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How Much God Loves Children

Tuesday, March 5th
How Much God Loves Children
By: Shirley Davis 

Matthew 18:1-14

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! 8 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. [11] [a]

12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

Having served in children’s ministry most of my Christian life, this passage is especially dear to my heart. It’s one of the greatest privileges to witness a young child open their heart as they seek God: to be amazed at the depth of their questioning; to sense their genuine yearning; and then feel the powerful moving of the Holy Spirit as He moves through our words and prayers, touching the child’s heart with love and peace and confirming the salvation - there are few moments more precious on this earth!

We must NEVER underestimate how much God loves and cares for children – nor how much He wants a personal relationship with them at a young age! Verse 10 reads: “Be careful. Don’t think these little children are worth nothing. I tell you that they have angels in heaven who are always with my Father in heaven.” (ICB) Other versions say: “do not despise them” or “don’t look down on any of them”. I’m the first to admit that sometimes a child’s exuberance and mischief can be challenging, but I believe every one of them has an impressionable heart with great potential!

Jesus paints a very graphic picture here of God’s view of those who try to lead children astray or quash their faith. As we seek to follow Christ, may we all be emboldened to stand strong and speak out against such behavior – which is sadly even evident today here in the USA.

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