Who Can Enter the Kingdom of Heaven?

I read this recently…

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”—Matthew 18:1-4

…and had this thought…

It isn’t the foolishness, naivety, or ignorance of children that suits them for the kingdom of heaven. It’s the absolute dependence and trust, the absence of all that smacks of working, earning, or bargaining our way into God’s favor.

It’s the ability to receive the kingdom as a gift, rather than a reward.

This Christmas, let us recall that we are receiving a Savior who opens His kingdom to us.


Hoping for Heaven; Content with Spring

I love spring, and here in Georgia you can see and feel and smell that spring is near.

I love seeing the cherry trees blossom, the daffodils bloom and the robins hopping around in search of worms. Best of all, I love to see my willow tree bursting with that fresh, spring green.

Winter Into Spring

Each year at this time, I look with anticipation for these signs that winter is finally over. As a person who cycles through bouts of depression, the short, dark days of winter can be unbearable. It’s the hope of spring and summer that makes winter endurable for me.

But winter always returns, and so do my down cycles.

Spring Into Winter

Living with cyclical depression can easily lend itself to a sense of hopelessness. Day after dreary, painful day during my down cycles, my hope diminishes that I will ever be free of this. In this life, I probably won’t be. I can try to manage the symptoms with diet and exercise. But ultimately, I just have to live with it. And often, I get so tired of it all.

Here Into There

That’s why my ultimate spring is embodied in the hope of heaven.

The pain of hopelessness I feel here on earth forces my eyes to turn heavenward, to where I should be focused anyway. The thought of heaven restores my hope that one day I will be free from the dark winter that depression blows into my mind. I will be home and free to laugh eternally; the deep pain and sadness will be gone…forever…really.

Now Into Then

Until then, God gives me the task of nurturing my hope of heaven. “Set your minds on things above,” Paul says. Ironically, depression is an aid in this task. If my life was perfect, if I never experienced pain or disappointment, I might forget that I was made to be with God. It’s when life isn’t good, that I best learn that He alone is good.

Today, I’ll focus on that. I’ll be content with spring and wait. The hope of heaven is sure because of Christ. His promise will not fail.

And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna…that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.Deuteronomy 8:3