Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Who is the Greatest in the Kingdom?


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1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. (Matthew 18:1-5)




Something about our fallen sinful nature, we desire being the greatest. This can be on the job, in the church or anywhere else. The apostles argued “who will be the greatest in the kingdom?” In the corporate world, we put a lot of effort into working up the corporate ladder. However, Jesus said “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” What is this all about? Humble myself and become as a little child? Should I not go out and work for it? Afterall, I must earn it? Right? This goes against everything I have been taught.



Honesty is a vital part of humility. Let’s take a look at little children for a moment; they have a hard time with lying. When pressed, they will tell the truth. If children are sad, they will not appear happy and so forth. We adults will ask someone, “How are you doing?” We do not want to hear the words, “not good.” Many times when that happens we want to be on our way. We will also put a mask on our face and pretend all is well when, in fact, it is not.



I believe pride is what keeps people from receiving salvation. Many people believe they will go to heaven when they die. When witnessing, it is beneficial to ask people “on what basis will they enter into heaven.” Many times I have asked some form of that question, yet very few times I have received a response with Jesus’ name in it. I have heard “because I attend church," or "I sing in the choir.” Other common replies are “because I am a good person" or "I try to keep the commandments.” Many put their faith in their “good deeds.” They might say “I try to do the right thing and I am responsible.” I have heard people say “they do not sin.” Ask the question, “Have you ever told a lie?” They will say “no I have not.” Stolen anything? “Nope.” Then there are the people when hearing of grace through Jesus’ shed blood on the cross, that He paid their sin debt. They refuse to receive it because “no one is going to pay my penalty for me, it is my debt.” Still others believe God is evil because He will forgive the worst of sinners if they repent of their sins and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. They will say “I would rather spend eternity in hell than with a God who will forgive someone like that.” Pride leads us to these responses. It bases everything on one's self and not God. In other words, it's all about me.



This is where honesty and humility comes in. When Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up, he also saw himself as a man with unclean lips. We must be honest and confess our sins to God and not attempt covering our sins ourselves. Remember when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden? They tried hiding and covering themselves with fig leaves? Pride will cause us to try to either hide or cover our own sins, but it is always inadequate. God supplied the only sufficient covering for our sins. As God clothed Adam and Eve, He has provided a covering for us, Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

18 comments:

  1. Ken,

    Thank you for sharing your insights, you did so with grace and honesty. Humility is the exact opposite of what our society values and is in opposition to our sin nature.

    When I begin to see God for who He is, I like Isaiah and recognize that I am a woman of unclean lips, sinful and unable to save myself from my sin.

    Praise God for the perfect, whole and complete sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ to forgive unworthy, undeserving sinners.

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  2. Hi Ken -

    How surprised I was when I came here and found that you had posted today a topic with kingdom in it.
    Early this a.m. I posted content with a kingdom focus.

    Thank you for your comment there.

    Yes, indeed, I was pleasantly surprised to notice that our Lord gave us kingdom content! Glory to His awesome name.

    You expressed, "As God clothed Adam and Eve, He has provided a covering for us, Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world."

    Exceptionally expressed, Ken. I love that!

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  3. Hi Ken,

    God takes delight in blessing all of His children regardless of their wealth, fame, poverty, handicaps, or intelligence. Rather that react in a prideful manner just for self-approval or for the sake of popularity, God blesses those who are humble. :)

    It takes humility to turn to God in repentance and recognize that He cares, and can handle all of our anxieties and struggles!

    I like what C.W Lewis says about humility; "Obedience is the road to freedom, humility the road to pleasure, unity the road to personality."

    Great post!
    Denise

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  4. You're right on with this. It's so hard for us, in our flesh, to humble ourselves like children. I know it is for me.

    I'm so glad that Jesus paid my debt. There's no way I'd ever be good enough on my own. No one can be!

    God bless,
    Emily

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  5. We can learn a lot from observing the faith of innocent children. Great post, Ken!

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  6. The greatest will be the least and how can we be the least if we are prideful and full of ourselves?

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  7. Hmmmm. So many great biblical truths are centered on pride and humility. If I can get those two forces in check in my life I'll be OK!

