Submit to Instruction from God, because it is from God.: “KJV
Mark 9:36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, 
Mark 9:37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

NLT
Mark 9:36 ¶ Then he put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 
Mark 9:37 ‘Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes my Father who sent me.’

Grace and peace be unto you, from God our Father, and from the LORD Jesus Christ. Beloved, today we want to look at the habit of submission. Submission as it pertains to a Kingdom mindset has very different ramifications, then it does in the secular experience. Of course our secular experience, and by that I do mean American secularism, is defined by our democratic experiment. It is in fact an existence that has done its level best to throw off any kingdom habits. So many of us may not really have a frame of reference by which to deal with this passage. Maybe if we are familiar with military institutions, this passage can be understood in the manner it was meant to be understood. Let’s look at the text, and make a few correlations. 
The context of the verse is this. The disciples were discussing which of them will be great in the kingdom. Ok, we have heard many preachers pontificate on how selfish this discussion is. How self-centered this argument is. We have been admonished not to engage in any self serving discussion like this, for they can only lead to ruin. Well, the problem with that kind of encouragement is that it is purely the opinion of the preacher. When we look at the text in verse 35, we do not find Jesus rebuking anyone, nor is he discouraging them to attain greatness in the Kingdom. Let’s look at the text. 

KJV
Mark 9:35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

NLT
Mark 9:35 He sat down and called the twelve disciples over to him. Then he said, ‘Anyone who wants to be the first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.’ 

The narrative tells us, he sat the twelve down and explained how to reach the goal of being the greatest in the Kingdom. So beloved, it is not a crime to want to be one who has distinguished oneself in the Kingdom of God. The problem is that the way to achieve this distinction is antithetical to the normative paradigm of our American modernity. Today, we achieve greatness if you can out do the next person. Can you sing better, can you run faster, can you preach better, can you write better, do you have more than the next person, and in all of these accomplishments the focus is always on you. Jesus says, not so in the Kingdom, the focus in the Kingdom is on doing the will of your King, and his will is that you serve. How do you serve? You assess the need of someone else and meet it on their terms, not yours. Notice Jesus never chides them on their desire to be great. He says your desire is met by service. What service have you done? What does this mean? Service means you invest in someone else that can not pay you back. It means the important part of your endeavor is seeing the goal met, not getting a thank you, or an acknowledgement by the Pastor or your boss. What do you do just because someone else needs it? Do you do it because the money is good or because God desires it. Now in order to be of service means you should be prepared to serve. You can not be a good servant and be ignorant. A driver who does not know where he is going is soon dismissed. A body guard who refuses to confront someone, is no good to anyone. So in order to be a good servant you should prepare. You should be prepared to do the task asked of you with excellence. So a good servant is not ignorant, he or she is astute, sharp, a learned one would say even an expert in his or her field. The proviso is he does not need the accolades. That is how you become great in the Kingdom of God. Then Jesus makes his next point while discussing greatness. One can not be truly great and not have the proper disposition. You know what I mean, some people are so wonderful they can not be instructed. They can not be admonished, advised or corrected by anyone, because they have been saved to long. Or if they are going to be corrected, the person doing so must be of a certain status. Here is how Jesus says we are to achieve the right attitude. 

KJV
Mark 9:36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, 
Mark 9:37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

NLT
Mark 9:36 ¶ Then he put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 
Mark 9:37 ‘Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes my Father who sent me.’

Jesus says if you are so pliable that you can receive anyone in my name, even a child, you have the right attitude, and this is the way to be great. The distinction here is awesome. A child does not know what an adult knows, by reason of his youth. So it is not normative  for an adult to receive instructions from a child, and rightly so. Jesus is not saying, you should be led by a child. What he is saying, is that you must be so willing to receive any mandate that comes from me, that even if it comes in a way you do not expect it, your submission to me makes the sender a non-issue. If the word of the LORD comes from an unexpected source, can you follow God? Understand, Jesus says if you reject my instruction because of the messenger, you reject not the messenger, but the person who sent the message. So it is impossible to claim obedience to God, and reject Jesus, on the basis that he does not conform to what you think the Messiah should look like. Are you willing to obey God, no matter how the instruction comes? Jesus teaches us the important thing here is the source of your instruction, not the messenger. Determine what is God telling you, then receive God’s instruction. Do what he says because you honor the source of this knowledge. A child is often taught that instructions from an adult is to be obeyed, because the instruction is coming from an adult. If the instruction is coming from a trusted adult, the child is to assume that the adult a) knows more than the child, and b) has the child’s best interests in mind. Well God knows more than you do, and beloved God has your best interests in mind. 

Remember catechism resumes tomorrow. I want to take the time to thank all of you for pitching in and making our Sixth Anniversary a success. You all did an outstanding job. Also on this Saturday, I am looking for all you to meet us at the church to start our street evangelism. We are going to go into the street, and pray for people. Some of you have never done it before, this does not make you ill-prepared. Come out, we need all of you, and you need to obey God. What does God say about this?

KJV
Luke 14:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

NLT
Luke 14:23 So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. 

Yours Because I’m His
Leo Colon
pastor@ihpfwc.org
http://www.ihpfwc.org

(Via .)

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