Sermons

Summary: Looking at the critical social issues of our day in light of perhaps the most compelling words Christ ever imparted to us “You are the salt… the light… world.”

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Continue in our series entitled Holding Out Hope For A Wounded World… a series I plan to conclude over the next couple of weeks… a series looking at the critical social issues of our day in light of perhaps the most compelling words Christ ever imparted to us “You are the salt… the light… world.”

- My passion is to help us discover how we can face these issues that so often overwhelm us and take hold of our role as salt of the earth… and light to the world… how we can take hold of hope in a world so easily given to cynicism.

- With that goal in mind this morning, I invite you to consider the topic of OUR CHILDREN… our very door of hope, and what GOD’S WORD world impart to us.

- I know many of you have looked forward to Leah and my 1st child in part because I’m sure to finally draw more illustrations from our child than our dog.

- The Lord impressed just such a transition on me last week: God… why did you give Golden Retrievers such eyes… expressions? And I sensed

- This would be impressed upon me again as I joined in the Promise Keepers men’s gathering at the L.A. Coliseum.

- At the close of the day…4000 teens filled the field… feelings rose in every man’s heart… I believe in part because every man knew the heartache… but I believe something else rose within us as well… something more powerful… we realized that there stood OUR DOOR OF HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.

- We knew the heartache, but we saw the hope.

- For a moment we stopped looking at the plight of today’s children and saying ‘Oh, No!’ and looked at the potential of today’s children, and dared to say ‘Let’s Go!’

- And I believe that’s God’s heart for us all

- Jesus provides such a Mode for seeing our children…

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People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16)

- Here we encounter one of the most beautiful points in the Gospel. Although told in only two verses, we can capture something of each of the characters involved.

- There are those who brought the children; almost certainly young Jewish mothers. It was common for them to have their child, after the age of one, blessed by a rabbi.

- No wonder they wished Jesus to lay his hands on them. They had seen what these hands could do; had seen them renounce disease, bring sight to blind eyes, bring peace to tormented minds… and they wanted to see such blessing upon these little lives.

- So they brought their children… and more accurately the verb used means “they kept on bringing” as many translations read.

- Now in come the disciples… they sound as if they were uncaring and cold… but in truth, it was their care for Jesus that was likely involved. They saw how tired he was and didn’t want to see him bothered.

- You can sense the emotions running high… parents pushing, tempers flaring, and innocent children as always are caught in the middle.

- At the center of it all we find Jesus and the children… reminded once again that Jesus is one that everyone liked to be around… including children. Far from the idea of one stoic or stern, we can imagine warmth found in smile and laughter.

- And perhaps most surprising of all, we remember Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem… to the Cross… and he knew it… the price of God’s love to re-establish His Kingdom… to reach lives was at hand. And it was at just such a time that he had time for children

- And Jesus didn’t use this as just an opportunity to enjoy and bless the children, he used it as an occasion to explain why…

- Why? Because a child’s disposition is inherently that which can receive the kingdom.

- Jesus knows they hold the qualities needed to know him… to know his Father.

o Humility… Although they may have playful exhibitionist flares, children don’t have the pretense and pride that an adult world nourishes.

o Dependence… for them dependence is perfectly natural. They never really think they can face life alone. They are perfectly content to be utterly dependent on those who love them and care for them.

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