Aug 3, 2017
‘I Surrender’ from the Hillsong Worship album ‘Cornerstone’ released in July 2012.
Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3
One evening many years ago, after saying a goodnight prayer with our two-year-old daughter, my wife was surprised by a question. “Mommy, where is Jesus?”
Luann replied, “Jesus is in heaven and He’s everywhere, right here with us. And He can be in your heart if you ask Him to come in.”
“I want Jesus to be in my heart.”
“One of these days you can ask Him.”
“I want to ask Him to be in my heart now.”
So our little girl said, “Jesus, please come into my heart and be with me.” And that started her faith journey with Him.
When Jesus’s disciples asked Him who was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, He called a little child to come and join them (Matthew 18:1–2). “Unless you change and become like little children,” Jesus said, “you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. . . . And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me” (vv. 3–5).
Through the eyes of Jesus we can see a trusting child as our example of faith. And we are told to welcome all who open their hearts to Him. “Let the little children come to me,” Jesus said, “and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (19:14).
Lord Jesus, thank You for calling us to follow You with the confident faith of a child.
Help the children in your life come to know Jesus. Introduce them to Our Daily Bread for Kids at ourdailybreadforkids.org.
Our faith in Jesus is to be like that of a trusting child.
Jesus likens greatness to childlikeness. Anyone coming to Him must come in childlike dependency, expectancy, receptivity, and humility (Matthew 18:2–4). While on earth, Jesus lovingly embraced His disciples as “my children” (John 13:33), and the apostle John affectionately addressed us as “dear children” (1 John 2:1, 12, 18, 28). Used negatively, however, children or “infants” denote weak or immature believers (1 Corinthians 3:1–3; Ephesians 4:13–14; Hebrews 5:13). “Don’t be childish,” Paul warned us (1 Corinthians 14:20 nlt). Christians are to be childlike, not childish (1 Corinthians 13:11).
When have you needed to trust Christ with childlike faith?
2 Timothy 3:14-17
Yesterday, we saw how King Solomon’s life illustrated the peril of compromise. Concession begins in a seemingly insignificant way. For instance, someone might want you to make a financial decision that you know in your heart is unwise. But you go along with the plan because you don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings. You have compromised the message of the Holy Spirit, who warned you.
Small compromises lead to more serious ones. With each successive concession, our conscience is weakened. Ultimately, whenever we give way to evil—whether we let go of a doctrinal belief or simply listen to music that taints our thoughts—we always lose.
We compromise for a variety of reasons. Many do so from a fear of rejection or of being unappreciated. Some choose this route to avoid conflict. Still others may begin to doubt God’s trustworthiness or goodness; as a result, they give up on Him, compromising their basic beliefs and undermining their reason for assurance.
To be men and women who are strong enough to resist making concessions, we need to develop some essential armor. First, we must have strong convictions about the Bible and depend on it as a guide for daily living. Next, we need to have faith in God’s promise to supply all of our needs. Finally, we must find the courage to trust in Him, even when we are misunderstood, persecuted, or falsely accused. When we surrender our life to God, He replaces enslavement to compromise with security in Him.
“Ye shall give three cities on this side Jordan, and three cities shall ye give in the land of Canaan, which shall be cities of refuge.” (Numbers 35:14)
When the Israelites entered the promised land, God told Joshua to provide six “cities of refuge” into which those who had slain someone could flee for refuge until a trial could ascertain the facts and render a proper verdict. As such, these cities are a type of Christ, through whom “we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:18).
The names of the six cities are given in Joshua 20:7-8 as Kedesh, Shechem, Hebron, Bezer, Ramoth, and Golan. The meanings of these names seem planned especially to foreshadow this spiritual application.
Kedesh means “holy place,” and Christ in the New Jerusalem is the ultimate refuge, for “the Lamb [is] the temple of it” (Revelation 21:22). Shechem means “strong shoulder,” which answers to the “strong consolation” we have in Christ when we flee to Him for refuge.
