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Monday, January 13, 2020

Kingdom of Heaven

Kingdom of Heaven

Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”
—Matthew 18:2-4 (NLT)

We, adults, make loving Jesus so difficult. A child comes with innocent wonder and readily believes. In these verses, Jesus tells the disciples that unless they turn from sin and become as little children, they will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Someone who believes with humble childlike faith—someone without an adult’s need to reason and to analyze and question—shall be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. 

The disciples did not understand that Calvary waited, where Jesus, the perfect Son of God, would fulfill the requirements of religious law. Calvary waited where His grace would change everything. Sin would no longer have the power to condemn.  In Jesus, sin would be entirely washed away so God’s children could enter His presence. In Jesus, the Kingdom of Heaven would come to live on earth in each believer. 

At Calvary, everything did change! "Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God,” penned the writer to the Hebrews. “For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins” (Hebrews 9:14, NLT). Our consciences were purified by His perfect sacrifice for our sins. When we do not dwell on sin that Jesus has forgiven, we live in freedom from shame and guilt. 

Through Jesus, God, who had been unapproachable, becomes completely accessible. When we believe in Jesus and turn from sin, sin is no longer our master. Jesus is. We can run to God as little children with clean consciences. We can come to Him without fear of punishment. We can come to Him without the baggage of guilt and shame. “Sin is no longer your master,” Paul wrote, “for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace” (Romans 6:14, NLT).

At Calvary, the fear the law imposed was erased! “You have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves,” Paul wrote. “Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father'" (Romans 8:15, NLT). We need no longer remain slaves to fear, worrying about our past or punishment for failure. Jesus has opened the door to God's presence. We are God's adopted children, a coheir with His Son. We can come to Him as little children—fresh with wonder to receive His gems of grace and truth.

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field,” Jesus told the disciples. “In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field” (Matthew 13:44, NLT). Do you yearn to discover His treasure?  Will you sell all for that gem? Will you lay down all your baggage Jesus took to the Cross so you can come fresh as a little child? Believe as He believed in you. The old law has no power. The Kingdom of Heaven has come! And it is unshakeable. 

© 2020 Lynn Lacher

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