Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Where Does Christ Stand When it Comes to Children?

“Some people brought their babies to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them. The disciples saw them and scolded them for doing so, but Jesus called the children to Him and said, “Let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Remember this! Whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:15-17.)

I feel Christ is very clear here when he says we should not keep our children from Him but rather teach them and encourage them to seek Him. It saddens me when I see unbelieving parents teaching their children to deny Christ and to find comfort and a future within themselves and the world.

“They came to Capernaum, and after going indoors Jesus asked his disciples, 'What were you arguing about on the road?'

“But they would not answer Him because on the road they had been arguing among themselves about who was the greatest. Jesus sat down, called the twelve disciples, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must place himself last of all and be the servant of all.” Then He took a child and had him stand in front of them. He put His arms around him and said to them, “Whoever welcomes in my name one of these children, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, welcomes not only me but also the one who sent me.” (Mark 9:33-37.)

So Jesus is telling us to “be the servant of all”, mainly children, and to keep our focus on God while in service to Him. But I cannot help but wonder why He has asked us to serve the children most of all. I believe it is for the same reason we are told, “But when you help a needy person, do it in such a way that even your closest friend will not know about it. Then it will be a private matter. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:3 & 4.) When we serve, we do it to glorify God not ourselves. It should not be an act for personal gain as the world encourages us to do. Take for example the lists distributed each year containing “The World’s Richest” and “The Largest Charities”. The world makes it a competition as to who is the best based on money and giving. When we serve children, they neither think like adults, nor do they act as adults. They take what we give to them and the recognition stops there. They do not announce it to everyone and our status in society remains as is. Hence, the focus stays on God just as it should.

I am reminded of what Christ teaches us about our children when I work with abused and neglected children within the court system; a system dependant on the honesty of man. Man who lies and manipulates the system for personal gain. But what we might forget is that nothing gets past God and Christ. They see all and know all, even the things we do in private. The world might not be able to hold us accountable for the things it does not know and cannot see but you can rest assured God will hold us accountable.

“So then, my brothers, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to His service and pleasing to Him. This is the true worship that you should offer. Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God – what is good and is pleasing to Him and is perfect.” (Romans 12: 1 & 2.)
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