The Little Things in Life

And said, 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  King James Version (KJV)

When we think of the characteristics and qualities of a child, most people focus on the pure innocence and curiosity of a child. We think of the playful nature and free spirit that a child carries as well as their mischievous ways.

The Bible states that we must become as a child to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. What exactly does that mean?

We tend to lose the basic traits as we become adults through the process and experiences of life.

A child lives in the present moment. They often do not think about the past or worry about the future. They are focused on the present moment. In Matthew 6:25-34, it states that we should not worry about our life because if the Lord takes care of the birds he will take care of you (See below for scripture reference).

A child depends on their parents to care for them. They believe all their needs will be met. They seek security and acceptance. Unfortunately, in the world we live in today, their needs may fall short of being met however there is grace and protection over children. An adult will most likely step in to help, guide, nurture and protect a child that is in danger.

Just like our loving Father, the Lord will help, guide and protect us from harm. He will shield us from unknown dangers that we may not even be aware of at the time. Sometimes it seems as if our prayers are left unanswered but it’s the Lord’s will to protect us from all things that are not pleasing to Him or may cause us harm in the long run.

A child has a trusting heart. They don’t think that the world is out to get them. They are not concerned about all the extras and pressures that life brings. They do not seek power or status. They are contented with the simplicity that life offers. They find joy in the little things. They laugh and smile easily and cry when necessary. They’re not afraid to release emotions. They believe almost anything someone tells them but questions everything around them while they constantly try to figure out the world around them.

A child is quick to love others and does not harbor resentment or unforgiveness. Since they have no prior experiences, they do not fear of getting hurt emotionally. They easily open their hearts willingly through innocence and trust. They are not perverted or worldly. Their hands are clean as well as their hearts. They speak boldly which may even cause public embarrassment to others with the brutal honesty they give.

Overall, the reflection of a child’s nature is made of trust, love, peace and contentment. There are many other qualities that you may take notice of as you reflect on this message.

As you go about your week, take mental notes of the child-like qualities that the Lord has required for us to have and work towards transforming our rigid ways to mirror the characteristics of a child.

The wonders of life are enduring, wholesome and pure.

Psalms 131:2

Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.

Mark 10:15

15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

Matthew 7:13-14

  13 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leads unto life and few there be that find it.”

Matthew 6:25-34

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? Or, what shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Spring Cleaning: Time to Get Your House in Order

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.” Matt 12:25

As we eagerly wait for Spring to arrive and leave the harsh, bitter Winter behind, our minds are focused on warmer weather, budding flowers and spending time outside. We welcome fresh renewal by purging the old items we no longer want, cleaning our homes and reorganizing our spaces.

The foundation of our living space should be a peaceful dwelling place. I usually refer to home as “My sanctuary.” It’s a place where you should be comfortable and it should provide an escape from the outside world.

Sadly enough, some people do not have a steady foundation. Their homes are built on disrespect, lack of trust, abuse or neglect. Instead of the home being a place of refuge, it’s a place of war consisting of conflicts, stress and strife.

When your spirit (also known as your “temple” or “house”) is out of order, it mirrors your personal space. The confusion often felt on the inside manifests itself in the physical realm.

When your space is clean, organized and quiet, you have the opportunity to think better and even have more peace. You will also have harmony,  balance in your home, and increase in productivity.

The same way we clean a house; we should clean our spirit daily. We need to give up:  Sin, temptation, lust, jealousy, gossip and bad language. We also need to let go of the past, purge negative thinking and release pain, guilt or shame. We should forgive others, accept what we cannot change and begin to move forward with faith and hope. If there’s anything that is blocking us from getting closer to the Lord, we need to relinquish and surrender to be set free. When we welcome Christ into the midst of our house, the atmosphere will change (internally and externally). “Thou will show me the path of life; in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Psalm 16:11

Scripture References:

“All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. Either make the tree good, and his fruit is good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.Matt 12:31-34

 “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, I will return into my house from which I came out; and when he is come, he finds it empty, swept and garnished. Then goes he and takes with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.” Matt 12: 43-45

“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord; till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12-13

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit; and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Heb 4:12

“Therefore whosoever hears this sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house (spirit) upon a rock; And when the rain descended, and the floods came; and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. (The Word of God). And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell and great was the fall of it.” Matt 7: 24-27

