Blessed… Of Innocence and Simple Faith

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then he called a little child over to sit among the disciples, and said, “I assure you that if you don’t turn your lives around and become like this little child, you will definitely not enter the kingdom of heaven. Those who humble themselves like this little child will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me (Matthew 18:1-5, Common English Bible).

Yesterday we looked at our lesson from the perspective of becoming humble, becoming like a child and the idea that Jesus might have been talking about how, in the biblical era a child really was a nobody. Whether male or female the child’s identity was wrapped up in the identity of the child’s father. As they grew older and their roles in life changed, their identity would change as well. For more on this, go back and read yesterday’s post again.

Today we talk about a child’s understanding of faith as simple and innocent. We adults often complicate what should really be pretty simple. When we think about the Pharisees of Jesus’ day I think we can begin to see this as a possibility of what Jesus was talking about here. We adults, all too often, try to complicate what God didn’t make that hard.

In John 8 the Pharisees bring a woman caught in adultery before Jesus ready to stone her. The Pharisees are ready to condemn (and actually trap Jesus all at the same time). Jesus is ready to pour out grace.

When Nicodemus had his nighttime encounter with Jesus, Jesus laid things out in one verse that is often referred to as “the Gospel in a single verse.” I prefer two verses actually.

“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life. God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:16-17, Common English Bible).

The Pharisees were making things hard. Jesus was saying, “It isn’t that hard. You just need to believe.” I throw in verse 17 as well because it points that Jesus didn’t come to condemn the adulterous woman or anyone else. Jesus came that we might believe.

Our kids get that. All too often, we adults muddy the waters with other stuff. This doesn’t mean we should go around committing sin just because we feel like it. Adultery (and many other things as well) are wrong in God’s eyes. We should never make the mistake of believing otherwise. At the same time, however, we should always remember, there is more grace in God than there is sin in us.

We need to take faith as it comes. It is really a pretty simple matter. Accept faith like a child. Just believe.

How do you demonstrate your faith to the world? Is it simple, or complicated?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Jay and Peace,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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