children article 02-28-2012
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- Published: Thursday, 05 January 2017 10:56
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"Let the Little Children Come"
Glen De Young
My heart continues to be stirred with the burden and calling of the Lord to work among and teach children. It is with the opportunities to teach children that comes an increase of burden to pray for resources and workers who will have a God given desire and calling to teach and train children in the ways of the Lord. For me, since beginning to work with children for the past seven years, I believe there is no greater calling than at the early stages of a child’s life to teach them about the Lord and of His ways.
Having traveled among children ministry groups in India I am very aware of the good work that is done in planting the seeds of the gospel and in the teaching of character lessons to children. I continue in my concern for children who in India and in other nations are exploited, misused and not educated in the knowledge and ways of the Lord. Who will teach such children? For workers we must pray.
I believe that followers of Christ need to clearly hear the words of our Lord once again as He said, “Let the little children come to me and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven .” I have found that the most open hearts to learn about the Lord are the hearts of children.
We may ask ourselves the question. Who is working against the church to minimize and discredit ministry to children? We may ask, will they really remember what we teach them? Why do the men and women of this age spend millions of dollars in creating games and programs training children to fight and hurt one another? The people of this world believe that what they do will make a difference or they would not do it. Many movies and video’s teach children how to hate rather than to love, how to hurt rather than to heal, and how to curse instead of how to bless.
We in the church of Jesus Christ must be wise in the timing and in the focusing on planting the seeds of God’s love in the hearts of little children. We must also carefully cultivate the growth and care for the seeds of truth that are planted in their hearts. We must set aside resources for ministry to children in order to guide them away from negative traps. Such traps if planted in them will continue with them their whole life. We must know clearly that the cost is not too much to plant the truth of God’s Word in the hearts of children.
As is true with any farmer and his crop, no harvest can be expected from a good field without the farmer first preparing the soil and then planting seeds in the soil of his field. The heart of a child is such a field where the soil of the heart is moist, free of stones and ready to be planted with good truth. It is only after the enemy of our souls has sown seeds of doubt and unbelief into a child’s heart or when a child has been hurt emotionally by an adult that it is more difficult to teach them the truth of God’s Word. How careful we must be to not offend these little ones! How we need diligent teachers who will teach children!!
What a great thing it is when churches and fellowships of believers focus on teaching to children and families the truths of the Holy Scriptures and the important values of godly character. How the face of our world would change if we would live and teach the principles of the Light of the World!
Let’s pray that the Lord of the harvest would call workers into His harvest fields to plant the seeds of His kingdom into the hearts of children. With careful and diligent work we can expect to see God’s Kingdom grow in the hearts of children and their families. May the next generation come to benefit from what we have done for them by planting and then cultivating good seeds of God's truth in their hearts!
The Value of One Human Soul
“What does it profit for a man (or woman) to gain the whole world and lose his soul?
God puts great value on each person that He has created. Jesus specifically gives his view on the value of one person by saying, “What does it profit for a man (or woman) to gain the whole world and lose his soul? “Or what shall a man (or woman) give in exchange for his soul?” Here Jesus compares the wealth of the whole material world to the value of one person.
Often we are impressed with the fact that a person is wealthy, perhaps owning many properties or having much financial resources, and yet in comparison to the worth of his own soul, owning all the wealth of the world is of lesser value than his eternal soul. Wars are fought over gold and silver, with much loss of life not to be compared in value to one eternal soul being created in the image of God.
Imagine all the material wealth of all the 233 nations of the world….China, India, Britain, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, all the nations of Africa, Asia, North and South America, the United States… the islands nations of the world… all of the nations of the world’s wealth are of less value than one human soul. That is how valuable we are! So where does such value come from?
It comes from the truth that each person has been made in the image of their Creator. A person’s value is in their being made in the likeness and image of God, Genesis 1:26-28. We have been created an eternal soul…never dying… living on eternally, either with God or without God.
Our value according to Godly standards is not based in our age, our earthly wisdom, whether we have wealth or possessions, whether we are famous, whether we have many gifts, few gifts, many skills, few skills, much intelligence, little intelligence, and whether we are beautiful or not. Our value is based in our being created in the image of our Creator and being given the ability to live in relationship with our Creator.
Our Lord goes on to say, “… and what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Sadly we as human beings often live for the things that can be gained in this life, in order to bring us a sense of value, propping up our loss of value living apart from the life of God. So how can we come to understand and live out this truth as to our true value?
Several years ago while working as a missionary in India I was impressed with the value of one human soul.
In India one often sees people living at the poverty level. Small children run away from home, ride trains, shine shoes to eat, while old people are seen living on the sides of the railroad tracks, living the last of their days, begging to survive.
One may look at the life of the famous Mother Teresa of Calcutta and wonder how she could live such an unusual and unordinary life in her service of others? Perhaps she understood more than many the value of one human soul.
Our Lord in Mt. 20:28 stated, “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus did not consider his own needs first, but came to serve us and gave His life as a ransom for many.” That’s just how valuable we are to Him!
While in India I desired to gain insight as to how valuable one person is being created in the image of God.
One day while out on the street, I saw a man who was very dirty and traveling from another town, very much in need of food. I purchased some food and gave it to him to eat, while not accepting any payment for the food.
What was interesting was the response of those around me to what I was doing. Immediately they objected to my kindness towards this beggar man with such statements as, “he is nothing!” “why are you helping him!?” he is just a beggar!”
I decided that the next thing to do was to offer him a shower. Taking him to the place where I was staying, I gave him soap, a towel and indicated to him that he could take a shower.
Interestingly enough again the reactions of those around him was again the same as before, ones of non-acceptance and rejection. It was clear to me that I was touching a nerve in this society from those who did not see his value due to his lack of financial standing in society.
What about the value of one little precious baby here in America? Are innocent sweet babies seen as valuable to us? Here in America 4,000 children are killed every day. Daily we are destroying our most important national resource, our children. Those who have been aborted now total the populations of whole states in our country.
In the gospel account we see quite a different picture in the life of Jesus as to the value of little children. Jesus points us very clearly to their value as He says..…”Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mark 10:14
The values of this world teach us that a person’s value is not based in the person themselves but rather on the external situations and circumstances of that persons life. A person is often valued for what they can contribute to society. If they contribute to society they are valuable, if they do not contribute to society they are not valuable. Often we hear a man of wealth mentioned as being, “worth a million dollars.” In actuality he is really worth much more than millions of dollars! ...He is more valuable than all the millions, billions, or trillions of dollars in this world....
In closing I would like to ask you to reflect on several questions. The first question is; what and whom do you value? Values are seen in what and in whom we invest our time, finances and resources.
The second question is; do you understand the value that you have? What does it profit for a man (or woman) to gain the whole world and lose his soul? God places great value on you because you are created in His image? Is this value reflected in how you treat your body? Do you treasure your mind, and the gifts and talents He has given you to develop for His glory?
The third question is; how do you value your loved ones and those around you? Do you speak well of such valuable creations of God?
Perhaps as we continue to ask for spiritual understanding as to the value of each person created in the image of God, we will clearly see our own unique value and be freed from the bondage of living our lives based on worldly values.