Boy I have some catching up to do 😀
14Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
16“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked Him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise?’
36He took a little child and had him stand among them, 37“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me does not welcome Me but the one who sent Me.”
Do you ever feel so lost in this world that you want to cry out but you don’t know who to cry out to? Do you ever feel lost or alone and you really want your parents though you’re old enough that you’re told to “suck it up” and get over it? God doesn’t expect you to get over it on your own. He’s your Father and He truly loves you even when it seems that there’s nothing out there. He will help you if you call out to Him and all you have to do is ask. There’s a point where you’ll feel like a kid lost in the mall and you can run away or you can run to Him. He’s what gives meaning to all the suffering in this world and He’s the only relief from it. All else are band aids.
Long read but a beautiful chapter, let’s break it down now:
1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2He called a little child and him stand among them. 3And He said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes Me.
Al the grocer is in the routine of checking people out at the register and bagging their groceries. He goes home everyday and eats a TV dinner and goes to bed. He has a huge house and a nice car. He has everything he’s ever needed and no problems ever happen. He does the same thing everyday and feels as a responsible adult. Then the nearby artist comes in the store one day and starts hitting on him. This is out of his normal routine but is it worth it? Is it worth changing his life to fall for the beautiful artist who brings her own life into things? She makes him feel like a kid again and he wants to take that risk no matter the outcome.
6But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come! 8If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, 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. 9And if your eye causes you to sin, 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. 10See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. 11The Son of Man came to save what was lost.
Al takes the risk and starts dating the artist. They start out slow going to movies and eating out and it’s been three months and he wants to make things more serious. She likes her studio flat downtown and he’s thinking about having her move in with him and even thinking about renovating the rooms into a studio for her. But something is nagging at him, do they share the same room or should he make another room for her? Or save the studio for when it turns into something permanent. Life is short they say but he knows that it’s right to wait, but why? Why should he wait? Why not now? Then he had the inspiration of having her over for dinner so she could teach him to cook. She liked that idea and he made it a point to get her home safe at 11 when he did. He loved her too much to rush into things and she respected that.
12What 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? 13And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.
It’s been a year now and the relationship came to a point where Al and the artist had a bad fight and they had to take a break from the relationship. Al went back to his routine of TV dinners and didn’t see the artist for a month or so and he saw how bland his life was without her. He had a choice. He could live out his bland life with no conflict and have things where they used to be or he could try to make it work. Then she called him and told him her dad wanted to meet him. Just like that as if they weren’t separated to begin with they were back together. How does she do that?
15If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
“How long have you been sleeping with my daughter?” The question was abrupt and it hit Al hard. How dare he ask that, oh he’s her dad. “I’ve been dating your daughter for a year and a half, but I’ve not slept with her.” The dad got angry and the artist left the room. “You have a big house and a nice car but you’re a bag boy, you don’t deserve the things you have and you don’t deserve my daughter. You disgust me with your lies cause I know people like you and you’re a plague on society.” Al wanted to rebut but held his tongue. He took a deep breath and considered what the man said then, “I love your daughter more than life itself. I have shown great restraint in not “sleeping with her” so that I can enjoy being with her and sharing my life with her so that when we get married she can have everything she could ever want because by just being with me that gives me everything I want.” The father got mad and stormed out of the house. Later Al was talking to his friends about the incident and they offered to vouch for him and at first Al didn’t want his friends involved but then it couldn’t hurt so he went to see him with his friends. They told the father how Al has been happy with the artist and all the things they do together and how Al wouldn’t ruin that for the world. The father seemed okay after that and no word of it was mentioned again.
18“I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three come together in My name, there am I with them.”
Al and the artist were married and there was much rejoicing after three years of being together and getting to know each other on every level. They learned in those three years how to give to each other and how to get from each other without having to sleep with each other. Their relationship was strong even after their fights and separations because they knew that no matter what they would love each other no matter how bad it got and that they would fight any obstacle that came in their way together.
