Jesus tells us that unless we become like a little child,
we won’t enter the kingdom of heaven!
In a positive way, He says the same with the first Beatitude.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Our symbol this week is a little child.
Above is my firstborn granddaughter, Emily Brestin, who is leaning hard on Jesus for she is a single mother in medical school.
With her is my firstborn great-granddaughter, Jovie Brestin, who knows her need and leans on her mother for everything.
In this week’s sesson, which Keller doesn’t cover, but we will,
every section shows us how we must have the humility and attitude of a child.
I am going to show this video again, and I want you to watch the expressions of the children, and describe the attitude you see in them that is so precious in the sight of God. It is also a perfect song for the season of walking toward the cross.
Highlights From Last Week:
This from Diane fits in perfectly with becoming like a child — her memory of how her life changed as a 9 year old after receiving Christ:
I was about 9 years old when my eyes first were really opened to Jesus. I was attending a Vacation Bible School and responded to an invitation to repent and come to Jesus. It is like I suddenly understood the good news. I had to walk home afterward by myself because my brother had gone ahead. The trees, hills and the air and everything in nature seemed different somehow as if God was right there speaking his nearness and glory. It was a kiss from the King.
This from our own Jill to help us pray for the medical workers in the thick of things:
I am an RN. I have already been tasked in this pandemic when the virus crossed into Montana several days ago. (I have worked extra all week.) Our neighbor counties have confirmed positives so we are gearing up and getting ready. Currently I am team leading (with two others) our facility’s COVID-19 nurse triage line. I am also on-call for the ICU. I assume this is how God wants me to respond….with the tasks given to me to help care for our community. Our family is self-isolating as well as trying to send cards to local nursing homes to cheer them in their isolation…. I can’t help but be struck by how God does NOT want us o live in isolation but the enemy does…. I am not saying we shouldn’t be good stewards for our community’s health but it does seem a direct tactic by the Enemy … we have to find ways to continue community and drawing together in times of trouble! (Thinking of the Italians singing together.)
This link from our own Julie with wonderful additional insight to the Transfiguration:
On a personal note, I am having a growing confidence that His Spirit is leading me on writing a book on naming your children with the wisdom of God. If you have a naming story, I’d love to see it. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org Or, if you have named a child an unusual biblical name or the name of a notable Christian, I’d love to hear how he or she feels about his or her name! And can he or she link it to a story?
What stands out to you from the above and why?
- Is this time of the Corona Virus, where do you need to trust Him as a child trusts his parent? How is He delivering you out of your fears?
David Briscoe has a wonderful sermon on Psalm 34 where he explains that the fear or awe of the Lord can deliver you from the fear of your circumstances. It’s 2.50: https://gospelinlife.com/downloads/prayer-of-seeking-8771/
Monday: The Heart of a Servant
3. Read Mark 9:33-36
A. What happens here? Note details.
B. What point is Jesus making to the arguing disciples by putting a little child among them?
C. Where is the Lord calling you to be a servant?
D. Pray whatever the Lord is showing you through this passage for yourself.
4. How does our concern for status in the Christian community get in the way of Jesus’ mission?
It is so easy to be critical of other believers when they are doing things differently from you, or when you forget that you are not in competition, but all working for the Kingdom. I often have to talk to my soul about this, for I am prone to being critical. Yet Jesus says:
4. Read Mark 9:38-41
A. Carefully describe the dialogue between John and Jesus.
B. How does pride enter into looking down on other true believers?
5. Read John 17:20-23
A. For whom is Jesus praying here?
B. What specifically does He pray in verse 23 and why?
C. Could you pray this for yourself and for your local body?
6. How have you seen God at work in your life recently?
Tuesday: Causing Little Ones To Stumble
N. T. Wright says that most commentators agree that the graphic images in this section should not be taken literally, but do indeed show the gravity of sinning against others or sin in general.
7. Read Mark 9:42
A. What does Jesus say here?
B. What are some of the ways we might cause a child to stumble spiritually?
C. Every parent is a sinner, but some are better at repenting to their child. Can you share a
time a parent did this with you well or that you did this well with a child?
D. Pray for the children in your life or for those training them.
8. Read Mark 9:43-49
A. How does Jesus show the gravity of sin?
B. How does He show the gravity of hell?
C. What do you think verse 50 means?
Wednesday: The Purpose of Marriage
9. Read Mark 10:1-12
A. What question do the Pharisees ask and why might this have been a
trap? (Mark 6:17 may give light.)
B. How did Jesus answer that both showed respect for Moses but also
explained God’s best plan for marriage?
10. Our own Angela who participates here occasionally is a thoughtful blogger. Read the
following and share your comments:
11. What qualities does a little child have that could bring peace to a troubled
Thursday: Becoming Like Children in Humility
In biblical days, children were not esteemed the way they are today. That helped them have humility. I imagine even the child that Jesus took and placed among the arguing disciples in Mark 9:36 was shocked. Now Jesus reiterates the importance of becoming like children.
12. Read Mark 10:13-16
A. What happens in this passage? How do you imagine the disciples felt?
B. What lesson does Jesus have for them in verse 15? What do you think He
One of the main reasons people reject Jesus is pride; they believe they don’t need Him and can make it through life on their own. But only when we renounce our pride and come to Him with the humility and trust of a child can we be saved.
Don’t let your pride, or anything else, keep you from Christ. Instead, humble yourself before Him, and trust your life completely to Him. Then commit all you are and all you have into His hands, for He alone is “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).
13. 2 Corinthians 4:4 says:
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Pray for a few God puts on your heart who have been blinded, who, in their pride, do noy see God’s great glory and holiness, and do not realize their desperate need.
Friday: Becoming Like Children in Realizing our Helplessness
We find the genius of children, spiritually speaking, in their helpless state.
14. Read again Mark 9:36-37; Mark 9:42 and Mark 10:13-16. Does anything quicken you?
15. Pray whatever God has shown you about becoming like a child or about
not causing a little one to stumble.
16. What is your take-a-way this week and why?