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Dealing With Anger, Rage & Frustration

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These six things does the Lord hate: seven are an abomination unto Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood. A heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaks lies and he that sows discord among the brethren.” Prov 6:16-19

We have many things in our daily lives that can make us angry: Family, our children, marriage or relationship issues, death of a loved one, work related problems, job loss, political debates, economic hardships, racism, physical or dealing with physical, sexual or verbal abuse, childhood memories, school or workplace bullying and even traffic gridlock. The list is endless. Dealing with a combination of these problems or even one of them on a regular basis can really cause mounting frustration, anger, and rage.

Taking Responsibility for Your Actions

This escalating problem is based on the neglect of an individual who does not take full responsibility for their actions and emotions. “Be not hasty in the spirit to be angry for anger rests in the bosom of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:9

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2

“If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.”  James 1:5

Anger is Not a Sin

As far as I know, there is no part of the Bible that states that anger is a sin. It’s how we react to anger that leads us into sin. Throughout the Bible, it warns us of the power of the tongue. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.” Prov 15:1

“Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of your words.” Prov 23:9

Holding onto the Fruits of the Spirit

Anger is a healthy emotion of expression as long as we understand how to handle it. However, in the Bible it states that we should walk with the fruits of the spirit which is: love, joy peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness. Gal 5:22-23

Jesus also faced conflicts and opposition on a daily basis. Throughout His travels and teachings, He confronted others with truth and revelation. Jesus revealed his anger when the Pharisees turned the temple into the den of thieves. Jesus overturned the tables in the temple to express his anger towards greed used in the church. Matt 21:12-13

Taking Authority Over Anger Through the Holy Spirit

In our flesh, it is impossible to control anger. Our nature is to become defensive or revengeful, to prove ourselves or fight back. It’s so important to gain people’s acceptance, approval and respect for what we say or do. But, it takes true character and self-control to develop a tolerance level to dismiss anger, rage and frustration which can only be administered through the Holy Spirit.

“These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-16

“I can do all things in Christ which strengthens me.” Phil 4:13

Our flesh is constantly in war with the flesh. “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would. That do I not: but what I hate. That I do.” “For I know that in me that is, in my flesh dwells no good thing; for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” Romans 7: 15 and 17

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh. 2 Corth 10:3

However, just as tempting it is to walk in the flesh. We do have the ability for control ourselves. “He who has knowledge spares his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise and he that shuts his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” Prov 17:27-28

“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be”. Romans 8:6-7

Let God be the Contender of Your Battles

Many times, God wants to fight our battles if we will allow Him. We must not react so quickly to a negative situation before we have time to think. Many times reacting too quickly leads to a lifetime of regrets. “A wrathful man stirs up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeases strife.” Prov 15:18

“Ye shall not need to fight in this battle. Set yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you.” 2 Chron 20:17

“When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Prov 16:7

Taking a Look at the Man in the Mirror

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We cannot continue to blame others for failure to control our tempers. Pride gets in the way of truly being able to take an honest and healthy approach to the situation we face. We never want to admit that we could be wrong, but we are not perfect beings. Sometimes people are placed in our lives to allow us to take a deeper look at ourselves and reveal negative traits that we possess. “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be a humble spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud.” Prov 16:18

There is always a chance that our situation, obstacle or conflict you face may be your own fault. However, it’s not about placing blame or feeling guilty but having the maturity, heart, and wisdom to receive correction. “The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge]; but fools despise skillful and godly wisdom, instruction, and discipline.” Proverbs 1:7

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkens unto counsel is wise.” Prov 12:15

“A fool despises his father’s instruction: but he that regards reproof is prudent.” Prov 15:5

Praying for Wisdom

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In the end, all circumstances and situations that we face need to be handled with wisdom. We need to respond and react in a Godly manner. We need the ability to discern the situations we face and handle with care. Meekness is often perceived as a weakness but it takes a man of great strength to stand in the midst of trouble in silence. Let us follow the example of Christ who when beaten, whipped and mocked but answered not a word. Matt 27: 12-31

“He that walks with the wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Prov 13:20

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened.”  Ephesians 1:17-18