Keys to the Kingdom

I was thinking the other day about how smart dogs are. They can understand SO much of what we say whether we know it or not, effectively read our body language, tell when it’s just the right time to show up for a snack or when to hide because that must be *their* bathwater you’re running. 😉 Scientifically speaking, they’re about as intelligent as an average 2-2.5 year old toddler, which I think is pretty impressive. (Interesting article on the subject here.)

Puppies and kids really do have it the best. They know enough to be happy and content with their circumstances and are willing to trust the rest to those who know more. Innocent trust isn’t something they desperately try to achieve, it’s totally built in with the package. In a way, they have it better then I do, because having their child-like faith and humility are the keys to living an eternal life with the Father.

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. ~Mark 10:13-16

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 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. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. ~Matthew 18:1-5

Our Messiah knows it’s natural for us to gain more and more knowledge as we go through life, and that it is very difficult to acquire knowledge without also getting prideful of the fact. Here he’s giving his disciples a hint, though. He isn’t looking for the smartest of us, or the ones who “have it all together”. He’s asking us to humble ourselves and come to him like little kids would, admitting that we know little more than the fact that Daddy loves us and will provide for us no matter what. It’s such a simple principle, but not an easy one to put into practice, at least for me. But if those are the people he wants to surround himself with in his kingdom forever… may we do nothing short of our very best until that time comes!

My heart is not proud, LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Israel, put your hope in the LORD both now and forevermore. ~Psalm 131

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