Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sacrificing Our Children to the god of Self


"When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”  Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them." Mark 10:14-16


When the children were prevented from coming to Jesus, he was angry! Jesus knew the value of these precious little ones. He himself came to the world, born in a lowly stable, the King of Kings as a newborn babe. Not born in the finest castle, wrapped in robes of silk, but as a baby, nursed and carried in His mother's arms. To receive the Kingdom of God, we are to be always the Father's children, leaning on Him and relying on Him to carry us. God wants a pure and undefiled heart. He wants us to remain His children, just as Jesus instructed us to pray "Our Father..." (Matthew 6:9)

"And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”" Galations 4:6

God, ever the loving, perfect and holy Father, sent His son to be sacrificed for us. He loved us, His children, enough to sacrifice for us. This is the example of perfect, spotless love. This is the love we must show our children.

Children, more than ever, are sacrificed to our own gods and idols. Children are left alone or with others while we 'pursue our future.' They are sacrificed to materialism, busyness, selfishness and ignorance. God's precious creation, the heart of a child, is blemished, bruised and hardened through time by our careless, thoughtless treatment. 

Children have so much to teach us. To slow down, look at the flowers, birds, bees and all of God's creation. To snuggle, read, love and teach. If we allow them to soften our hard edges, we learn of God's love for us, His own children. God says "children are a blessing" and they are for so many reasons. They teach us about ourselves, sometimes bringing the ugliness in ourselves to the surface, they help to refine us and point us toward seeking the pure things of God.

God's little ones are often treated as "accessories" to our lives. Toted around in cars to this activity and that. Are they 'known' to us, their parents? Do they feel loved, cherished and known just for who they are? We are known to God, loved and cherished as His children. Each one of us is made in His image. Each little one is an image bearer of God, precious and loved. They bear a heart and soul that need to know God's love for them. Their little hearts were made to sing and often our own sinful, hard ways take that away from them. We reject them and in doing so, we reject the very heart of God.

"On the very day that they sacrificed their children to their idols, they boldly came into my Temple to worship! They came in and defiled my house." Ezekial 23:39

Children are shoved off quickly as they 'come of age', sent out of the house, to relieve us of the "burden" and to give us more 'time to ourselves.' So often it is that we truly cannot face ourselves, we are unwilling to sacrifice our own selfishness, forsake it, for the love of our children. How many times do we sacrifice our own children, God's gift, and then turn around and pray, ask Him for His blessings in our lives, or turn and go to church?

People spend so many years blindly worshiping idols, worshiping ourselves and the things we think make us 'important', in the meantime, our children's hearts are sacrificed to these gods. Riches and wealth, houses, hobbies, busy social lives and entertainment are a cheap substitute for what many are running from, and our children suffer.

"You worship your idols with great passion beneath the oaks and under every green tree. You sacrifice your children down in the valleys, among the jagged rocks in the cliffs." Isaiah 57:5

As we walk with our Heavenly Father, who holds us by the hand, guides us and heals our wounds to make us whole, only then can we show this love to our children. They long to see in our eyes a healthy, whole parent, one who sees them as a whole human being, worthy of our time and pure devotion. God holds us and slows us down to hear Him, we slow down to hold our children and hear them. We surrender ourselves to our Father's love and walk with Him day by day and our heart is opened to share this ultimate love with our children. It is willing to sacrifice for the little one that bears God's image, and the ones we are told to be like to inherit God's Kingdom.

It really is no sacrifice at all. That belief is just the lies and layers of the world that tell us that children are not worthy of devotion, sacrifice and investment. It is a blessing to the heart that knows they are worth it. It is a death to selfishness and the ultimate god we worship, self. God shows us the path of life, and we walk on it with our children. It is forsaking that which is not truly valuable and will pass away for that which is valuable and treasured in God's eyes. We sacrifice God's treasure, our children, for that which will eventually rot. May God give us His wisdom and grace to walk in His ways, and walk towards the eternal truths He gives.

May our children have the light, grace and purity of God in their eyes, as we invest in them and love them as God requires of us. That light, grace, and purity just might come back into our eyes, as we come to know our Heavenly Father in a new way.

"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort." 2 Corinthians 1:3

Prayer: "Lord, the world tells me to forsake my children and chase after it. Give me the wisdom and strength to forsake the world but gain my children's hearts for you. Show me your slow paths, that I may walk on them with my children, just as you walk with us, your beloved children. You guide us and teach us slowly and love us tenderly. Show me how to give this love to my children and in doing so, reflect the love you have for them. Amen."

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