Without mercy we won't be able to see the Lord and that is why we need the mercy of God today in our lives. His mercy. Now I want to read to you what the disciples said to Jesus in Matthew 18: at that time the disciples came to Jesus saying; who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Jesus called to him a child to them and said; truly I say to you unless turn and become like children you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom and whoever receives one child in my name receives me. But whoever causes one of these little ones to believe in me to sin it would be better for him to have a millstone fastened around his neck and drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world for temptation to sin for it is necessary that temptation comes. But woe to the one whom the temptation comes. And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, you would be better off to cut off and throw it away for it would be better for you to enter the kingdom crippled or lame than with two hands or 2 feet and cast into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin tear it out and throw it away for it would be better for you to enter life with one eye than have two eyes and be thrown into the eternal fire.. These are the words of Jesus in Matthew chapter 18 and so I was wanting to talk about what Jesus said in Matther where he said; I tell you unless you become as a little child, as one of these says the Lord, you will by no means into my kingdom. He says unless you repent and become like a little child you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is greatest in the Kingdom.
Now Jesus was with the disciples at this time and they were gathering around him discussing who was greatest in the kingdom and there were children there around the Lord and he called one of these children to him and put him in the midst of them. Now why did Jesus talk about becoming as a child. Why become as a child to enter the kingdom? Because as we all know when we grow up we can't become children again. We would have to go through everything again and learn everything again. But that's exactly what Jesus wants you to do. He wants you to learn everything again from him and so when he's saying become as a little child, he's talking about losing your ways for the Lord. Like when he says in Matthew, he says; unless you deny yourself and crucify your flesh you can't follow me. You must follow me and crucify the flesh. So that's what the Lord is talking about here is he is talking about turning away from yourself basically. And when you do that and you lose your wisdom and you decided just to go to the Lord as you are without all this wisdom and preconceptions about who you think he is and all this theology and all these things. You know if we would only go to him empty and ask him to teach you from the beginning everything, then we can become humble enough to be taught by the Lord everything. But if we're not really willing to turn away from all our wisdom and all of things that we understand, we can't really be taught by the Lord because we're not humbling ourselves. When you humble yourself you got to accept that you don't know anything. And if you can accept that you don't really know anything before the Lord then he can start to teach you true wisdom. But if we're content just to think about all the wisdom that we have throughout studies and whatever and the accrued wisdom, well how can the Lord really teach you? So we got to be prepared to not rely on our wisdom on ourselves, we simply go to the Lord in prayer and ask him to you to teach you. And that is what the Lord said. He says that you will never enter the kingdom unless you humble yourself is this child and those who humble themselves as a child are greatest in the kingdom. And so obviously we can't change ourselves to be children but we can indeed lose our airs for the Lord and simply say; Lord I want to learn from you so take me and teach me.
And the Lord will teach you. But he cant teach us if we think we know everything already. And we already have studied all the Bible we know everything we understand it all we think. You know how can the Lord teach you if you cant humble yourself and pray and ask him to teach you and show you what he wants from you. Another thing that children do is that they tend to trust without questioning. Which is foolish in ways in the world because people are evil. But when we trust God we can know we can just trust the Lord without questioning. So when he reveals to you to do things you can just do it without questioning the Lord. You don't have to distrust the Lord so when you have faith in the Lord you're simply going to trust him when you pray. But a lot of us we go to pray and we are were filled with doubts and worries and all these things. That is not of the inner child before the Lord. We're too full of our own wisdom these days, that's the problem friends. If we are full of our own wisdom how can the Lord teach us? How can he teach us what we need to know from him. But if we're prepared just to go before the Lord and say; Lord please teach me… and trust him, in faith and don't worry about your doubts, then he can come and teach us. That is what it means to come before the Lord as a little child. And another thing that children do is have this simple faith where they'll tend to believe what they're parents tell them, well you know God is our parent and he does not lie and so when he says things like this in the Bible we can just believe and don't have to question everything. We don't have to put our wisdom to it to work it out our own way. We can simply accept that we can trust the Lord as a little child and we will enter his kingdom. That is what it means to become born again is to just humble yourself before God and stop trying to work it all out and have all the wisdom. If we try and work everything out we won't make it. If we try and be this and that and try and be all these things you know, what we need to be doing is being before the Lord. Just being before him and asking him please teach me Lord and he will indeed teach you. He is not going to cast you away. He is going to teach you what to do and that's why the Lord says going on in verse seven he says: verse eight he says that if your body causes you to sin, he's talking about denying it and you would be better to just cut these things off. Cut sin off out of your life, deny it all rather than end in hell. So you know Jesus is showing something here.