Hebron means “fellowship,” and we who have come to Christ have been “called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9). Bezer means “strong hiding place.” The Scripture assures the believer that “your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).
Ramoth means “high place,” and when we are hidden in Christ, God also has “made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). Finally, Golan apparently means “enclosure for captives,” and this would speak of our being set free from sin and death to become captive to Christ. “When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive” (Ephesians 4:8). Thus, the cities are appropriately named both for their immediate purpose and as a picture of Christ as the Savior of sinners. HMM
2 Chronicles 35:1
This was the day appointed in the law, and Josiah determined to be exact to the letter.
2 Chronicles 35:2
Arranging them in proper order with the Levites, so that all things might be performed without disorder. The Lord’s service should be rendered to him with all care and reverence; his work ought never to be performed in a slovenly manner. “Let all things be done decently and in order,” is a precept not to be forgotten.
2 Chronicles 35:7-8
Many of the people were too poor to bring their own sacrifices, and therefore the generous king provided them; he thought no expense too great in honour of his God. Liberality towards the good cause is a noble fruit of grace in the heart.
2 Chronicles 35:10, 11
Thus Judah renewed its covenant, and rejoiced in the grand type of the promised Saviour. No feast is so precious to believers as feeding upon the Lamb of God’s passover.
2 Chronicles 35:13
There were so many to be served, and so few of the priests and Levites, that they used all expedition. When the kings business requireth haste, we must not be tardy.
2 Chronicles 35:15
Singing was not forgotten, nor any other part of the holy office, even the doors were kept. One duly did not jostle another. It is always bad when, while serving God in one way, we become negligent of other duties. Doors must be kept as well as psalms sung.
2 Chronicles 35:16-18
There may have been greater numbers present on former occasions, but at no other time were the rules laid down in the word of God so exactly observed, and this is a point in the Lord’s eyes of far greater importance than numbers or pomp. It is our duty to worship the Lord in his own way. The closer we keep to Scripture the better; any departure therefrom mars our worship. Carefully let us remember this, and zealously put away all will-worship, and adore the Lord in spirit and in truth, for the Father seeketh such to worship him. Let others do as they will, but as for this household, let us serve the Lord with our whole hearts.
Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. (Romans 11:5)
What is God trying to do with His believing people?—the Bible calls us a remnant according to grace, believers taken out of the great, teeming swarm of so-called religious people in today’s world.
I am inclined to join others in wondering if the Lord is postponing His coming because He is trying to get His Bride ready?
For years it has been the popular idea in evangelical Christianity that the whole body of believers in Christ would rise like a flock of frightened birds when the Lord comes. But A.B. Simpson and William MacArthur and others in the past generation said, “Oh no! The Lord will take with Him those who are prepared and ready for His coming!”
I do not presume to give an answer satisfying to everyone in our churches. But I know that many Christians are too smug about this, saying in effect: “I am converted to Christ through grace, so I can live as I please!”
Of some things we cannot be dogmatic; but we know this for sure—God has no halfway house between heaven and hell where He takes us to fumigate us!
“Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the Lord thy God.” Deut. 12:28
Though salvation is not by the works of the law, yet the blessings which are promised to obedience are not denied to the faithful servants of God. The curses our Lord took away, when He was made a curse for us, but no clause of blessing has been abrogated.
We are to note and listen to the revealed will of the Lord, giving our attention not to portions of it, but to “all these words.” There must be no picking and choosing, but an impartial respect to all that God has commanded. This is the road of blessedness for the father and for his children. The Lord’s blessing is upon His chosen to the third and fourth generation. If they walk uprightly before Him, He will make all men know that they are a seed which the Lord has blessed.
No blessing can come to us or ours through dishonesty or double dealing. The ways of worldly conformity and unholiness cannot bring good to us or ours. It will go well with us when we go well before God. If integrity does not make us prosper, knavery will not. That which gives pleasure to God will bring pleasure to us.