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Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 29 : Despise Not Little Ones | Day 198

Become as Little Children!

Jesus clearly states, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). The word converted used in this verse is strepho, which means "to turn oneself; in a moral sense to change, alter, to adopt another course [of thinking and behavior]." What is the nature of children that we are to develop?

  • Humility: “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:4). A little child recognizes that he is totally dependent upon those caring for him and, therefore, looks outside himself for daily provisions.
  • Healthy Appetite: “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (I Peter 2:2). A child will develop an appetite for the type of food that is provided. We must make sure that we take in spiritual food that is unadulterated by the world's philosophies.
  • Teachability: “Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD” (Psalm 34:11). Children tend to be curious and ask many questions. We can deepen our understanding of Scripture by asking the Lord precise questions as we are studying His Word.
  • Dependency: “… Little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming” (I John 2:28). A child in need will cling to his parent. As we daily recognize our needs, we should be motivated to abide in Christ for the fulfillment of them.
  • Fellowship With Their Father: “… I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father” (I John 2:13). Little children enjoy the attention of their parents, and they know what pleases and displeases them. To enjoy fellowship with our heavenly Father, we must not allow it to be broken by unconfessed sins.

The more we become like little children, the greater we will be in God's kingdom.

We all want to be great, but our definition of greatness is often different than God's. Which of the qualities that God considers great do you need to develop? Let's ask God for the wisdom and grace that we need to become as little children and gain the help of our families by asking them to rate our progress!

“Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard