Attitudes, According to dictionary, is describe as manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, especially of the mind. it is also describe as position or posture of the body appropriate to or expressive of an action, emotion.
Attitudes of kingdom citizen therefore is about manner or way people in God’s kingdom behave. As children of the kingdom there are some things expected from us.
1. They have a heart of a child and care for God’s little ones.
LET’S LOOK AT THE DISCIPLES QUESTION
A. Who is the greatest? They want to know who among them is the greatest. They are after position and authority. They want to be boss.Matt. 18:1
B. Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven: The disciples wanted to know who would hold the highest position in the administration Jesus would soon establish.
They want to distribute position and honour.
Jesus answer their question in Matt. 18: 2-4. Jesus called a little child to Him: Jesus might have answered the question, “who is the greatest?” by pointing to Himself. Instead, Jesus drew their attention to His nature by having them look at a child as an example.
Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven: This was probably a great disappointment to the disciples. They knew that in that day, children were regarded more as property than individuals. It was understood that they were to be seen and not heard. Jesus said we have to take this kind of humble place to enter the kingdom, much less be the greatest in the kingdom.
LET’S QUICKLY LOOK AT SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF A CHILD.
A child was a person of no importance in Jewish society, subject to the authority of his elders, not taken seriously except as a responsibility, one to be looked after, not one to be looked up to.
Children are not threatening; we aren’t afraid of meeting a five-year-old in a dark alley. When we have a tough, intimidating presence, we aren’t like Jesus.
Children are not good at deceiving; they are pretty miserable failures at fooling their parents. When we are good at hiding ourselves and deceiving others, we aren’t like Jesus.
The child is held up as an ideal, not of innocence, purity, or faith, but of humility and unconcern for social status.
Jesus knew that we must be converted to be like little children. It isn’t in our nature to take the low place and to humble ourselves.
2. They are humble. Matt.18:4
Whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom: Jesus then addressed the issue of greatness. When we most fulfil the humble place a child had in that culture, we are then on our way to greatness in His kingdom.
Children do not try to be humble, but they are so; and the same is the case with really gracious persons.
We know that one Man was actually the greatest in the kingdom: Jesus Christ. This means that Jesus Himself was humble like a little child. He wasn’t concerned about his own status. He didn’t have to be the centre of attention. He could not deceive, and He didn’t have an intimidating presence.
3. They don’t cause others to sin. Matt.18:6-7
Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin: Jesus takes it seriously when one of His little ones is led into sin. “Little ones” does not only mean children, but those who humble themselves as children in the manner Jesus described.
4. They are ready to sacrifice. Matt.18:8-9
If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you: Some people only keep from sin if it is easy or convenient to do it. Jesus warns us that we must be willing to sacrifice
in fighting against sin, that nothing is worse than facing the wrath of a righteous God. It really is better to sacrifice in the battle against sin now than to face the punishment of eternity later.
If I cut off my right hand, I can still sin with my left. If my left eye is gouged out, my right eye can still sin – and if all such members are gone, I can still sin in my heart and mind. God calls us to a
far more radical transformation than any sort of bodily mutilation can address.
5. They are responsible to guarding others. Matt.18:10
Do not despise one of these little ones: Because God’s mind and eye is always on His little ones, we do well to treat them with love and respect. God protects the humble.
6. They go after the lost sheep. Matt.18:11-14.
For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
7. They don’t keep malice. Matt.18:15-17
Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.
It would be wrong for anyone to take Jesus’ word here as a command to confront your brother with every sin they commit against you. The Bible says we should bear with one another and be longsuffering towards each other. Yet clearly, there are some things that we cannot suffer long with and must address.
To be a citizen of the kingdom, give your life to Christ and then you could exhibit is authority and the will see Jesus Christ in us.
PASTOR YINKA ANIBABA
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