May 28            Kids Need the Lord    Luke 18:15 – 17

Luke 18:15-17 “Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.   Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”   ESV

 Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem passing between Samaria and Galilee.  There are many cities in this area…one of which is Nazareth, His boyhood home.

Many sought Him out for help, healing and hope.

They even brought their children to Him; a MAJOR break from the traditions and laws of the Temple Elite.  Kids make noise in the temple and make a mess and break stuff and ask a LOT of questions (questions the Temple Elite did not want to be bothered with and/or have to answer)

The disciple rebuked the parents, grandparents, others for bringing the little kids to their Rabbi.

“Get those snot nosed brats out of here and back to the playgrounds where they belong!”

Jesus had a different plan and did a little rebuking of His own!

Jesus knew the heart of the little children AND He knew their needs.

KIDS NEED THE LORD

  • Jesus WANTS the little children to come to Him
    •             Freely
    •             Unhindered

Parents/Grandparents/teachers/church family,     we need to examine how we treat the youngest, weakest, powerless among us!

  • Do we help, hinder or hurt their journey to Christ?
    •                         We hold SUPREME power over them
    •                         What we say they do
    •                         What we do they mimic
    •                         Where we go – they go
    •                         What we prioritize they see as important

We need to examine our families, our parenting, our choices, our church, our EVERYTHING and see if there is anything we are doing to HINDER our children from coming to JESUS!

  • Maybe it is our WORDS.
    • Whether in bad language or just telling them they are too
    • young
  • Maybe it is our PRIORITIES
    • We can easily fall into the trap of making everything else a priority OVER God: sports, sleep, movies, vacation, hobbies, etc
      Maybe it is our ACTIONS
    • Whether in bad behavior or by providing no guidance and
    • accountability or simply by not LIVING God in our homes
  • Maybe it is our ATTITUDES
    • If our attitudes are negative so will be our children’s
    • If our attitude about God and church are negative so will be our children’s

We should do EVERYTHING within our power to ENCOURAGE our kids towards God!

KIDS NEED THE LORD

AS we do this, we will see a change in us, we will become like the little children loving and trusting God in a simple heartfelt faith.

It is the “grown Ups” who forget how to love and receive.  We have developed hard hearts and QUESTION EVERYTHING that is offered us.  “If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is!”

We have been hurt, beaten, abused, trampled, cast aside, overlooked, underappreciated, taken advantage of and used by just about every HUMAN we have ever met.  WE DON’T NEED ANY MORE DISAPPOINTMENTS!

We are afraid to open up and be vulnerable yet again because we fear being hurt or harmed.

It is out of our life experiences – good and bad/ joyful and painful that we lead our children

Children usually do not carry this fear.

  • They are willing to believe that God is exactly who He says He is!
  • They understand that God will never lie to them or let them down
  • They know that God will never leave them or forsake them
  • They understand that God LOVES them and wants the very best for their lives.
    • Kids UNDERSTAND God.
    • KIDS NEED THE LORD
    • YOU need the LORD!

Today we will celebrate the achievement of our children, young and old.  We will encourage them in their motivation and hard work to achieve the goals we celebrate.

Have we encouraged them towards Jesus and Celebrated their journey into His Grace?

The Kingdom of God belongs to those who receive God’s Grace as a little child.

10 years old or 100 years old, the same Grace of Holy God is available for you.

Cast away the hardness and negativity of the world and receive God’s Love as a little child receives Him and LIVE!

Maybe this text is about how we treat the smallest and weakest among us…those with no power and no real say……do we push them back….do we push them down?   Do we push them FORWARD?  Do we somehow reserve “The Best part” for the grown ups?

Do we push them to God?

Where Joy Hides

Luke 10:17-24 “The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”  [Look what we done did!] And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. [PFFT!  Y’all aint doing nuttin without ME!]  Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”  [You should be rejoicing in that ETERNAL LIFE and what not I gave you!]  In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;[Don’t try to make this too complicated….I made it so easy little children can understand]  yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.  All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”  Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see!  For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”   ESV

  1. Joy Hides in Salvation
    1. Not Works – what you are doing
      1. We serve for God – not what we get out of service
    2. Joy hides when we forget or “get used to” our salvation
    3. Joy hides when we “take advantage” of what God has given us
    4. Joy hides lost when we look for it in ourselves
    5. It is God that gives the power to serve and witness
      1. You never saved anyone
      2. John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
  1. Joy Hides in Simple Faith
    1. Why are kids happier than adults?
      1. Adulting is hard!
      2. We forget how to play
        1. Or just stop enjoying life
          1. Life is to be LOVED
        2. Joy is lost when we look for it in our maturity, degrees, works or flesh
  2. Joy Hides in Revelation
    1. Joy hides in the WORD of GOD
    2. Reading and pondering God’s Word
      1. We often overlook the joy of hearing God speak
    3. Looking for God in our EVERYDAY lives
    4. Joy is lost when we look for it in human knowledge
      1. Joy is lost when we separate our lives from God and His Word
  3. Joy Hides in Grace
    1. We look forward to birthdays!
      1. We get gifts we do not deserve
        1. You were not in labor for your own birth!
        2. I think you should give your Mom presents on your birthday!
      2. We are blessed to see God at work in our lived
        1. Even if we know we are not worthy
        2. Grace is God blessing us with what we DO NOT deserve.
      3. Joy is lost when we reject the Grace of God
  4. Wherever Joy is Hidden, it is hidden because we have hidden it there.
    1. God has made it so easy to FIND JOY that none of us should ever be looking
      1. We don’t look for it
      2. We don’t see the need
      3. We are afraid of it
  1. God loves you!
    1. Believe and Be JoyFULL