“How can I become great?” This is both the plight and power of humankind. It’s the question that can drive you to succeed, and the one that can get you stuck. It can be the force behind achieving your dreams, or the distress that keeps you from seeing what’s right in front of you. The disciples asked Jesus this question, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven,” and He showed them a child. In this message with Jentezen Franklin, we learn the key to keeping the heart of a child regardless of the hardships we face, and the mighty power that a childlike heart will bring to your life. Life can be hard, but there's greatness in the journey.
How can I be great? This is a question people have been asking themselves for centuries. We want greatness. We like to see winners. We like to see people do something great. There is a drive inside of most people to be great. But as Jesus is being asked by His disciples “who is the greatest in the kingdom,” He sets a child in their midst and answers, “If you want God’s kingdom you must become like a child” the joy of a child. Many people through the ages have endured hardship and even torture as a price to follow Jesus. But even when enduring difficult times, we are still called to be joyful and have the heart of a child.
Matthew 18:1-4; I Corinthians 14:20; Romans 16; Isaiah 9:6; John 10:10
1. Do you still have the heart of a child? Has life left you bitter or are you able to see your circumstances through the eyes of God?
2. Will you still have that child-like faith when difficult times come? Can you maintain a right heart as the storms of life assault your home and your life? Can you find joy even in difficult times? Joy can be found if you look for it.
3. There’s a difference between a captain and a passenger. A captain has learned how to navigate and knows the signs to look for that indicate the safest route. A captain can read the currents and see the weather ahead. A passenger just experiences the beauty of the ride. You have to be able to do both.
4. As you grow older, you can lose the perspective of finding the beauty even in a storm, and the glory at the end of every trial. We are not just supposed to endure, we are supposed to appreciate the beauty of this life we have in Jesus Christ. We need to enjoy the journey. You are saved, and you still love Him, and you can still appreciate Him.
5. Stay alert. Our passage is a dangerous one. Be as cunning as a snake and innocent as a dove. We are gifted and blessed even when life presses in. We have so much to be thankful for. Focus on the good.
6. Navigate the spaces you are in. Navigate life, but enjoy life too. Tough times come, but you don’t quit living and enjoying the Lord and His goodness all around you.
7. Steamboats don’t back up—and neither can you. Life has no do-overs. Keep moving forward.
8. Don’t give up. God will guide you through the troubled waters, and He will fight for you when you can no longer fight.
9. The purpose is greater than the problem. Keep moving in the direction of your call and your purpose, and look for the good that is all around you.
Learn to navigate the issues of every day, but don’t lose your joy. See the good and be grateful. You will find what you look for, so look for the good. Look for the joy in the journey. Take on the spirit of a child, and see the good that is all around you. Even when you experience life’s greatest challenges, praise God. Your real source of joy is found in Christ. Life is not just about the navigating, you’re meant to experience the journey. There must be appreciation, gratitude, and joy. If you think about where you would be if the Lord were not on your side, you will find so many reasons to be thankful. Speak Isaiah 9:6 over your life today and be joyful. Look for the good and allow Jesus to be the center of your life and the captain of your ship.
And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6 NKJV).