Summary: “It is impossible to live life having not been offended, but woe to the person through whom they do come! It would be better for him that a millstone be tied around his neck and to be thrown into the sea, than to cause one of these ‘little ones’ to stumble.”
Happy “Refuge” Saturday, Everyone! 4/30/16
Not every child who starts out in church stays in church; in fact, the number of kids and young adults walking away from the faith is ever increasing as time moves on. Did you know (I did the research) that less than 1% of young people in the United States of America has a biblical worldview? So you ask, “What’s a biblical worldview”? Well, it’s the belief in: Absolute moral truth, the Bible doesn’t make mistakes, Satan is real, you can’t earn your way to heaven, Jesus Christ on earth was sinless, and God is the Supreme Creator of heaven and earth. That should be enough for now.
This Sunday’s lesson is in Luke 17:1-10 and is about Duty, Thankfulness, and the Kingdom. I hope I can get past the first 2 verses but there is soooooooooooo much wisdom from Jesus here that to understand it you have to read chapter 16 then continue through chapter 17 to the end. Yikes, this is deep, so I’ll just give you a hint of my lesson for Sunday.
Why are kids falling away from the faith? Well friends, an important factor in whether young people leave the church or remain in their faith is whether they feel safe to express their doubts and concerns regarding their faith BEFORE leaving home. For a child to believe in Jesus as a refuge and strength, they need to see it lived out in the home by, guess who …you, me, and us, in our living and in what we teach them. Churches and homes that don’t get past the pizza parties or Noah’s Arc shouldn’t be surprised when the children don’t mature into faithful, believing, trusting, confident, authentic, robe washed, blood bought, SAVED Christians. As a matter of fact, many turn Atheist from lack of proof. Parents can’t ignore the children or “tell” the children, they must “show” the children.
I’ll always cherish the time that one of my daughters came to me, in her 20’s, and told me that one of her fondest memories was when her and I sat in her room alone when she was 5 or 6 years old and I showed her with pictures and explained “Pentecost” how the Holy Spirit came onto the disciples as tongues of fire. I definitely choked back tears of joy after hearing that. Then later, another daughter painted a wonderfully powerful picture of the event in relationship with Isaiah 55:12 as the trees clapped their hands while tongues of fire sat upon them.
Now to the meat of the lesson. Luke 17:1, 2 says, “It is impossible to live life having not been offended, but woe to the person through whom they do come! It would be better for him that a millstone be tied around his neck and to be thrown into the sea, than to cause one of these ‘little ones’ to stumble.” This doesn’t necessarily have to be a child. It can be an immature person in the faith of any age. Friends have you ever seen or know of anyone that used to go to church, was offended by a person in the church, and left, not only the church but the faith? I have seen it, several times! Woe, to those who cause “anyone” to stumble! Whether it be the church, a friend, or a spouse or parent. Wow, there is a lot to think about until class, so remember that - Actions DO speak louder than words. Oh, by the way …LOVE and FORGIVENESS are Action Words!