CHILDISH VS. CHILDLIKE FAITH

childlike-faith-graphic
As a child I was eager to grow up.  When I was 10 I wanted to be a teenager. When I was 13 I longed to be 16 so I could drive. When I was a 16 I wanted to be 18 and graduate from High School. You get the idea. It is natural for children to desire to grow up—and it God’s desire that His children long to grow up, spiritually.

The Apostle Paul wrote of the importance of growing in spiritual maturity—to move from the milk of the faith, to the more substantial,  meat (1 Corinthians 3:2). Though Jesus commended the admirable qualities of a childlike faith, it is clear that believers are to grow spiritually and “put aside childish ways” (1 Corinthians 13:11).

In this teaching I share insights regarding how individuals can pursue growing-up in their spiritual walk,  how to  put aside childish ways (1 Corinthians 13:11),  and how to  maintain the positive childlike faith attributes that Jesus commends in Matthew 18.

Scripture notes that when we pray in accordance with God’s will, we can be sure that He hears and responds (1 John 5:14-15). I believe that striving to grow (mature) in our spiritual walk is God’s will for His children—and that He will bless all who strive to grow in Him (Revelation 2:19).

NOTES FOR THE VIDEO TEACHING,  CHILDISH  VS. CHILDLIKE FAITH                                                                                     

BACKGROUND INFORMATION 

  Verse 1

  • “At that time” (literally, within the hour)
  • “Who, then is the greatest…” (Lit. ‘Who then is greater?’ )        

 

Verse 2:

  • “He called a little child…”
  • Cf. Ignatius of Antioch (‘God-carried’)  

 

  Verse 3: 

  • “He calls us to “change and become like…”

 

QUALITIES OF A CHILDLIKE FAITH

  • A child is pure/innocent: –  Isaiah 1:17
    • Helps to ‘change and become like…’
      • Speak with God through the day
      • Have an appointment with God every day
      • Seek forgiveness every day (1 John 1:9)

 

  • A child is curious: – 1 Thess. 5:21; Acts 17:11
    • Helps to ‘change and become like…’
      • Read and study
      • Write down questions
      • Serve, Intern
      • Mentor or be mentored

 

  • A child imitates: – Eph. 5:1-2
    • Helps to ‘change and become like…’
      • Spend time around people you want to emulate
      • Consider what their best practices are    

 

  • A child laughs: – Phil. 4:4;  John 10:10
    • Helps to ‘change and become like…’
      • Think upon these things (Phil. 4:8)
      • Gravitate toward positive people
      • Know what leads to the negative (Eph. 4:27)

 

  • A child believes: – Luke 24:25; John 14:1
    • Helps to ‘change and become like…’
      • Review the miracles in Scripture
      • Ask God to increase your faith (Mark 9:24)
      • Study the historical record of answered prayer and great moving of God.

 

  • A child longs…
    • – For approval
    • For boundaries –
    • For their parent
      • Helps to ‘change and become like…’
        • Live for an audience of One (Gal. 1:10; Acts 5:29)  
        • Trust and take the long-view (Psa. 25:4-5; 1 John 4:9-11)
        • Create a routine whereby you lean on Him, spend time with Him, and listen to Him more and more (Col. 1:1517; Matt. 6:33, 23:27; Jer. 29:13)

 

 

 

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