21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. 23Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. 26The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with Me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. 28But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. 29His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ 30But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. 32Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 35This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”
As a small boy Al was a shoplifter and a con artist. He was taken in by an old couple with the big house and the nice car and they showed him love and forgiveness. He remembered how the old couple treated him and gave him more than he deserved so when a boy came in the store and stole some DVD’s he stopped the boy and asked him where he lived. The boy was a homeless orphan like himself and Al went to see how to go about adopting the boy as the old couple had him. The boy was taken in with open arms to Al and the artist who had been married for 25 years at this point and made it to where the boy was like their own son. Oh and by the way in those 25 years there wasn’t a day that went by without at least 3-5 times that Al and the artist “knew” each other.
Common question: Just about any question someone not knowing how Christianity works would ask.
What’s your perspective?
25At that time Jesus said, “I praise you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. 27All things have been committed to Me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.
11He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.
1 Corinthians 1:26-29
26Brothers think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things– and the things that are not– to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before Him.
Common question: The bible is so old and it’s just a bunch of words, what does this have to do with me? Why can’t I understand what it says and why is it so important?
Have you ever been amazed at what kids say? This is not an accident, but children are blessed to be wiser than adults and we blow them off but sometimes it’s the truth. If you are not saved then none of what I’m doing is going to make sense at all to you. In fact if you’ve come this far with me it’s because God is speaking to you through these verses. They are just random verses that refer to children that I picked out from the index but if you’re either starting new with this set or following every post I make then you’re either already a Christian and you crave the word of God or God is trying to speak to you through these verses. These verses explain that there is a shroud over your eyes to where you don’t understand the word of God. Take that leap and open your heart to God so that you can find joy in them.
7Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 9Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!
5Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 7Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. 9So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 11“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
I can’t do that I’ll be “smothering” or I’ll be “shoving” myself on someone if I ask them to do me a favor. Even salesmen know not to give up but going through life never asking for help will get you nowhere. We’re taught not to be a bother to people and oh dear that’s going to offend someone, but if you need it you know how to get it and have no excuse for not having it. And when everyone turns you away you keep going and you keep asking. They’ll call you pushy but if it’s what you need you will get it. Be persistent or accept what you don’t have.
Today is a break from the previous ten days and since I have everything preposted I have no idea what kind of feedback I’m getting. I did start this out as a PowerPoint slide show but found it difficult to make a DVD for some friends to show off. So now I’m posting this for any and everybody to enjoy and if you find it boring you can play with the pictures on the top 🙂
So let me introduce:
In this section, the new Testament is reviewed based on the concordance references in the NIV 2008 study Bible and how the term “children” was applied therein. These verses give a deeper understanding how the new covenant promised salvation to Everyone regardless of background or sin. And promises us life eternal after death with God. Now that Jesus Christ has conquered death our salvation can be ours and our children’s! We no longer have any reason to worry or fear and while our trials are great and severe, we have a promise of life with God that no man can take away and we can conquer the hold Satan had over our lives. Making the promise to Abraham our own promise as we become his children by becoming God’s children. Even now our little ones have the truth revealed in them and it’s up to us to foster that truth so they can carry it out in their lives as they grow into adults and have their own children. There are no drugs, “conditioning,” nor brainwashing involved in raising godly children and they will listen if you tell them and don’t hinder them in learning about God. No matter how old you are when you’re saved, you are a child of God. We can only mimic and bring pain when we try to do what God has already done in perfection for our children.
Yup it’s that time again 🙂
6[Elijah] will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.”
19For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what He has promised him.”
17And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous– to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
I think there’s a missed concept about the Bible and what the Lord was setting up. Not missed by everyone, but generally at least by my generation. Maybe I’m wrong about that to so I’m going to fess up and say that it took me a long time to realize that the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation was a series of warnings and promises and all were fulfilled. Now people like to discredit the Bible and say that oh well some dude wrote it it wasn’t written by God. Actually if you look at all the books of the Bible and the years that are covered there are a lot of dudes that contributed to it over the span of hundreds of years. I didn’t do a study on that yet, but I’ll let you know in another segment when I do. God is eternally patient. He gave us lifetimes to turn to Him and never once promised us it would be easy. So in my own words, God is telling us that if we don’t start getting our families in order He will put a curse on us. That seems like a lot on Elijah’s shoulders but he does his job and it’s up to us to do ours. Handle it.