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****Be among God's "little ones," Mat. 18:10, than the "great ones of this world."***


It is well observed by some, that those brave creatures, the eagle and the lion, were not offered in sacrifice unto God—but the poor lambs and doves were; to note that God regards not your brave, high, lofty spirits—but poor, meek, and contemptible spirits. Humility is a rare grace. Many, says Augustine, can more easily give all they have to the poor, than themselves become poor in spirit.

Be low in your own eyes, and be content to be low in the eyes of others; and think not of yourselves above what is fit, as ever you would write after your mother's copy, and affect more to be among God's "little ones," Mat. 18:10, than the "great ones of this world." Be humble Christians; as ever you would be holy, be humble. Humility is of the essence of the "new creature." He is not a Christian, who is not humble. The more grace the more humble. Those who have been most high in spiritual worth have always been most humble in heart.

Ignatius could say of himself, "I am not worthy to be called the least." "Lord, I am hell—but you are heaven," said blessed Hooper. "I am a most hypocritical wretch, not worthy that the earth should bear me," said holy Bradford. "I have no other name," says Luther, "than 'sinner'. Sinner is my name, sinner is my surname. This is the name by which I shall be always known. I have sinned, I do sin, I shall sin in infinitum."

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There is a SPIRITUAL pride, which is three fold:

1. Some take pride in their abilities. The Lord enriches them with wit and abilities—and pride fumes from their heart into their head and makes them giddy. Herod was proud of the oration he made, and assumed that glory to himself which he should have given to God. His pride brought him low. "He was eaten of worms," Acts 12:23.

2. Some take pride in their duties. This worm of pride, breeds in sweet fruit. They have said so many prayers, heard so many sermons. Luke 18:12, "I fast twice a week, and give a tenth of all I get." Now they think they have made God amends—that He is indebted to them and they shall be accepted for their religious performances. What is this but pride? Is this not to make a Christ of our duties? The devil destroys some by making them neglect duty, and others by making them idolize duty. Better is that infirmity which humbles me—than that duty which makes me proud!

3. Some take pride in their graces. This seems strange, seeing grace is given to the humble, that any should be proud of their graces. But pride is not from the grace in us—but the corruption in us! It is not from the strength of holiness—but the weakness of holiness.

Christians may be said to be proud of their grace when they lay too much stress upon their grace. In Matthew 26:33, Peter says, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will." Here was a double pride. First, that he thought he had more grace than the rest of the Apostles. Second, in that he laid much weight upon his grace. He leaned more on his grace—than on Christ.

Men are proud of their grace when they slight others whom they think are inferior to them in grace. Instead of the strong bearing the infirmities of the weak, Romans 15:1, they are ready to despise the weak. Our Savior saw this pride breeding in his own disciples; therefore He cautioned them against it. Matthew 18:10, "Take heed that you despise not one of these little ones."

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Dapatkah seseorang meraih mimpinya? Ini kisah Rudi yang penuh liku berjuang meraih mimpi, namun tak pernah putus asa. Sangat inspiratif! Simak dengan seksama dan bagikan bila Saudara merasa diberkati. God bless...

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**Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?****


Matthew 18:


The first thing that we are taught in these verses, is the necessity of conversion, and of conversion manifested by childlike humility. The disciples came to our Lord with the question, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" They spoke as men half-enlightened, and full of carnal expectations. They received an answer well calculated to awaken them from their day-dream-an answer containing a truth which lies at the very foundation of Christianity-"unless you turn, and become as little children, you will in no way enter into the Kingdom of Heaven."

Let these words sink down deeply into our hearts. Without conversion there is no salvation. We all need an entire change of nature. Of ourselves we have neither faith, nor fear, nor love towards God. "We must be born again." Of ourselves we are utterly unfit for dwelling in God's presence. Heaven would be no heaven to us if we were not converted. It is true of all ranks, classes, and orders of mankind. All are born in sin and children of wrath, and all, without exception, need to be born again and made new creatures. A new heart must be given to us, and a new spirit put within us. Old things must pass away, and all things must become new. It is a good thing to be baptized into the Christian Church, and use Christian means of grace. But after all, "are we converted?"

