"At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, 'Who gets the highest rank in God's kingdom?'"
-Matthew 18:1 (MSG)
I, like many Illinoisans, woke up Monday morning pleased to see that the University of Illinois men's basketball team rose to the top of the Associated Press' newly released poll. Their No. 1 ranking is only the third in Illini men's basketball history, and their first since 1989.
I suppose the idea of being the greatest — ranked No. 1 — has been around forever. When the disciples asked Jesus how they could be number one, he called a child over and said, "I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in." (Matthew 18:3, MSG). The problem with "grown-ups" is that we often become too independent. We grow to love our "own" way of doing things, and we think we know what's best. We doubt, debate and even argue with those who think otherwise. Over time, we can unlearn what we once used to know so well as children … how to trust faithfully, live in simple obedience and depend on others.
God doesn't prize our long list of grown-up achievements or our keen intelligence, nor is He dazzled by our seeming independence and grand plans. Rather, God ranks number one those who live as His children — those who trust Him simply, love Him whole-heartedly and in humble obedience become totally dependant on Him.
1. Are you too "grown up" for God?
2. Today, how can you begin to renew your mind with child-like faith?