Are you childlike in your faith?

January 17, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
(Matthew 18:2-3 (NIV))

I pray that you have little children in your life!

There is something special about the innocence of a little child. Their smile is infectious. The sparkle in their eyes is so joyous. Their laugh is genuine. Their love is unconditional. Their trust has not been broken by the world, and their faith is still strong! They haven’t been tricked by the world or by the enemy which means that they have not grown callous and hard hearted. They have not been beaten down by the weight of sin.

No wonder Jesus said that we need to become like little children.

Think back on your childhood. Hopefully your childhood was wonderful. You probably didn’t have a care in the world. You trusted that all of your needs would be met and you spent your time being happy and filled with joy. You knew that you were loved and you knew just how to ask for the things that you needed, and probably the things that you wanted as well. You possessed a faith in the family and friends who were your whole world. They sheltered you from the evils of the world that you didn’t even know about. We should be just like this in our faith in the Lord. Can we say that we are filled with joy? Can we say that we love unconditionally? Can we say that we trust? Can we say that we are sheltered? It is my prayer to be childlike in my faith.

Are you childlike in your faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God’s perfect love!

March 13, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
(1 John 4:18 (NIV))

Have you ever felt that you loved someone but spent most of your time afraid that you would lose the love of that person?

I think that all of us have had that type of experience when we started dating.

Fear is a force that all too often we find at the center of our lives. We fear the loss of a job. We fear the loss of a home. We fear the loss of our wealth. We fear the loss of our fame. Fear is a major weapon used by Satan against us. It causes us to cling tightly to something that is delicate. Love is delicate. Love is the thing that the enemy frequently attacks through fear.

I often think that fear and love are close to polar opposites. Fear is often one step away from hate and often leads to hate. Think back on your early dating. Was there a situation where love was fearful and eventually lead to hate?

Human love is a frail thing.

When we love, often we want to possess what we love. This love is a selfish love and is only interested in the proverbial what’s in it for me. We fear losing the possession and punish each other because of our selfish motives.

Be thankful that God does not have a love like this toward us!

It is true that He longs for us to rejoice, but He does not force us to do anything. God’s love is patient. Is our love toward God as patient? Do we fear God’s love? Do we try to keep God’s love in the same type of confining box as we have tried to put our love?

God is much more than our feeble attempts at love can comprehend. He is capable of so much more than we can understand. He is capable of so much more love than we can understand.

Would you send your only son to die so that others may live? Would you willingly give something so precious with no guarantee that the gift would be accepted? God loves us unconditionally. He loves us far beyond our ability to comprehend. His love is perfect. We, are His creation, had fallen into sin. God, out of His perfect love for us, reached out to us in our sin and offered us salvation from the death that is the consequences of sin. He did not cause us to sin. He did not need to do anything to offer us salvation, He did not need to reach out to us in our sin. We had placed ourselves in that predicament. God did not do it to us.

Even so, God’s love is perfect. He had a plan. He had a perfect love!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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