Reading: Mark 10:1-16
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. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:14-16 (NIV)
Something about the way children come to Jesus delights him. Clearly it's not their spiritual maturity, nor their wisdom or knowledge, as these things are yet to develop. It surely wouldn't be their good behaviour, nor the selfless way they consider others before themselves, given that children are more naturally self-centred.
Children react with delight to anything that is fun and makes them feel happy. They often squeal and laugh and become playful. They are not limited by what they see around them. Instead their imaginations enable them to explore and enjoy all sorts of possibilities.
The kingdom of this world may constrain me in all sorts of ways, but the kingdom of Heaven is a kingdom of possibilities. If I can just let go the handbrake of my own limited thinking, and instead let my imagine run wild, I would be free! I have walked through the door into a rich and exciting land, but have spent far to long camped just inside the door. The Kingdom is for explorers, and it's time for me to explore!
Jesus, I get the distinct feeling that there is a LOT more to living in your Kingdom than I currently know. Will you be my guide? I really want to explore and know more of what it truly means to be in the Kingdom. Please open my eyes, increase my understanding, and release me into the possibilities that you have for me and your children.
See also Supernatural Encounters with God.
Reading: Galatians 1-5
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:13-14 (NIV)
We can live either under the law, in which case we must obey all of it, or live under grace, in which case we must follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. The intent of the law was that we learn to love God and love one another. Effectively, by following the Spirit, our lives will bear fruit that satisfy that intent, since “the fruit of the Spirit is love…”
It is for freedom that Christ set us free. (Galatians 5:1) It seems that freedom doesn't always come naturally to us. We are in danger of becoming slaves to the notion that we must earn God's favor. Obedience is still required, but to the promptings of the Holy Spirit our guide, our helper, our advocate. He brings forth the fruit in our lives.
Yippee! I am free! Free to love unconditionally, free to serve others, free to be joyful and enjoy the benefits of living under God's favor. I plan to enjoy it! I don't have to worry about whether or not I will make the grade. Actually, I flunked and it doesn't matter a jot because Jesus sat the test for me and passed with flying colors.
Thank you Lord for the freedom I have in Jesus to enjoy a relationship with you, free from guilt, and free from anxiety. Thank you for joy, and as I serve you, and serve those in my sphere of influence, I thank you that I serve as a free man.