Would we know whether we are really converted? Would we know the test by which we must try ourselves? The surest mark of true conversion is humility. If we have really received the Holy Spirit, we shall show it by a meek and childlike spirit. Like children, we shall think humbly of our own strength and wisdom, and be very dependent on our Father in heaven. Like children, we shall not seek great things in this world; and having food and clothing and a Father's love, we shall be content. Truly this is a heart-searching test! It exposes the unsoundness of many a so-called conversion. It is easy to be a convert from one party to another party, from one sect to another sect, from one set of opinions to another set of opinions. Such conversions save no one's soul. What we all want is a conversion from pride to humility--from high thoughts of ourselves to lowly thoughts of ourselves--from self-conceit to self-abasement--from the mind of the Pharisee to the mind of the Tax-collector. A conversion of this kind we must experience, if we hope to be saved. These are the conversions that are wrought by the Holy Spirit.

The next thing that we are taught in these verses, is the great sin of putting stumbling blocks in the way of believers. The words of the Lord Jesus on this subject are peculiarly solemn. "Woe unto the world because of offences!--Woe to that man by whom the offence comes."

We put offences or stumbling blocks in the way of men's souls, whenever we do anything to keep them back from Christ--or to turn them out of the way of salvation--or to disgust them with true religion. We may do it directly by persecuting, ridiculing, opposing, or dissuading them from decided service of Christ. We may do it indirectly by living a life inconsistent with our religious profession, and by making Christianity loathsome and distasteful by our own conduct. Whenever we do anything of the kind, it is clear, from our Lord's words, that we commit a great sin.

There is something very fearful in the doctrine here laid down. It ought to stir up within us great searchings of heart. It is not enough that we wish to do good in this world. Are we quite sure that we are not doing harm? We may not openly persecute Christ's servants. But are there none that we are injuring by our ways and our example? It is dreadful to think of the amount of harm that can be done by one inconsistent professor of religion. He gives a handle to the infidel. He supplies the worldly man with an excuse for remaining undecided. He checks the inquirer after salvation. He discourages the saints. He is, in short, a living sermon on behalf of the devil. The last day alone will reveal the wholesale ruin of souls, that "offences" have occasioned in the Church of Christ. One of Nathan's charges against David was, "you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme." (2 Sam. 12:14.)

The next thing that we are taught in these verses is, the reality of future punishment after death. Two strong expressions are used by our Lord on this point. He speaks of being "cast into everlasting fire." He speaks of being "cast into hell fire."

The meaning of these words is clear and unmistakable. There is a place of unspeakable misery in the world to come, to which all who die impenitent and unbelieving, must ultimately be consigned. There is revealed in Scripture a "fiery indignation," which sooner or later will devour all God's adversaries. (Heb. 10:27.) The same sure word which holds out a heaven to all who repent and are converted, declares plainly that there will be a hell for all the ungodly.

Let no man deceive us with vain words upon this dreadful subject. Men have arisen in these latter days, who profess to deny the eternity of future punishment, and repeat the devil's old argument, that we "shall not surely die." (Gen. 3:4.) Let none of their reasonings move us, however plausible they may sound. Let us stand fast in the old paths. The God of love and mercy, is also a God of justice. He will surely requite. The flood in Noah's day, and the burning of Sodom, were meant to show us what He will one day do. No lips have ever spoken so clearly about hell as those of Christ Himself. Hardened sinners will find out, to their cost, that there is such a thing as the "wrath of the Lamb." (Rev. 6:17.)

The last thing we are taught in these verses, is the value that God sets on the least and lowest of believers. "It is not the will of your Father in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish."

These words are meant for the encouragement of all true Christians, and not for little children only. The connection in which they are found with the parable of the hundred sheep and one that went astray, seems to place this beyond doubt. They are meant to show us that our Lord Jesus is a Shepherd, who cares tenderly for every soul committed to His charge. The youngest, the weakest, the sickliest of His flock is as dear to Him as the strongest. They shall never perish. None shall ever pluck them out of His hand. He will lead them gently through the wilderness of this world. He will not overdrive them a single day, lest any die. (Gen. 33:13.) He will carry them through every difficulty. He will defend them against every enemy. The saying which He spoke shall be literally fulfilled--"Of those whom you have given me I have lost none." (John 18:9.) With such a Savior, who need fear beginning to be a thorough Christian? With such a Shepherd, who, having once begun, need fear being cast away?

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How many fathers( not mother) give their children the teachings of the Bible?
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