A monthly column by farmer, preacher and writer for Jesus, Angus Buchan
Just the other day I had the privilege of visiting my newest grandchild, a baby girl, who is nine months old and I must say she has got me right around her little finger. She is so beautiful, she has a twinkle in her eye and she is just an absolute pleasure to be with.
Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew 18:3-4 (NKJV), Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
It is called the “upside-down” gospel, because when the disciples asked Jesus in Matthew 18:1-3 “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven”.
Childlike, not childish
The Lord doesn’t want us to become childish, He wants us to become childlike. A little child believes easily and that is why we need to “protect” them. When we continue to question God when He tells us to do something, you will find that He can’t use us, but when we obey Him and by faith believe Him, and by obedience carry out what He has called us to do, then He can use us mightily in His kingdom.
Why do we call it the upside-down gospel? Because it’s totally contrary to everything in the world.
We are called to be forceful in the world, to hustle our way in, to push our way to the front, to stand on top of people to get what we want, but Jesus is the opposite. Jesus took a bowl of water and a towel, and washed the dusty feet of His disciples. When they asked Him the same question again about who is going to be sitting next to Him in heaven and who is going to be the greatest in heaven. Jesus said, but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.
The Khoisan call the great Baobab tree the upside-down tree, because in winter when it loses all its leaves it looks like the roots are sticking up in the air and the tree is under the ground. So, it is with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some of the greatest saints of the Christian faith were the most humble people, who did not want to be known by anyone, who just carried on with the work of God and the Lord used them to move mountains.
In this day and age, in which we are living we need to start to walk the talk, be known as a band of feet-washers, be humble, speak little and listen more (I’m speaking to myself more, than anyone else).
In fact, when they asked Billy Graham, one of the greatest modern-day evangelists, if he had any regrets in his life, he said one was that he felt he spoke too much and prayed too little. If he had his life to live over again, he would pray a lot more and speak a lot less. That comes from an incredibly successful evangelist. He also said he would spend more time with his family and he wouldn’t get so involved with politics.
We need to be humble if we expect God to use us.
They asked Martin Luther, the man who introduced us to grace: “What are the three main virtues of a mighty man of God?” He said, “The first is humility, the second is humility and the third is humility.”
It is humility that moves the hand of God. Let us not take ourselves so seriously and let us start serving our brothers and sisters in Christ. Let our body language speak louder than words may.
God bless you