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05 MAY 2021

God always desires His people to serve Him with a child-like heart. One of the ways we can do so is by honouring Him habitually with our sacrifice of praise motivated by a sincere and child-like heart.

Reference: Matthew 21:16-17 New Living Translation (NLT) They asked Jesus, "Do you hear what these children are saying?" "Yes," Jesus replied. "Haven't you ever read the Scriptures?" For they say, 'You have taught children and infants to give you praise.' Then he returned to Bethany, where he stayed overnight.

Jesus entered the Temple, confronted the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice and drove them away. Shortly after, the blind and the lame came to Him in the Temple, and He healed them. The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw the wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, "Praise God for the Son of David." But instead of being joyful and praising God, the leaders became indignant.

Their indignation was as a result of their hearts being hardened and thickened. Since they hated Jesus and felt no sympathy for others, they easily displayed a callous indifference to the suffering of the unhealthy and handicapped. However, instead of confronting and exchanging words with them, Jesus simply referred them to the verse that revealed the fulfilment of these children's action in the Temple, which is Psalm 8:2 (NHEB): "From the lips of children and infants you have established praise, because of your adversaries, that you might silence the enemy and the avenger." Indeed, this is God's description of the kind of praise He loves and is pleased with. Those children were empowered by the Holy Spirit to proclaim His praise to the world around them, which I have interpreted in this context to mean a "child-like motivated praise."

As we mature in faith, sometimes we begin to notice that we are unknowingly losing the features that make us so innocent and virtuous before God. However, it's incredibly paramount that we watch it and not let those precious features stray too far from us. A child-like heart does not mean childishness or immaturity. While it's important never to lose our sense of spiritual maturity, its equally important to maintain a child-like heart as we praise God. Those that can maintain such a balance often touch God's heart and can move Him to action anytime, any day.

Children often display humility in their actions. They are easily awe-inspired by the presence of God around them. This is what God wants for all His children. No matter how long we've been in Christ, our condition of being meek, responsive and submissive to the things of the Spirit, especially when we experience His move, must not diminish. The Bible says, "Because of the multiplication of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold" (Matthew 24:12). As the love of many grow cold, they tend to lose this sense of God's majesty and miraculous wonders, to the point of not being moved when they see the demonstration of the power of God. This is usually because the texture, quality or character of their meekness, responsiveness and submissiveness to the Spirit of God have been altered.

Children raised in a godly manner always have strong faith in the things of God and His power. They can nurture or pamper the desire to see the miraculous power of God in demonstration because they have zealous faith in the superior nature of divine power. Most Christians have lost this zeal and desire because their hearts have become so callous and greatly occupied with worldly interests and concerns.

Children always act with no ulterior motive. They don't do anything meaningful because they want to get something out of it. By doing so in our praise manner, God can open the door to unlimited possibilities that we least expected even in our widest imagination. Unfortunately, many adult Christians have reached a point where they can only praise God, when there is a catch to it or when they are in desperate need of a miracle.

Again, children constantly yearn for new experiences. Many times I've noticed some Christians who have reached a point where they have become complacent in their faith walk and no longer yearn for more in God. It's important to always want more out of our personal relationship with God. By keeping the spiritual hunger for a higher life in Christ afresh and by having a deeper experience with Him, we will continue to attain greater heights and grow in our relationship with the Lord on a daily basis. Shalom!

Scripture Reading - Psalm 95:1-3; Ezra 3:11; Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21.

Guided Prayer: Heavenly Father, it's a great honour to offer you a sacrifice of praise continually. There's power in acknowledging that you are most worthy of my praise. Above all things, I praise you for your mighty deeds; I praise you according to your excellent and exceeding greatness. My tongue and lips shall speak of your righteousness and of your praise both now and forever, in Jesus' Name, Amen!


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