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  8. I want to come to Jesus with a contrite heart - not trying to hide my sins, but truly repentant and humbled. Great post!

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  9. Thank you Susan, Sandra, Denise, JBR, Emily, Karen, Allison, Clint and Lisa for your comments. I enjoyed reading each of them and I am blessed by your comments.

    "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time," 1Peter 5:6

    God bless each you you,
    Ken

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  10. Hi Ken,
    So many people try to take the focus off of Jesus, but it is all about Jesus and what He did.
    It is very humbling to believe without seeing.

    Good post brother, it has my mind turning and I am at a loss of words for everything I want to say just doesn't seem right.

    Blessings,
    <><

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  11. Humility is a must. If we are not humble we are not servants of Christ. Yes its amazing how people think they will go to Heaven and yet they have never attempted to get close to and know the savour. It amazes me! Blessings to you Ken

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  12. THis is a deep post, Ken. You have thought these things out carefully. Thank you for taking time to write posts the way you do. Humility and honesty are indeed two ingredients so vital to eternal salvation.

    Pride is the sin the led to Satan's downfall, and pride also is the sin of Adam and Eve, as well as all of us. In humility we come to Jesus and admit our need of Him.

    Blessings,
    Lidj

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  13. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

    For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

    I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

    Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

    Yep, God really doesn't like the sin of pride!
    Have a wonderful weekend Ken

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  14. MUITO BOM! Eu acredito que Deus criou o homem e deixou o manual de instrução, a “BÍBLIA SAGRADA!” A bíblia é a divina revelação da palavra de Deus e não produtos enlatados, eu costumo dizer que: “As pessoas precisam parar de comer tudo o que dão. E começar a questionar! ” Alguém escuta alguma coisa de alguém, e saem falando, sem questionar, sem saber se é verdade ou não. As pessoas precisam se perguntar! Será que a minha crença esta de acordo com a lei de Deus? Será que a religião que eu nasci sempre me falou a verdade? Quando uma pessoa morre pra onde ela vai? Ela volta? A bíblia apóia o homossexualismo? Quem não herdara o reino de Deus? O que devo saber sobre idolatria, imagens e escultura? O que devo saber sobre o único batismo? Será que tem uma seqüência para salvação? A quem eu devo me confessar, quem pode me perdoar? Religião salva alguém? Essas e outras perguntas e respostas em:
    www.aunicaverdadeemsuapropriabiblia.blogspot.com
    Você pode dizer, eu já sou salvo amém! Vamos atrás de quem não esta, “Se você quer se dar bem com o mundo seja hipócrita, mas se você quer se dar bem com Deu seja verdadeiro!” divulgue este site, porque: “Eis que vêm dias, diz o Senhor Jeová, em que enviarei fome sobre a terra, não fome de pão, nem sede de água, mas de ouvir as palavras do Senhor. E irão vagabundos de um mar até outro mar, e do norte até ao oriente; correrão por toda parte, buscando a palavra do Senhor, e não a acharão." ( Amós cap 8 ver 11 e 12 )Fale para outras pessoas, por que “O Senhor não retarda a sua promessa, ainda que alguns têm por tardia: mas é longânimo para convosco, não querendo que alguns se percam, senão que todos venham a arrepender-se.” (II Pedro cap. 3 ver 8) e “Que quer que todos os homens se salvem, e venham ao conhecimento da verdade. Porque há um só Deus, e um só Mediador entre Deus e os homens, Jesus Cristo o homem. (I A Timóteo cap 2 ver 5 e 6)
    Seja sua bíblia, católica ou evangélica, aqui você vai tirar suas duvidas.
    www.aunicaverdadeemsuapropriabiblia.blogspot.com
    E conhecereis a verdade, e a verdade vos libertara (João cap 8 ver 32) Se você tiver coragem de perguntar, a bíblia terá coragem de responder!

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  15. Thank you Child of God, Crystal Mary, and Never Forsaken for your comments. They are greatly appreciated and may God bless,
    Ken

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  16. Thank you for your prayers Ken!!!

    Jesus loves us!!!

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