He is showing that as little children you not going to sin but you know if you're allowing your flesh to lead you off into sin well you will end in the eternal fire. That's what Jesus says. He gives the ultimatum. He says that if your eye hand or foot is doing sin, you are going to be cast into the eternal fire if you don't repent. And that's why he says you would be better off to cut these things off and out of your life than keep sinning and end up in hell. That is why Jesus is very serious about sin. He is talking about a condition of the heart. Know if your hand is causing you to sin it doesn't necessarily mean you cut your hand off because you're still going to sin. You just in with the other hand. If you cut that off you still sin in your mind and your heart. It doesn't stop people from sinning. If you tie people up and you put them into prison because they are criminal, it doesn't stop them sinning. It forces them to not be in society to commit evil there, but their heart and mind is still in sin and the minute they let out they will still sin again and still sin in prison as well. So is not a question of the body, it is the condition of the heart. What is the condition of the heart? Are we in our hearts becoming humbling ourselves before God as a little child so that we can enter his kingdom. Are we humble before God in our hearts or are our hearts full of pride and sin. You know in the heart and the mind is where we sin. That is where it all begins. You cannot cut your mind off with a knife. But we can cut it off our thoughts. And what we choose to do it, it becomes a choice then doesn't it. So we have a choice to cut off sin in our life and if we don't do that Jesus says we will end in the fire. And so becoming a child means to purify our hearts and our minds. You have to have to purify these things through Christ so it's up to you to choose what you allow in your hearts and in your mind. And God can't make that choice for you. We got to make that choice. That's why Jesus says woe to the world for temptation to sin. However he says that this temptation is necessary. It is what sorts the good from the bad. But woe through whom temptation come. In and next breath he says that if you're causing sin you would be better off to cut off than be thrown into hell. Jesus is talking about a choice here. He is making it very clear to you right now that you have a choice, an ultimatum, to become as a child and cut sin out of your life. And it is something we have to do. It is not something that Jesus would do for you. Because Jesus expects us to make the choice. So he expects you to keep your mind clean and your heart clean.
Because if we really humble ourselves before God and repent he will cleanse you. But it is up to you to not allow that evil thought to come in. if it comes in, it is up to you to put it out. It's up to you to turn away from that evil desire that might come into your heart. But the thing is we're not always so quick to keep our minds and hearts clean because we are often not being like little children in our minds. We're just being our own adult selves of sin where we kind of want this knowledge of sin in our hearts and our minds. And we are not really very willing to turn away from it so what happens is these things develop into fantasies and lustful actions, evil words, covetousness, and all sorts of sins, lies and dishonesty, and they give birth to sin and that sin gives birth to death. So you know if your hand causes you to steal, cutting it off isn't going to change the situation because it began in the heart. You cannot cut your heart out. What you got to do is you have to become like the child before the Lord ask him to forgive you and humble yourself then it is up to us to choose what we put in our hearts and in our minds because I tell you we have the choice. We have the choice to turn away from something that comes into the heart. That's why Jesus says that you have to do it, you have to do it. It would be better for you to cut these things out than end up in the eternal fire. So we have to cut these things out of our life. And so when we have an evil thought come into our hearts, we've got a responsibility before God to put this thing out. We got to decide to put it out and don't allow a continual thought of unforgiveness or an angry feeling of unforgiveness continue to make us bitter. Put it out. You know television these days they'll have a code of practice where they say certain things aren't allowed because the children who watch the show. So they have their code of practice. Now a code of practice prohibits nudity pornography and drug use and cursing and things like this. Now it's a very broad code, it doesn't cut out all the other sins like violence that corrupts children, no, but the worldly code still has a code and they keep these things out of the vision of the TV for the sake of the children. Now how much more should we be keeping our minds clean like this having a code. How much more. And not only just uncleanly things like big sins. How about all the other things as well that are inappropriate for children like violence crime scenes, all kind of things. Are we keeping that out of our minds.
