
Whereas the kingdom of God is built on characteristics oftentimes found in a child, love, trust, innocence, lack of power, lack of pretension, lack of credentials. God wants to make disciples not power brokers who will try to rely and trust on themselves vs. trusting in Jesus and walking, living by faith.
(Slide) Now look at (v.17) do you see a must?
Jesus who has been talking about persistence in prayer, talking about the position of the heart in prayer, now the child-likeness that is needed, required to enter into the kingdom of God.
(Slide) So when it comes to prayer here, how does this apply? - just think about that and ponder on that later
Jesus gives a must, a command, must be childlike to enter into the kingdom of God.
(Slide) So we need to put away
(Slide) Our pride, our claim to fame
(Slide) Our pretensions
(Slide) Our greed and self-sufficiency
(Slide) Our desire to control
(Slide) Our own identity and power
Christ continues to show us the ones who will enter, those who had no hope, no hope of power, no hope of position, no hope of finances. Samaritans, women, children, blind, crippled, lame, tax collectors - YOU!
(Slide) Jesus wants us to be childlike; but not childish, we are to have
(Slide) Humility (Mt5:3)
(Slide) Faith (Mt17:20)
(Slide) (Mk10:27)
Like Jesus said to Nicodemus
John 3:3–4 NASB95
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”
Notice there it is “see the kingdom”!
John 3:5 NASB95
5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Now notice it says “enter into the kingdom”
So we need to be child like, born again if we are to see and enter the kingdom of God.
May we have the heart like the Publican the look like the children and not the Pharisee who would be kept out of the kingdom. Remember what is says back in (v.14)
Luke 18:14 NASB95
14 I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Let our faith, our child like faith that is still in awe of our God justify us and let us continue to see, seek and be assured of our entrance into the Kingdom of God.
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