Friday, January 9, 2009

Like a Child...

by Bruce Mills

This past week, I was discussing spiritual matters with a coworker whom I recently learned is a believer. It was a very pleasant conversation and quite encouraging, since there are few genuine Christians in my work environment. It was great to hear what God has been doing in the life of this man.

In the course of conversation, I asked him when it was that he came to saving faith in Christ. He replied, "Well, I made a profession when I was 16, but as I look back on it, I'm not sure that it was genuine. I think that it was sometime later that I truly believed and my salvation became genuine, but I don't know when. I've attended church all my adult life, but it has always been kind of just going through the motions. But when I really began to grow spiritually was a few months ago."

I asked him what it was that was the catalyst which caused him to focus on walking in obedience to Christ. I expected a response such as a certain sermon, book, pastor, or teacher. But his answer was far more interesting.

He told me that about four months previously, he had taken his 11 year old daughter fishing with him. After a day of successful fishing, they were on their way home and were having a pleasant time of father-daughter interaction about how well things had gone that day. After discussing all the fish they had caught, he asked her, "Is fishing your new favorite thing to do?" She paused and then said, "No, Daddy, praising Jesus is my favorite thing to do."

He said, "It hit me like a lightning bolt--that's what life is all about. Living every moment so as to bring glory and praise to Jesus Christ. I realized that glorifying Christ needed to become the passion of my life. And I knew right then that I had to begin living my life with the same perspective as my little girl."

As I thought about that conversation later, I was reminded of Christ's words to His disciples in Luke 18 after the disciples attempted to prevent parents from bringing their children to Jesus for His blessing. He rebuked the disciples and told them, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it" (vv. 16-17, ESV).

Why would Jesus make such a statement? Because in the same way which children display complete faith, trust, and reliance upon their parents and do all they can to please them, so too, believers are to place their complete faith and trust in Christ and seek to please Him in all they do. And genuine love for Christ will always manifest itself in giving Him glory and praise. My friend recognized that his daughter's expressed love for Jesus was an example of that attitude, and he was convicted of his own failure to live that way. So he determined that he would begin living a life that was as committed to Christ as is his daughter. He recognized that glorifying Christ must become his consuming passion, so that every area of his life is impacted. That is what the apostle Paul meant when he said, "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31, ESV).

All of us need to come to Christ "like a child" and surrender every area of our life to Him. I pray that you will make obedience to Christ and His word the passion of your life, because Jesus said that those who do not "shall not enter it."

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