Some people say I got such a problem with lust but the thing is every day they're watching all sorts of stuff on screens that aren't appropriate for children anyway so no wonder they can't defeat their lust because they're feeding it. And they're also feeding their mind with lust and so they can't defeat anything because they're filling themselves through the eyes and through the mind with this lust. So how can you defeat something you choose every day! It's impossible. That is why Jesus warns that we have to cut off. So we got to start getting this code of practice for our minds. What do you allow yourself to watch. Are you just watching crime and sin everyday in the news? Well you know how can we expect to have a pure heart and a pure mind if we allow all this sin in. now sometimes it may not be possible to cut out what we see in sin or things like this, but in our hearts we can cut out these things we can turn them off. But it takes a choice. It takes a real choice before God to humble yourself before him as a child. And say Lord please forgive me, I'm here to walk your ways. So you ask him to give you a new heart so what you do is you fill your mind on all things good and pure and holy and right and that is written in the Scriptures where we read in Paul's letters he says focus your mind on all things pure righteous and good. The problem is a lot of us are not. So we're not renewing our minds daily. We're destroying our minds by allowing into our minds all this garbage. You know the garbage can come from our eyes what we see on the screen and the world around us as well so you know we got to guard our eyes. That is why it is written in Psalms: I won't place evil things in front of my eyes no is not possible to get rid of every evil thing in front of my eyes. It is not possible to get rid of every evil thing from your eyes, you would have to be out of the world. But it is possible to not place things by your own will that are evil in front of your eyes. All those books you're reading that are full of sin. Some people read about people's sinful life and sometimes they read these books about their sinful relationships. And so they read about all these impure thing and wonder why they get so many fantasies plague them when they read about other people's fantasy. And these things insight these desires inside so no wonder you can't get rid of all these problems in your heart today friend is because you're filling your mind and your heart with these fantasies of sin, and books and the TV in movies and the news and the Internet Google searches, not to mention in all the things that we think up in ourselves, past experiences. You know it's all going to come into your heart and pollute you. You are not going to be pure. And that's why Jesus says become as a child. You know that means you got to start putting some rules into our life. Rules about what we see. Your own rules for yourself.
You know start cutting that eye out and don't allow yourself to view evil. If you got a problem on YouTube viewing evil there well block the application on your device. Don't go there until you can have some self-control. Cut it off. If you have a problem with a lustfull heart, well you better watch what you look at. In the news you are going to see a lot of things that might incite that desire so make sure that you delete the news off your devices. Don't look at the news for a while. Get into prayer instead. Cut off what is necessary. You can live without the news for a month. You can. We don't need to know everything friends. The tree of our knowledge of good and evil is what the brought about the fall of mankind after all. We don't need to know everything. How about the guard on the thoughts. You know well so what you get these evil desires and thoughts come in, well how about putting them out. Making your your mind have rules. No 18+ material allowed in here. On the TV they don't allow certain material on there with their code of practice, well why don't we have a code of practice for our minds? After all your mind is like a vivid TV. That's where all the pictures are. We can say well these things are all awful but hey in our minds are a lot worse than what you see on the screens and the media. Our minds can be worse. What about the TV screen in your mind. All the things that you have imagined in your mind. How about turning that off. How about doing what the Scriptures say; put your heart and mind and all things good all things pure all things honorable all things righteous all things holy all things pure. What did Jesus say? He said put your mind and heart on the kingdom of God and his righteousness and then all these other things will be added to you. You know but people say that's boring. Well it's boring if you want to follow Jesus on the narrow way but you love the world. Yeah it's boring if you want to have your mind rules that you only allowed in there what children would be allowed to see. That's boring but it is not if you love God. They say it is boring if you just focus your mind on all things of God. Why cant we live a life on this earth? Well go your life in sin and all it's immorality and wickedness if that's what your fun is. But that leads to hell. But if you don't want that fun anymore and your life is following the Lord, well it is not going to be boring for you to have your mind focused on God 24/7 instead of all these other things that come into the mind. As children if we can remember back, we didn't have all these sinful things come into the mind until we got a bit older, until we were exposed to a lot of sin and could have all the evil desires of the flesh of Adam rise up to the full. But that's why Jesus said you got to become born-again otherwise you will never be saved. So obviously there has to be a change and we don't make the change we can't make ourselves born again and become his children before God anymore. Only God can. So if we're willing to turn away from all this evil that we've come into us as we've grown-up, well we will be willing to get on our knees before Christ the Lord to give us a new heart, make us born again. That's what I did we got to do that friends.
