“What marks us in the eyes of our enemies is our loving kindness. “ Only look,’ they say, ‘look how they love one another” – Tertullian
14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14 (NKJV)
“Stop Acting Like A Child!” No doubt we have all heard this said at one point or another, or maybe it’s just me. This passage no doubt holds great significance as it was mentioned in all three of the gospels. ( Mark 10:14 , Luke 18:16) when I began thinking about this passage I got a mental picture of all these little children rushing up to Jesus and just bombarding him with hugs and kisses, grabbing him around the legs and holding on for dear life. Maybe it has something to do with my love for children and their loving trusting nature, their absolute belief that they are loved. I think of when my grandchildren come by and they fall all over themselves trying to get to their “Meme and Poppi” for a hug or kiss. There is no hesitation, no fear of rejection, ulterior motive, only the pure love of a child’s belief that Meme and Poppi loves them totally and completely. They never stop to question it and nor do they have any reason to doubt it. Then I imagined living in a place like that “the kingdom of heaven”. We already know from this scripture there will be the purest form of love for “such is the kingdom of heaven.” Could it be that this is the love our spirit longs for, this love and the longing that can only be fulfilled and realized in the person of Jesus? But in that realization there should also come the desire to love others as he has first loved us…
We have very definite instructions regarding love one for another “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with thy entire mind. This is the first and great commandment.” Jesus did not leave this open to interpretation; he has spelled it out by saying with ALL thy heart, thy soul and thy mind. Completely. I believe there has to be the complete love for God before there can be complete love for others. One does not completely happen until the first is complete. Until we are able to meet the first and greatest we cannot move on to the second, “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
I absolutely love the way Anglican theologian O. C Quick describes the agape love. “Agape within human experience is “a very partial and rudimentary realization,” and that “in its pure form it is essentially divine.” He goes deeper in that description as he is quoted here:
“If we could imagine the love of one who loves men purely for their own sake, and not because of any need or desire of his own, purely desires their good, and yet loves them wholly, not for what at this moment they are, but for what he knows he can make of them because he made them, then we should have in our minds some true image of the love of the Father and Creator of mankind.” – O. C Quick
This love in the full sense of the word, is not realized while in this life, as we remain in the flesh and submit to the things of the flesh.
All around us there are those that need to know in the natural what God has revealed to us in the Supernatural, a love that would hang on a cross for redemption of a lost world
Matthew 18:3-5 (KJV)
3 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.
4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name received me.
Father, help me to love as you have commanded. When others desire us to “stop acting like a child” let us meet your desire to humble ourselves, and to be converted as a little child, in that, we learn to love with the selflessness of your example.