But if you cause…
• Jesus is challenging and directing His disciples to have a different world view—glasses
• Challenged the norms of the society at His time and in ours
• As a disciple, we are following Jesus –being changed by Jesus – and committed to the mission of Jesus
Our culture and children
• World view study – people are basically good –not born into sin
• Truth is personal and individual –objective truth does not exist
• Having sex with someone you love but are not married to is not wrong
• The goal of life is the pursuit of individual happiness –today
Concerning children – possible views today
- Some believe humans are an animal more developed via evolution
• We need to limit how many we have
• If they get in the way of personal happiness – eliminate them
• God’s word tells us that humans are made in the image of God and He plays a part in the creation of life
Psalm 127:3–5 (NIV) — 3 Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.
- Some believe children are born as they are and our job is to affirm them in how they feel or are inclined – basically good –love is to allow them to reach their own potential
• The bible says all of us are flawed – are born with a sin nature
• The parents job is to raise them towards a relationship with God
• We are stewards of a child’s heart
Proverbs 22:15 (NIV) — 15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.
But I say….
A. The value of Children to Jesus is
B. Who is the greatest in the Kingdom – that child’s attitude (child and or young believer)
C. Warnings about hurting children –physically or spiritually –using your freedom to cause a little one to stumble
D. What you do or don’t do can cause children to stumble
Mark 10:13–16 (NIV) Matthew 18:1–11
Gods plan for His people is revealed in the Old Testament Nation of Israel
1. A community of believers in fellowship with God at the center and with each other as a result (the church—family of God, Body of Christ, Temple of the Holy Spirit)
• Hear Israel —-Community centered around shared values and purpose
• Meeting together to celebrate who God is and who we are because of it
• With boundaries to protect from the outside worlds influence
1 Peter 2:9–10 (NIV) — 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Exodus 19:6 (NIV) — 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
- Marriage commitment for life
Malachi 2:13–16 (NIV)
- The personal act of discipleship through parenting
• Love God as a parent first – upon your hearts
• Impress it upon your children –how
• Paying close attention to the influences in your children’s lives but remember controlling the outside environments is not enough –we must intentionally develop the environments we create
• In relationship (walking, sitting, eating, within the whole community as well)
• On your wrists –with what you do –on your foreheads –what you think –doorposts of your house—
Deuteronomy 6:3–12 (NIV) Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)
1. Decide today that children are Gods priority
Malachi 4:5–6 (NIV)
2. Join Him in His work – as a part of the body of Christ –as a parent- grandparent
• As a part of His people – the community
• As a part of a marriage
• As a disciple maker
For Small Group Discussion:
Opening Question: What stood out to you the most from the sermon this week?
Main Point: God wants us to be in relationship with Him like a little kid is to his parents.
Read/Tell the Story: Matthew 18:1-6
- What does it mean to be humble like a child?
- What would have to change in you to become “like little children”?
- What is it about little children that God wants us to strive for?
- From this passage, what do you think God cares about?
- What does it mean to cause somebody to stumble?
- Do you believe your life is a good example to others based on what you say and do? Why do you believe that?
- How have you been convicted on how you represent Christ to the world?
Supporting Scripture: Luke 9:48, Matthew 19:14, 1 John 2:1