Just Take it Already!


It’s a well worn passage. Matthew, Mark and Luke all record it. The memory must have been emblazoned on their minds. I imagine it was one of the few times Jesus raised his voice to the disciples.

“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.'” Luke 18:16

A couple weeks ago, the pastor at Cascade Hills Church, here in Columbus, GA, started on Mark’s version of this story. I almost rolled my eyes. Some things are just over done, right? I mean, not only does this verse parade through the halls of my Sunday school memories, but just recently I’ve studied this passage in my Good Morning Girls Bible study. I just read it in Matthew last week as part of my through-the-Bible-in-a-year program.

But, as I’m touring the halls of memory, I distinctly remember the insistence in my parents’ voices when they said, “If I told you once, I told you a thousand times!” That meant, You’re supposed to remember this. It’s important!

So, I shook myself a little, refocused on the pastor and dug past empty gum wrappers and loose bobby pins to find a pen. Then, my mind drifted again, filled with questions:

What did Jesus mean, “For the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”? For some reason, I started thinking along the lines of gifts. Maybe that’s because another version phrases it, “Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” It’s also applicable because, after all, according to 2 Peter 1:3, the God of the Kingdom is a wonderful gift giver:

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”

Romans 3:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

What is a child’s role in the gifting process? Simply receive. So, if we are the recipients of God’s good gifts, how should we receive? All Christians long for the joy of Heaven, and we know that the only way there is through the gift of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12)

So, just think with me, as His children (Gal. 4:6), how should we receive His good gifts of grace, mercy, eternal life, all that we need for life and godliness, the Holy Spirit and so much more?

1. A child never turns down a gift. Can you imagine?

2. A child will never offer to pay you back. But, as adults we spend most of our lives trying to pay God back for His kindness to us. “After all He’s done for me, it’s the least I can do for Jesus.”

3. A child is fully willing to ask for a gift. Most of us, as adults, pepper our prayers with, “Only if you want to, God. I’ll understand if you don’t.”
Or, we feel guilty after a particularly needy prayer. But Jesus says, “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” John 16:24

Just some food for thought. I’d love to hear your comments. How do you receive a gift – for that matter, a compliment?

If you’re really honest, do you see yourself as working to pay God back for His goodness toward you?

Supporting Scriptures: Matt. 20:28, John 14:16, Matt. 11:28, John 14:27

 

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6 thoughts on “Just Take it Already!

  1. Hi Abby, This is brilliant, it makes so much sense ! I’m sure you are right. I always used to feel guilty asking God for anything, even when it wasn’t just as a last resort (foxhole prayers). In more recent years, I asked and it was given. Even this week …
    I believe it is totally impossible to earn or to pay back God for all He has given us and will give us, so there is no point agonising over it. Instead I will concentrate on finding my purpose in life and doing my best to fulfil it. In doing so, I think it gives God pleasure, like a parent seeing a child succeed (never perfect, but trying hard and doing well to learn).
    I also believe now that (like a child) we should not be ashamed to have fun. When I windsurf at high speed, ski all day in the mountains, fly along the coast in blue skies, God and Jesus are there sharing the joy and giving me nudges to prevent me making serious mistakes. These are special gifts. God has given us all different gifts and they are all very precious : use them or lose them ! Thanks again for sharing your valuable thoughts Abby. kind regards, David

  2. David, Amen! I love your comments about experiencing God when you are fully enjoying the gifts of movement, nature and yes, earthly happiness. I mean, He created all this and handed it to us and Jesus came for our joy to be complete! Why do we fret so much about asking Him for the things He longs to give us? I’d love to hear more too, what happened this week?

  3. Thank you! Yes, most of the times I feel guilty or don’t ask for something because I feel so guilty. but truly a child doesn’t feel guilty if not told by an adult that there was a different way or it wasn’t a good idea…
    I think why I feel so guilty is not because I need to ask for something, it is because I know I fail my heavenly father so much….

    1. Sandra, isn’t it so wonderful that He knows we are but dust and doesn’t have expectations for us to live up to? Jesus met all those expectations for us!!

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