Greatest in the Kingdom: Part II

Have you ever had a conversation with someone wanting to say something very important.  You have planned out what you were going to say and you get the opportunity to speak truth into that person’s life.  Once you close that topic with the person, you feel good and go on your way.  Only after you walk away, it hits you.  A new insight.  Something else comes to your mind.  New truth.  I wish I would have said this to the person.

Well that’s what this rambling is about.  I thought I was done with the “Greatest in the Kingdom” and felt good about what I had written yesterday.  It was early in the morning when I was awoken and new thoughts came to my mind on this subject area.

Think about a child, especially a very young child.  They are totally dependent upon others for sustenance.  They have no care where their food comes from or what clothes they are going to wear or where they will sleep.  They only know how to communicate when one or more of these needs surface.  CRY!  CRY!  CRY!  They cry until the need is taken care of.  They don’t think about how they are going to meet the need.  They are totally dependent on their parent to take care of that need.  Total dependence.  As they grow and develop, they become more independent and learn how to take care of themselves.  The words “I will do it” and “Let me do it myself” replaces the cries of total dependency.

We move from total dependence to total independence in the physical world (if we are healthy and normal).  The goal of parenting is to raise independent, mature, decision-making adults.  We lean less on others and take on the role of self-sufficiency.  In the spiritual world, the challenge is exactly the opposite.  We move from total independence to total dependence upon God.  When we are independent, the word “I” is a crucial part in that structure.  Listen to what Jesus said about being the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.  “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me;” Matthew 18:1-5  The process of living in the Kingdom of Heaven is that of becoming.  Becoming a child.  Moving from independence to dependence.  Recognizing that I need help.  Seeing my inadequacy and God’s sufficiency.  It’s replacing “I will” with “Your will”.  It’s moving pride away and replacing it with humbleness.  Being the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven is a process.  A process of cutting away all the independent aspects of life and moving toward dependence upon allowing God to have free rein in our lives.  The phrase “. . .are converted and become like children” in Matthew 18 is a point-in-time and a process.  The converted is a point where we receive Christ, and the becoming like a child is a process.

On this journey, if you have never taken the time to accept Christ as your personal savior, now might be just that time of asking Christ to forgive you of your past mistakes and choices.  He is ready to take over the reigns of your and my life if we only ask Him to.  It’s only when we are converted that He can truly take over our lives and transform our journey to what He intended us to be and to do.

About James Gorton

I am happily married to Nadine, a person I've known for 20+ years. She and her late husband owned Airpark Auto Service where I took my car for years. Four years after my wife died we began dating and the rest is history. We have a blended family of 6 children between us and love visiting them across this country. We recently had our third grandchild between us. We love to hike, bike and ski. I am a psychologist and do relational life coaching for marriages and families primarily. I love what I do and never get tired of seeing marriages and families move to more healthy places in their lives. Five years ago my oldest daughter Deborah encouraged me to begin writing my thought into a blog I call my Jlog (Jim's log). I have become more and more passionate in connecting everyday experiences to spiritual truths. I hope that as you read my Jlog, you will gain insight into your personal life and experience true growth in your personal and relational life.
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