Become As Little Children (Part 3)
We will continue studying Matthew 18:1-4 today by contemplating three more qualities possessed by little children that are to be emulated.

Little children who have loving, caring parents, really have nothing to worry about. This has a great deal to do with why they are so joyful (cf. point #2 in yesterday's lesson). All of their needs are provided by their parents. We, as little children of God, can know that all of our needs will be provided also. That's what God promised to His faithful ones in Matthew 6:33. He has plainly declared that if we seek first His kingdom (the church), then He will provide our necessities! If we will just trust Him as a child trusts his parents to care for him, then we too will be free from worry and anxiety. God will do His part, if we will do ours!

Be honest with yourself: Are you truly seeking God and His church first in your life? Are they your number one priority? If so, then you have nothing to worry about. Your heavenly Father will take care of you. However, if the Lord is not your focus in life, then you do have much to worry about--in this life and in the one beyond. Remembering I Timothy 6:7 should help us greatly in maintaining our focus on Jesus - "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out." Jesus was not a worrier and neither are little children. Are you?

Young children are perhaps more forgiving than they will be at any other time in their lives. They forgive quickly, often without even being asked.

This is one of the attributes I remember having personally as a child. I can recall getting into arguments with my childhood best friend, Jon Evans, on several occasions. I don't remember what the arguments were about but we'd get so upset that we wouldn't want to play with each other. We'd storm off and threaten each other: "I'm not going to invite you to my birthday party!" And then we'd never speak to each other again--at least not until the next day when we had made up and were playing together again as best friends.

Little children just do not hold grudges, and this is an attribute that many adults desperately need to cultivate. We need to be like Christ and like little children in our willingness to forgive others. Jesus had this forgiving attitude even toward the wicked men who crucified Him! "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). Jesus, while teaching us how to pray, stated - "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors" (Matt. 6:12). In fact, our forgiveness from God depends upon our willingness to forgive each other (Matt. 6:14,15). If we behave as little children do, and as Christ does, we will not hold grudges, and we will be eager to forgive others when they repent (Luke 17:3). Jesus had a forgiving spirit and so do children. Do you?

Little children love others without discrimination, and so does Jesus. Children don't start hating others until they are taught to do so (either directly or indirectly). Jesus loves everyone, even sinners. Romans 5:8 teaches - "But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." God loves us so much that He was willing to send Jesus to die for all the world (John 3:16). God wants us to be like little children and show our love for all. He wants us to love Him (John 14:15), He wants us to love one another (John 13:34), and He even wants us to love our enemies (Matt. 5:44)! Jesus and little children are known for their great love. Are you?

We will conclude this series of lessons tomorrow.