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Becoming childlike

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Becoming childlike

1KI 3:7 "Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. [8] Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. [9] So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?"

    1KI 3:10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. [11] So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, [12] I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.

PR 4:3 When I was a boy in my father's house,

    still tender, and an only child of my mother,

  PR 4:4 he taught me and said,

    "Lay hold of my words with all your heart;

    keep my commands and you will live.

  PR 4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding;

    do not forget my words or swerve from them.

JER 1:6 "Ah, Sovereign LORD," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child."

    JER 1:7 But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, `I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. [8] Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD.

    JER 1:9 Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth. [10] See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant."

MT 18:1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"

    MT 18:2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. [3] And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. [4] Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

    MT 18:5 "And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. [6] But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

    MT 18:7 "Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!

MK 9:36 He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, [37] "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."

MK 10:13 People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. [14] When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. [15] I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." [16] And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

LK 9:46 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. [47] Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. [48] Then he said to them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all--he is the greatest."

LK 18:15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. [16] But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. [17] I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

1JN 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. [2] Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. [3] Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.

    1JN 3:4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. [5] But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. [6] No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

    1JN 3:7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. [8] He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. [9] No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. [10] This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

It’s a Kid Thing

Unless you change and become like little children . . . ..

What are some characteristics of children that we would benefit from and ones that would thrill the heart of God?

q      The perspective that they have of the father and mother.

q      They are the greatest people in the world.

q      They love it when they have their parent’s attention.

q      They love to do things for the parents.

q      They present some of the silliest things as masterpieces.

q      They are innocent.

q      They have imagination.

q      Relatively stress free in the early years

q      Let’s pretend is a game not a way of life

q      Honest

There's a story about a little girl who climbed up on the lap of great-grandmother and looked at her white hair and wrinkles and then asked, "Did God make you?" 

   "Yes," she said.

   Then she asked, "Did God make me, too?"

   Grandma said, "Yes."

   "Well," said the little girl, "Don't you think He's doing a better job now than he used to?"

Dear Preacher,

   I heard you say to love our enemies.  I am only six and do not have any yet. I hope to have some when I am seven. Your friend, Love, Amy

There is a story about a father who became disturbed about the length of time his six year old son was taking to get home from school.  The father decided he would make the trip to discover for himself how long it should take a small boy to cover the distance.

   The father settled on 20 minutes but his son was still taking an hour.  Finally the father decided to make the trip with his son. After the trip, the man said, "The 20 minutes I thought reasonable was right, but I failed to consider such important things as a sidetrip to track down a trail of ants -- or an educational stop to watch a man fix a flat -- or the time it took to swing around a half dozen telephone poles -- or how much time it took for a boy just to get acquainted with two stray dogs and a brown cat. "In short," said the father, "I had forgotten what it is really like to be six years old."

I took a piece of plastic clay

   And idly fashioned it one day,

   And as my fingers pressed it still,

   It moved and yielded to my will.

   I came again when days were past --

   The bit of clay was hard at last;

   The form I gave it, it still bore,

   But I could change that form no more.

   I took a piece of living clay

   And gently formed it day by day,

   And moulded with my power and art

   A young child's soft and yielding heart.

   I came again when years were gone --

   It was a man I looked upon;

   He still that early impress wore,

   And I could change him nevermore.

   -- Author unknown

See:  Deut 6:6-7; Prov 22:6

Studies have shown that the child who has the lowest self-esteem is the one who isn't permitted to say anything at the dinner table.  The one with the next lowest image of himself is the child who is allowed to dominate the conversation.  Highest on the list is the youngster whose parents tell him, "Yes, you may speak up -- when it's your turn."

n      Dr. Joseph Bobbit, child psychologist

It is said of James Boswell, the famous biographer os Samuel Johnson, that he often referred to a special day in his childhood when his father took him fishing.  The day was fixed in his adult mind, and he often reflected upon many of the things his father had taught him in the course of their fishing experience together.  After having heard of that particular excursion so often, it occurred to someone much later to check the journal that Boswell's father kept and determine what had been said about the fishing trip from the parental perspective.  Turning to that date, the reader found only one sentence entered:  "Gone fishing today with my son -- a day wasted."

   Few have ever heard of Boswell's father; many have heard of Boswell.  But in spite of his relative obscurity, he must have managed to set a place in his son's life which lasted for a lifetime and beyond.  On one day alone he inlaid along the grain of his son's life ideas that would mark him long into his adulthood.  What he did, not only touched a boy's life, but it set in motion certain benefits that would affect the world of classical literature.  Too bad that Boswell's father couldn't appreciate the significance of a fishing trip and the pacesetting that was going on even while worms were being squeezed on to hooks.

See:  Prov 17:6


When children learn that happiness is not found in what a person has but in who that person is,

When they learn that giving and forgiving are more rewarding than taking and avenging,

When they learn that suffering is not eased by self-pity, but overcome by inner resolve and spiritual strength,

When they learn that they can't control the world around them, that they are the masters of their own soul, When they learn that relationships will prosper if they value friendship over ego, compromise over pride, and listening over advising,

When they learn not to hate a person whose difference they fear, but to fear that kind of hate,

When they learn that there is pleasure in the power of lifting others up, not in the pseudo power of pushing them down,

When they learn that praise from others is flattering but meaningless if it not matched by self-respect,

When they learn that the value of a life is best measured not by the years spent accumulating possessions, but by the moments spent giving of one's self-sharing wisdom, inspiring hope, wiping tears, and touching hearts,

When they learn that a person's beauty is seen not with eyes but with the heart; and that even though time and hardships may ravage one's outer shell, they can enhance one's character and


When they learn to withhold judgment of people, knowing everyone is blessed with good and bad qualities, and the emergence of either often depends on the help given or hurt inflicted by


When they learn that every person has been given the gift of a unique self, and purpose of life is to share the very best of that gift with the world,

When children learn these ideals and how to practice them in the art of good living, they will no longer be children - they will be blessings to those who know them, and worthy models of the world.

David L. Weatherford

We all have been children

Most of us misplace things as we get older that we would love to be able to find again.

Unless you change and become as little children

They forgive easier and forget quickly.

They have soft tender hearts of compassion.

They are teachable because they trust their teachers. (and distrust their own knowledge)  Remain open as the years go by.

They are less judgmental of others

They are less pretentious.

They have an imagination.

They are more quick to believe in the things that they cannot see.

Children possess an uncanny ability to cut to the core of the issue, to expose life to the bone, and strip away the barnacles that cling to the hull of our too sophisticated pseudo-civilization. One reason for this, I believe, is that children have not mastered our fine art of deception that we call "finesse." Another is that they are so "lately come from God" that faith and trust are second nature to them. They have not acquired the obstructions to faith that come with education; they possess instead unrefined wisdom, a gift from God.

   Gloria Gaither

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