Summary: Many things can keep you from the one thing.
Having it All But Missing Everything
Rev. Brian Bill
March 4-5, 2017
Many things can keep you from the one thing.
In what has been called the most shocking moment in the history of the Academy Awards, the Oscar for “best picture” was inadvertently awarded to the wrong movie. It turns out that the presenters, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, were given the wrong envelope.
This got pretty awkward when the filmmakers for the wrong movie began their acceptance speech for an award they had not won. The mistake wasn’t fixed for two and half minutes before the correct winner was called to the stage to receive the award.
Apparently, the head guy with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the longtime accounting firm for the Oscars, was so struck by all the celebrities surrounding him that he was tweeting pictures of himself with various stars just minutes before the mix-up. Many things kept him from the one thing. He has since lost his gig at the Oscars and is now receiving death threats. Something’s out of whack there, isn’t it?
In our passage today, we’re going to see two awkward moments in which those who look to be the least are celebrated as the winners and then we’ll focus on a celebrity who ends up losing everything because many things kept him from the one thing.
Last weekend we learned that marriage matters to the Master as we drilled down into the importance of leaving, cleaving, and weaving so that we don’t cause grieving.
It’s no accident that the very next passage deals with children. Malachi 2:15 links the importance of marital unity and the raising of godly children: “Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.”
Turn to Mark 10:13-16 where we see Jesus demonstrating four attitudes and actions towards children.
1. Bring your children to Jesus. Look at verse 13: “And they were bringing children to Him that He might touch them…” The idea here is that parents were continuously bringing their kids to Jesus, wanting Jesus to connect with them in a very personal way. We know from Luke 18:15 that this included infants. Parents and grandparents, do all you can to bring your children and grandchildren to Jesus. Pray for them every day. Read the Bible to them. Bring them to church and to AWANA and to Super Saturdays.
Sheila and her team have put together a very moving Easter experience called, “The Road to Resurrection.” Kids 5 years through 6th grade will travel the path Jesus journeyed during the days of His death, burial, and resurrection. They’ll taste the Passover meal, visit Barabbas in his jail cell, listen to a Roman soldier’s remorse, and hear an account of seeing the risen Savior from one of the men on the road to Emmaus. There will be music, drama, puppets, and an Easter gift bag for each child. 3-and 4-year-olds will have an Easter program and there will also be a nursery for all five services. It would be great if you could worship in one service with your guest and work in another. You can sign up through the digital bulletin on your app or stop by the child check-in desk.
The best way for you to bring children to Jesus is to make sure you’re growing yourself by plugging into a Growth Group and that you’re gathering with God’s people on a regular basis. If you’re a mom, consider attending Hearts at Home April 21-22. If you’re a dad or grandpa, join us at the Iron Sharpens Iron conference on April 1st.
2. Beware of attitudes that hinder children. Let’s pick up the last part of verse 13 and verse 14: “…and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, He was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.’” This is remarkable since the disciples had already been told to receive children in His name. The word for “rebuke” is quite strong. It refers to “sharply punishing.”
The disciples didn’t want Jesus to be bothered by kids but Jesus was more bothered by the disciples! In fact, He was “indignant” with them, which means “sorely vexed with great anger.”
D.L. Moody once returned from a preaching opportunity and reported two and a half conversions. His host asked, “Two adults and a child, I suppose?” Moody replied, “No, two children and an adult. The children gave their whole lives. The adult had only half of his left to give.” Children matter to Jesus! One Gallup study reports that 19 out of 20 people are saved before the age of 25. In God’s Oscars, it’s children who win the top prize.