The other day I was thinking about several different teenagers my daughter goes to school with. During that time the words “Suffer the little children not” keep coming to my spirit. Each of the kids I was thinking about all has different circumstances surrounding their lives. Then I began to meditate of how we the body of Christ respond to children in our communities, schools and youth groups. Then I began to think about the plans that the Lord has for our church and the people he wants us to reach for his kingdom.
Matthew 19:1414” Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
When the disciples tried to turn the little children away, Jesus corrected them by telling them to not turn the children away. I then begin to ask the question, “Lord as the body of Christ, have we turned the little children away?” To turn away meaning judging the circumstances surrounding them or their mistakes, OR are we embracing these children in love? Are we speaking truth and hope into their lives? God’s word tells us in
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.
If we, the body of Christ, are not embracing the children with love and forgiveness, how are we to expect them to understand the love of the Father? If the body of Christ is humiliating, embarrassing, and tearing our children down by using and twisting the word of God to fit their agenda, how can we expect our future generations to understand and see the true love of God?
Gen 1:27 tells us “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them."
To be created in God’s own image, we are to love the way our Father loves, we are to forgive the way HE forgives, and encourage the way HE encourages.
Yes there are boundaries of protection over our children and accountability for choices and actions, however are we taking it to the extreme to cast out other youth? Are we using God’s words to fit OUR vision or are we seeing them through the eyes of God? As parents we set boundaries for our children, just as our Father God sets boundaries for us all, BUT Jesus embraces his children, ALL his children. He does not condemn or judge (remember he tells us he came to save the world not judge the world) or walk away from them.
Are we as the body of Christ so concerned with where we fall on the social status ladder or are we truly concerned for the spiritual growth of ALL God’s children? Where does God ever say in his word that we are to only reach out to certain types of children, a certain denomination and ones that seems to have an ideal home life? Or ones whose mistakes we in the natural may deem forgivable? Are we truly witnessing to God’s children or are we, the body of Christ, using God’s word to manipulate them to see things “our” way?
Don’t condone the sin but don’t condemn the child! Jesus never condemns his children and to be more like him we are to LOVE not condemn.
No one is perfect. Each of us is a work in progress!!!
6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus
God has started a work in each and every one of us. He knew when we would fall down in this life, he knew when we would soar high, he knows every valley we will walk and every mountain top we will stand on. And yet he continues to embrace and love us all unconditionally!!!
Joyce Meyer once said “When people make mistakes, don’t make them feel rejected, but go the extra mile to make them feel forgiven, accepted-and free.
I encourage you all to “embrace” the children and love them as our Father God loves us all!