Dear BLCF Friends,
Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship – BLCF Church and BLCF Café continue to remain closed effective March 16, 2020, and until further notice. Today we would like to share with you a Lesson in a virtual format. We pray after the advent of a COVID-19 vaccine and following the determination of Health Canada and other Health Authorities the danger of a pandemic has subsided, the Board of BLCF will be able to reopen worship and outreach activities without concern of infection to the vulnerable within our community. In the meantime, please enjoy the following lessons stay safe, and keep the faith.
– Pastor Steve
Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship – BLCF Church, 1307 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON.
Message for Sunday:
‘A Childlike Faith – Expressed By Our Trust, Obedience and Hope’
© July 18, 2021, by Steve Mickelson
Based on a Message Shared at BLCF on June 5, 2016
Announcements and Call to Worship: Responsive Reading #610:
Christ in Prophecy (-from Isaiah 11 and 42, Jeremiah 23, Malachi 4); Prayer
Opening Hymn #41: Children of the Heavenly Father;
Prayer and Tithing: Hymn #572: Praise God from Whom All Blessings;
Scriptures: Isaiah 11:1-6, Matthew 18:1-6, Matthew 19:13-14
Let us pray…
Good morning and welcome to our BLCF Church’s morning Praise and Worship Service., where we have for our lesson this Sunday morning, entitled: A Childlike Faith – Expressed By Our Trust, Obedience and Hope.
But before we begin our lesson, let us examine what is meant by the term “childlike”, not to be confused with “childish”, as we see in our Wikibits sources:
Childlike vs Childish
- Marked by or suggestive of immaturity and lack of poise <a childish spiteful remark> b : lacking complexity : simple <it’s a childish device, but it works> c : deteriorated with age especially in mind : senile
Question: “Does the Bible instruct us to have childlike faith?”
So, as the disciples focus on what constitutes “greatness” in heaven, Jesus provides a new perspective: the way “up” is “down.” Meekness is required (cf. Matthew 5:5). Jesus exhorts the disciples (and us) to seek to possess a childlike modesty in addition to their faith. Those who willingly take the lowest position are the greatest in heaven’s eyes. A young child is destitute of ambition, pride, and haughtiness and is therefore a good example for us. Children are characteristically humble and teachable. They aren’t prone to pride or hypocrisy. Humility is a virtue rewarded by God; as James says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10).
The Bible indicates in Isaiah 11:1-6, that in the final days, “a child will lead them”:
Isaiah 11:1-6 (ESV) The Righteous Reign of the Branch
11 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
5 Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins.
6 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.
In the above Scripture, the “a shoot from the stump of Jesse” and “a branch from his roots shall bear fruit”, where Jesse is the father of David, and the branch from the roots is Mary, whose offspring or fruit is her child Jesus, also the Son of God.
Traditionally in Jewish tradition, a child who is under age is not allowed to worship in the temple. In the Temple in Jerusalem, the presence of God in the Ark of the Covenant could only be approached by the High Priests, then followed in order of proximity a succession of courts: Court of Israelites (men), Court of Women, and Court of Gentiles.
With the arrival of Jesus, all who have faith and confess their sins are permitted access to God.
Matthew 19:13-14 (ESV) Let the Children Come to Me
13 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, 14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
Childlike behavior notwithstanding, we see in Matthew 18:1-6, two of the disciples allowing their proximity to the Lord go to their head, asking Jesus who would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
Matthew 18:1-6 (ESV): Who Is the Greatest?
18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,[a] it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Footnotes: a. Matthew 18:6 Greek causes… to stumble; also verses 8, 9
Jesus tells the disciples ,that in order to achieve a great status in heaven, must humble themselves here in the world. Just like the lesson of the Goats and Sheep that we studied last week where we honor and serve the Lord when we serve the least of our brothers and sisters, Christ reinforced this idea when, like a servant, he washed the feet of the disciples as an example of humility in faith. And we must teach the Gospel of Christ to others and receive members to the church, which is the body of believers, we have to preserve and protect their faith as we would do with the life of a child.
Let us pray…
Closing Hymn #317: Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine
Benediction – (Romans 15:13):
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.