Graduation is an exciting time. A time that we have looked forward to for years. How many times have you said, “I can’t wait until I graduate because then I will be able to do…” Guess what? That time is now. With freedom comes great responsibility. Now it is up to you to start making those crucial decisions for yourself. Here are some things that will prepare you for the future.
13Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 15“Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” 16And He took them up in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them.
I. People will try to prevent you from getting to God.
The disciples tried to keep the children from coming to Christ. I am sure they thought that Jesus was too busy to be disturbed by children. The word “rebuked” is a strong word. They did not just quietly say, “He is busy right now, can you come at a better time”. Instead they rebuked them. It was a “How dare you even think of doing such a thing!” comment.
People, some with good intentions, will try to keep you from walking closer to God. Here it was the disciples. All to often, we who consider ourselves Christians, prevent others from coming to God. We may not intend to, but to often our actions, language, and behavior keeps others from feeling welcomed or free to come to Christ.
People have a tendency to want to keep you operating at the same level as they are. You have heard the saying “Misery loves company”. Well it fits here. Non-Christians will feel very uncomfortable around you when you start living like Jesus. Therefore they will do things that will test your faith. It may even cause you to back slide. Realize that no matter how big or small your problem or life may seem, God still wants to be involved. Too many times we believe that our lives are trivial in comparison to the world’s problems. Honestly, they are. However, God loves us so much that He wants to be involved with our trivial lives! Never buy into the lie that you cannot approach the Throne of Grace over your situation. Your situation is exactly why Jesus lived on earth, died on a cross, and rose again defeating death and the grave. He did this so that you could approach the Throne of Grace to receive mercy and grace in your time of need! Folks it is this simple, when you choose to believe no matter the cost, Jesus always comes to you in the same way that He does here with these children.
II. Life begins with God not after graduation.
We believe that once we are outside the home, our life begins. Just as soon as we are out of the reach of our parents, then presto, our lives begin. We can’t wait until we graduate. We wish our young lives away. Desperately yearning for the time when we can make decisions for our self. On our own, Mr. Independent. You want to make your own money to buy your own things, and do what YOU want to do. That is not true freedom. True freedom is the chance to do what is right. True freedom doesn’t make selfish decisions, but decisions based on what God’s will is! God’s will isn’t always easy. It isn’t always fun. But it is always Right.
The world wants to sell you their version of life. There are commercials that infer that if you drink their fluids you obtain the “high life”, or the “good life”. The world wants us to believe that life is about owning material objects. The one with all of the gold rules, or the one who has the most or best toys at the end wins. The only problem with this lifestyle is hen does it end? We live in a day and time when owning the best can and will only last until tomorrow. Look at how the computers function. What is cutting edge today is a dinosaur tomorrow. That is America! Don’t allow our secular view points influence your our spiritual decisions! All the components of “the good life” begin and end with God. I believe that the parents of these children knew this, and to some degree the children knew this. That is why they wanted to come. “For such is the kingdom of God.” Read verse 16 and listen to the intimacy. Living life in the arms of Christ!
Christ offers the abundant life. “I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly.” Don’t buy into the world’s materialism that only lasts for days, when you can have treasure that is eternal!
III. Wisdom comes from God not from grades.
The world wants you to believe in yourself.
Which isn’t a bad character flaw unless it goes to the extreme. However I have discovered that when we discover truth, it isn’t an accident. Only God reveals truth. It doesn’t matter what arena you are in school, work, or life, Truth still comes from God. And if we need wisdom, where should we go? The same place where we find Truth. Since they are very related anyway. They should originate in the same place. And they do! They both originate from God. Proverbs 2; Proverbs 9:10, “10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Am I opposed to education? Not in the least! I believe that education is a must for us to function in today’s society. I believe that the desire to learn is also biblical. “Jesus grew”. Physically growing is not the only way for us to grow. We need to grow in wisdom and understanding! However, my point is this, that we should not base our self-esteem on our ability to make grades. We should also realize that God is all knowing. Where does wisdom come from? So if we need to know, can’t we ask the one who is all knowing to help us learn?
When we place our hands on someone that is often symbolic of passing our heritage on to them. I believe what Jesus is somewhat saying is I will place my hands on you to empower you with My wisdom from above. James tells the same.
IV. You can have none of the “good life” until you come as a child.
We believe that in order for us to obtain the good life we have to have it together. We envy those who appear to have it together. We place them on a pedestal. We make them an idol, or icon! The bottom line is no human has it completely together. Know human knows everything. If we could get it together, don’t you think that we would by now? If I knew the answer to that question, I would create a formula, market it, sell it, and be a millionaire! But you see, we don’t have a formula. Hollywood doesn’t either. The info commercials are selling lies! Those who proclaim these idealistic viewpoints are usually crazier than those who realize that they have a problem. As a matter of fact, if you realize that you don’t have it together, you are closer to the answer than you think.
You see, the answer to some degree is simple. There is a “good life” out there. Jesus said, I came to give them abundant life. However, that doesn’t always translate into cars, houses, and big toys! It does translate into something more important. It translates into a relationship with the Heavenly Father. Through Jesus you have the right to enter into the Holy of Holies! As often as you like, for as long as you wish. There are no time limits. This is as user friendly as it gets!
The first requirement is to come as a child. If you choose not to come as a child, you cannot enter. Come like a child would come. Humbly. Lay down your pride. The desire within you that says, “I can do this on my own”, because you can’t. When you come as a child He blesses you. Look at verse 16, “And He took them up in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them.” Our God always stands with His hands wide open ready to receive those of us who choose to come to Him. God says that He is a rewarder to those who diligently seek Him and believes that He is. Are you seeking Him today? Do you believe that He exists? Are you in need of God’s blessings? Are you ready to come as a child?
I would like for you to close your eyes for just a moment. Visualize being in a large, open field. There are lots of people around you. In this open field there is a path. You must get on this path and stay on it. Others may tell you different, but when they do, show them your bible and say, “the good book says I must stay on the path”. Often the path looks difficult. It appears to make sense at times to get off of the path. The travel looks easier off of the path. But stay on the path. Often, you will see a vulture sitting beside the path. Don’t listen to them! Beware of the vultures. Don’t fear them for they can do nothing to you unless you listen to them. Beware of them because the love the fleshly taste of you eyes and if they can blind you they get pleasure from of seeing you stray from the path. Just continue to walk on by. But stay on the path. For the path will lead you to your Father’s house! Are you ready to go to our Father’s house?