Daily Devotional - "Through the Eyes of a Cop"
Briefing: Jesus' disciples were not trained in dignitary protection. Even if they had been, Jesus did not want to be treated as such. Here we see the disciples keeping children away from Christ, but with good intentions.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Matthew 19:13-15. Are you a child of God?
On the Street: The first thing I see when I read these three verses is not the fact that the disciples kept the children away from Jesus. They thought this was acceptable. Jesus had been healing the lame and the sick for weeks leading up to this. No, what grabbed my attention was when Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these". I would have to pull Jesus aside and have Him repeat that one. Lord, what about all of us adults who have given up everything to follow you? Are we not eligible?
What is the greatest gift we can receive? Answer: Salvation. What can we do to earn salvation? Answer: Nothing. It is a free gift from the Lord. We have to accept Jesus' gift of salvation like a child. I once heard it put like this: Jesus Christ offers me the free gift of salvation through His sacrifice on the cross. As an adult, imagine getting a gift at Christmas. When you receive the gift, do you compare it to the gift you got for the person who gave you the gift? If so, you are counting the cost. That's not a gift. A child, on the other hand, accepts a gift without thought of what he/she bought in return for the giver. This is how we must accept Jesus' gift of salvation. I can do nothing to repay Christ.
Am I a child of God? Are you? How do we know? Is it even important?
1. To be a child of God, we must be born to God. John 3 is where Nicodemus comes to ask Jesus some questions. Jesus explains to him how we must be born again (John 3:1-21).
2. When we become children of God, we receive the Holy Spirit and we become heirs to the kingdom of heaven, just as Jesus mentioned in Matthew (Romans 8:14-17).
3. As children, we grow and mature in our walk with Christ. We have to become obedient to our Father (Philippians 2:14-26).
4. As a child will imitate his earthly father, we must be imitators of our heavenly Father (Ephesians 5:12).
5. Another good word picture of a child growing to maturity in Christ is from 1 Corinthians 3:1-2 where Paul talks of children drinking milk and not being ready to eat solid food. This is found in Hebrews 5:12-14.
Interestingly, I see a separation in the comparison between being a child (flesh) and being a spiritual child, in the aspect of independence. A parent raises a child with the goal that one day they will grow to be an adult and be able to function independently, on their own.
As a spiritual child, we never want to get to a place of independence from God. As a matter of fact, we want to grow MORE dependent on Him as we mature in the faith. We strive to trust Him with all that we have.
Officer Safety Principle: Decide to be a child of God today. Time is of the essence.
from The Gospel of Matthew Through the Eyes of a Cop
©2012 by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.