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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

Have you ever thought of how we get locked in to one way of thinking about
things? Really, while most of us may feel that we are open minded or at
least not locked into only one way of thinking, we sometimes are. It is
sometimes the little things in life that help us to refocus, things that jar
us out of our rut and cause us to re-think things.

There is a cute story I ran across that illustrates this point (I think).
Notice the "other point of view" seen here: While I sat in the reception
area of my doctor's office, a woman rolled an elderly man in a wheelchair
into the room.

As she went to the receptionist's desk, the man sat there, alone and silent.
Just as I was thinking I should make small talk with him, a little boy
slipped off his mother's lap and walked over to the wheelchair.

Placing his hand on the man's, he said, "I know how you feel. My mom makes
me ride in the stroller, too."

That story brings to mind the words of Jesus found in Matthew 18:1-4. "At
that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the
kingdom of heaven?" He called a little child and had him stand among them.
And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little
children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever
humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of

Throughout the four Gospel books Jesus confronted the Scribes and Pharisees.
In general I don't believe it was because they were bad people, but they
could only see a thing from the context of what they had been taught was the
way to believe and act. They could not understand that the one they claimed
to serve was standing in their midst, they were in a rut, locked into seeing
only through the filter of men's teachings.

I will readily admit that I am somewhat fixed in my thinking. I know what I
believe and more importantly, why I believe what I believe. I admit that I
have a filter through which I see and interact with the world in general. It
is the filter of the Word of God. I know that I sometimes fail, but my goal
it to be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11 and search the scriptures every day
to see that my beliefs are in line with God's Word. I strive to filter my
relationships in the same way that I might see others as the child in the
story, without prejudices, only with a desire to help. I know that I don't
always succeed in this, but that is my goal.

I pray that God will help each of us humble ourselves, if necessary to see
things and people differently, so that we might be worthy of His kingdom.
How do you see the world around you?

--Russ Lawson

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