Category: Trust

Eight – The Kingdom of God, p. 317

1 k of god ch 8

January 23

Entering and experiencing the Kingdom (cont.)…

Three) We must receive the Kingdom of God like a little child. The gospel writers record Jesus’ words on this subject: “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:17; Mark 10:15; see also Matthew 19:14; 18:3) This requirement is somewhat similar to our previous requirement. In fact, in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, these words precede the account of the rich young ruler. It’s as if the ruler was the real-life object lesson of what Jesus was teaching in the lesson of receiving the Kingdom as a little child! Generally speaking, to “receive the Kingdom like a little child” refers to two essential aspects in our relationship with the King.

as a child

First, we notice that Jesus is focusing on “child-likeness” as trusting someone on the most basic level. Being a child is a life of dependency – as children must rely upon others (usually their parents) to meet their needs. We observe, however, that there are distinct differences in how children and adults go about trusting others.

For example, a child might trust someone who is offering them a gift of money… and just simply take it. Adults, on the other hand, would question the motives behind such a gift, looking for some ulterior meaning behind the offer – and probably just end up saying, “no thanks.”

refusing a gift

In the offer of the gospel of the Kingdom, God is offering something of extraordinary wealth and provision – but it is something that must be received with a simple trust. If we think about it, the gospel is really an unreasonable offer. Why should the God of heaven, the Almighty Ruler over all things, ever offer such a wonderful gift (i.e. salvation) to us faulty and corrupt humans? One would reasonably think that there just has to be a catch. There must be a hook in the offering somewhere. This thinking is more common than we might first imagine. Human beings have a tendency to reason our way right out of receiving the Kingdom of God.

The ability to reason is a gift from God, but it can be a dangerous gift. We can use reason to grasp and understand what we have received from God, or we can use reason to “push God” out of our lives. The world is populated by a great many highly reasoning people who have no room for God, or His Kingdom, in their lives. Truly, intelligence does not insure a grasp of truth. Human reasoning can often get in the way of receiving the simple truth of God – and of receiving the Kingdom.

This was the focus of the apostle Paul as he was inspired to write:

1 cor 1 18-21

Eight – The Kingdom of God, p. 315

1 k of god ch 8

January 18

Entering and experiencing the Kingdom (cont.)…

Two) We must be poor in spirit. The Kingdom of God is a spiritual Kingdom – but its members express that Kingdom here on this physical earth. The fundamental foundation of the Kingdom of God is that God is the center of all things – and that all things must be recognized as coming from Him.

This is the essence behind the apostle’s inspired words:

romans 11 36

Those who are born from above possess this essential understanding: God is the Source of all that is desired, required, or needed.

The secret to life is found in the fact that Kingdom dwellers are dependent upon God for all things. Self-sufficiency and self-dependence are contrary to Kingdom existence. God, the King, is not seeking for His children to rely upon Him when they cannot provide for themselves – He is seeking for His children to rely upon Him in all things… and at all times. Faith is not just a part-time expression – it is a full-time expression of our hope and trust in God, the King. This truth is often lost in the midst of our independent and self-reliant culture.

Jesus put the principle this way:

matt 5 3

To be poor in spirit means that, from our spirits, we see our wealth and our provision coming only from God. We depend upon Him (and His timing) for everything we have, or need. God is not our reserve supply whenever we run out of what we can provide for ourselves – He is our total supply for all that we need at every moment of our lives.

Jesus is telling us that this attitude must be at the very heart of a Kingdom dweller.

This is the lesson Jesus was trying to get across to His disciples when He first sent them out to minister. He commissioned them to go, to preach and to heal, and He specifically told them:

luke 9 3

His point? “You are going out to do God’s work… so God will provide all that you need. Do not trust in your own ability to provide – trust in God’s ability to provide.”

Jesus was giving His disciples a life-lesson in what it means to live “poor in spirit.” Those who would possess the Kingdom of God must believe that they are fully possessed by the King, and must trust in His ability to provide all that is needed from His limitless supply…

Eight – The Kingdom of God, p. 293

1 K of God ch 8

December 10

True repentance (cont.)

The focus of true repentance boils down to the real issue in all of our lives… In whom, or Whom, are we placing our trust? Is it a trust in our selves, our own efforts and abilities, our devotion to our religious practices and rituals – or is our trust in Someone beyond ourselves?

trust 2

Or to put this in Kingdom terms, do we really trust in God, and honor Him as King over our lives, or do we trust our selves as king over our lives, and attempt to fit God somewhere in the mix? It always comes down to an issue of trust… in our selves , in someone else, or in God, as the ruler over our lives.

Trust always defines the heart of the matter, because trust is always a matter of the heart. When we are actually trusting in ourselves, it doesn’t really matter how we place God within the equation. If our hearts are not fully devoted to trusting in Him, then we are simply going through the motions – we are merely acting the part. We may take a feeble solace in the fact that we are “being religious,” but we are not truly trusting in God.

This is precisely God’s viewpoint. He is seeking a true devotion, a singular trust, from humanity. When that true devotion is missing, something is sorely lacking and needs to change.

Jesus addressed this exact issue with this stunning observation:

Is 29 13