READ: Luke 18:15-43
THINK: For most people, childhood is a relatively carefree time of life. But somewhere during the teen years childish wonder gives way to adolescent anxiety and playtime is replaced by peer pressure. Then come the responsibilities and concerns of adulthood--jobs, relationships, families, finances--multiplying stress, skewing priorities and turning youthful innocence into so-called worldly sophistication. Thankfully, God understands our need to reclaim some of the simplicities of childhood--uninhibited amazement, boundless idealism and humble dependence. In fact, these are the kinds of qualities that characterize those who find their place in God's kingdom.
RESPOND: Why do you think people brought babies to Jesus? Why did the disciples try to prevent this? What does Jesus' response reveal about His values? In what ways does God's kingdom belong to people who are like children? What does this tell you about the way you must receive and enter God's kingdom? What do you think the rich man hoped Jesus would say about receiving eternal life? What did this man really lack (cf. v. 22) in order to gain treasure in heaven? What did riches represent in his life? Why do you think the man was unable to let go of everything to follow Jesus? What are some things that keep people from following Him? Why do people have a difficult time letting go of things to serve God? In what ways does following Jesus bring greater fulfillment and reward than anything we could put aside for His purposes (cf. vv. 29-30)? Why were the disciples unable to comprehend Jesus' predictions of suffering and death (v. 34)? In what ways did the blind man show great faith in Jesus? (See 18:38-39 note.)
PRAY: Thank Jesus for the opportunity to follow Him. Ask Him to expose anything in your life that's taking too much priority and could keep you from complete devotion to God and His purposes. Give this thing or area to Jesus.
ACT: Allow God to search your life, exposing anything that could hinder you from fulfilling His highest purposes. Adjust your priorities accordingly. Also, take time to interact with and encourage any children you encounter today.
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