I am posting some short excerpts from Fear No Evil , which releases in a few weeks from Zondervan. This is from the chapter where I talk about the redemption we have experienced as a fellowship and what we have learned about grace along the way.
The proceeds from this book will help support the Dream Centers we are opening here in Colorado Springs. If you want to pre-order click here.
In Mark 10:15, Jesus is quoted as saying, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Interestingly, as Jesus spoke those words, he did so with a bunch of little kids on his lap. The text says that people from the surrounding areas were bringing their children to Jesus so that he could bless them, but the disciples thought it was a waste of their master’s time. They rebuked the parents, and Jesus, in turn, rebukedthem. “Let the little children come to me,” Jesus asserted, “and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Then he gathered the children into his arms, put his hands on them, and blessed them.
I’d like to make an observation here. Unlike their grown-up counterparts, children are always ready to receive a gift. Always. If there is a kid in your life, then try this experiment today: offer that miniature person something in exchange for nothing, and just see what he or she does. I’ll tell you what they’ll do. They will take the gift! They may not stop to say thank you, but I assure you they will take the gift.
Contrast that with how adults behave when offered something for free. Certainly there are exceptions, but many adults feel a wave of guilt sweep over them when they are forced to simply receive with open hands. But this is exactly the posture God would have us hold, where the kingdom of God is concerned.
Last February, a giant box appeared on our doorstep, addressed to my kids. Without even glancing at the return address, I knew exactly who it was from: the grandparents. Valentine’s Day was less than a week away, which meant yet one more excuse to lavish my children with gifts.
As Callie and her brother tore into the goods, she looked up at me with dancing eyes and said, “Dad! We hit the jackpocket!”
I thought about correcting her—“It’s jackpot, Callie”—but I knew her attention was elsewhere and wasn’t returning anytime soon.
A few weeks ago, they hit the “jackpocket” again as Easter neared. Another box on the doorstep, another ten minutes of parental harassment, two sets of eyes dancing. “Can we open it, Dad? How about now? Pleeease? Can we open it now? “And as the fake-Easter-grass confetti covered every possible surface in our house, I thought, “This is exactly how God wants us to be.” He wants us to behave in his presence like children, who receive with open and thankful hearts.
March 25, 2011 at 10:11 am
A very good example of receiving! The Lord has gifted us with salvation and Heaven. “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.’ We see children full of joy and peace. They readily play with another child that they don’t know. Adults in the world, on the other hand, don’t play fair and do not embrace one another unless they both think alike. Adults believe that there is no Kingdom of God because they are hardened, self sufficient and competitive. Nothing, to them, is free. Please continue to teach us how to receive as your little ones do Pastor. We NEED to know how.