You got to ask. Make me born again Lord. Ask the Lord Jesus to make you born again after he said you can't enter the kingdom unless you're born-again. There is no way. You can try and keep the 10 Commandments as best you can but you still won't go to heaven if you're not born again. I don't care how much you try and keep the law or try to stop sinning or try to be a good missionary or no try and help all the sick and the poor, you can't go to heaven unless you are born-again. Your works cannot make you go to heaven. It actually is not that hard to try and keep the letter of the 10th commandments. A lot of people say well I honor my father and mother well that's ticked off you. I religiously keep the sabbath. I make sure I don't work on the sabbath, and I don't work at all on the sabbath so that ticked off. I try not to lie and these days I don't lie so much or I've put out lying, that is ticked off. I think I love God because I pray everyday and I'm serious about these commandments, I don't dishonor my neighbor I don't really like to cover what he has, well people can say all these things right? It is not that hard to justify yourself if you can keep these 10 rules, it is not that hard for people to get pretty angry if you start to pull those rules out from under them and say hey that's going to save you. Because they had it all worked out. They had something worked out here but you're saying to them; you can't enter the kingdom unless you are born-again. It doesn't matter about your rule keeping you are still condemned anyway. You broke those rules before. That's why friends we have to be born again. You have to become as a child. You have to become a new person and start from the beginning. Like a baby again before God. It is the only way. That's why Jesus said unless you become as a little child you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Unless you become born again you won't enter the kingdom of heaven. He says if your hand eye or foot causes you to sin you would be better to cut off than end up in hell. So there's a very clear message here; Jesus is directly saying that you have to forsake yourself and you got to turn away from everything. Just get on your knees and pray and ask Jesus to make you a new creation then once he has we still have a flesh that wants to sin right? So we got to start getting those rules; what we allow in our minds what we allow in our hearts. And that's where the temptations comes, and that's why Jesus said this in Matthew 18 verse seven; Woe to the world for temptation to sin but it is necessary that comes it comes. So obviously when we become born again as little children and we become changed, just trust our God, and we have our rules to keep sin out, obviously we are going to be tested to see whether our seed is good or bad. The sorting process all over again like Jesus said in the parable of the fish. He said that they were all drawn in and the good were sorted from the bad and that's what the kingdom of heaven is like. He said it is like a threshing floor.
The wheat is gathered together into the barn and the chaff is blown away with the stubble. Again that is what the kingdom of heaven is like. So Jesus is making it very clear that it is a sorting process this life and temptation will come and so what you do with it is up to you your choice. This is where the cutting off comes. All the cutting off, guarding your mind. Doing what Paul said focusing on all things good righteous and pure. If you have a problem with lust well that's because you're not focusing on what is good right and pure. People say well I can't help it. We can. You don't have to sin. I tell you you have the power to guard what is in your mind right now. A tormenting thoughts doesn't have to stay there. You can rebuke it in the name of Jesus and turn your mind off. We are not forced in our minds, nobody is forced. We are only forced when we are under the power of Satan we are a slave to Satan in our isn. Then you are forced. That's when people are forced to sin by the devil and they cannot stop. They're slaves. But when we become born again you are not slaves anymore. I used to be a slave to sin and I couldn't really help myself to just think evil. It would just be there without my choice because I had a ready chosen it and once you choose these things that become yours and that's who you are. So how are you going to change who you are? You can't. But when I turned away from my sin and I sought the Lord Jesus Christ and I was serious about him, then that's when he makes you born-again.
He makes you a child inside so what happens is you're able to turn away from these things. You can make the rules for your mind. You can put out of your mind what should not be there. Where is your mind? Are we watchful are we watching where our mind is today? Our mind can lead us to many sins friends. But it is up to us to not allow into our minds anything that is wrong. All inappropriate material or explicit material all things that aren't righteous pure and good, should not be in your mind. If they are you got to put them out. It is up to you, is your choice. It is what we do. God won't do that for you. That's why he said temptation must come because he is testing the intentions of our hearts. Are we going to be faithful. Since we're born again and Jesus made us as little children, are we going to stay that way? Or are we just going to go back to the devil and back into slavery back into defeat. You know it's never too late to come back friends until it's too late. So today is a day to guard what's in our hearts and minds and put it out in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ amen.....