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Friday, April 27, 2012

Welcoming the Children in the Name of Jesus

    Today’s Reading:
  • Mark 9:30 - 10:12
  • Psalm 44:1 - 8
Read Bible Passages Online

Mark 9:30 - 10:12
The disciples of Jesus were arguing over which one of them was the greatest.  Jesus told them that it is he who serves all the others that is the greatest.  Jesus then tells them that those who welcome children in his name welcome him (9:37).

My study bible points out something important in understanding verse 9:37.  It says that children were not perceived the same way they are now -- adorable and innocent.  Instead they were perceived as weak and inferior, so those that were welcoming the children were serving what others saw as the weak and the inferior.

Of course we should still welcome our children in the name of Jesus.  Jesus knew what general society avoided realizing at the time -- children were not these weak, inferior creatures -- these children were blank slates and they were the future, and raising them in the name and love of Jesus would forever shape their lives and the lives of the people they would interact with throughout their journey through life.

Jesus then goes on to say that it is better to hang a millstone around your neck and be thrown into the sea than to cause one of these children to fall into sin (9:42).  Reading these verses make me realize that we do pass our sins along to our children.  All that we do and say is an example that our children tend to eventually follow.  This isn't true in all cases, of course, and some examples are more extreme than others.  The bottom line is that our children learn how to interpret and interact with the world from us.

So this reading makes me reflect on the examples I set for my children.  I certainly am trying to raise them in the Lord, more so now than ever before.  I try to pass along examples of kindness, generosity and open-mindedness.  But what else do I pass along?  What things do I struggle with that I don't want my children to be afflicted with?

I am thankful that I am undergoing this reflection of my life against the Word of God while my kids are still young.  I'll never be a perfect parent or a perfect example, but I can always aim to correct the areas where the examples I set are out of alignment with the examples that the Lord wants me to set for my children.  Thank you Lord!

Psalm 44:1 - 8 
6  I do not trust in my bow; I do not count on my sword to save me.
7  You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies; you disgrace those who hate us.
The bible is full of hard lessons for us to take in when we truly use it as a measure against our lives.  One of those lessons that pops up all over the place is learning to let the Lord fight our battles for us.  The things which we claim in our name name mean nothing at all and are soon lost.  The things obtained by the Lord are perfect and everlasting.

Conclusion
I am now about one-sixth of the way through!  I am so thrilled that the Lord has kept me on track for this long -- I have published a post each and every day for 116 days in a row!  I have had doubts about my ability to keep up with such an extensive project.  There are many times that I wish I could just read the bible on a given day instead of writing a post that publicizes all I am thinking.  But in the end I'm better off for it.  It forces me to truly reflect on what the bible is saying to me within a passage.

There are many days when I read a passage and I think, "What am I going to write about for this?"  And then I wind up writing a long post that really caused me to flesh out my feelings and expand upon what I read.  Today was one of those days.  I thank the Lord for seeing me through this far, and I pray that He keeps me on track and gives me the stamina to finish out this two year long project.

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