6But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in and acknowledge and cleave to Me to stumble and sin [that is, who entices him or hinders him in right conduct or thought], it would be better (more expedient and profitable or advantageous) for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be sunk in the depth of the sea. Ė Matthew 18:6 (AMP)
Child hunger continues to be an issue today, even in such a wealthy and progressively modern world. Pictures of emaciated children serve its purpose in pulling at the strings of our hearts and consciences. Often times it leads us to a prayer, a monetary donation, and a word of encouragement to those who brave the archaic conditions to serve these children and maybe even sometimes, tears. Albeit, these are not the children I would like to discuss today.
Quiet yourself for a moment. If the Lord, in His gracious mercy, could show you a picture of your children, in the Spirit, what would you see? Would you see a child ravaged with hunger, on the brink of dying, not enough energy to lift his/her hands to fight the demonic forces swarming their faces waiting to consume them?
My Bible interpretation of choice is the Amplified Version. Much time and effort was placed into restoring lost words and translations. It offers more depth than some others I have. For instance, todayís Scripture. Letís compare it to the NIV:
6 ďIf anyone causes one of these little onesóthose who believe in meóto stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Matthew 18:6
There is a major difference here. Stumble in the Amplified says: stumble and sin [that is, who entices him or hinders him in right conduct or thought].
Right conduct or thought bears a weighty load. We are responsible for not hindering or enticing our children or otherís children for that matter, in right conduct or thought. This was not simply a gang of sticky fingered, dirty faced children, bum rushing Jesus; and the disciples trying to hold them back.
Letís look at the following verse.
7Woe to the world for such temptations to sin and influences to do wrong! It is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the person on whose account or by whom the temptation comes! Ė Matthew 18:7 (AMP)
These temptations are necessary. They are coming. We have been warned. What are we going to do about it? Woe to those who so nothing! You are as guilty as if you had done it yourself. Would you stand by and watch someone being beaten? Check yourself.
For the most part, we as parents work hard to give our children everything they want. We want them to have the best clothes, latest gadgets, cellphones, iPods, etc. We never want them to feel the pain of being bullied, or unpopular, or not fitting in. We want to protect them.
In todayís society, it is not an abnormal thing to have a parent so devoted to providing the ďfinerĒ things that they are never there. Sadly, before you know it, the one you were working so hard for, is no longer there.
I ask you, is that right conduct or thought?
What are you feeding your children? According to these Scriptures, we cannot blame the world.
No, you canít help what is on the television, but you can shut it off. You canít help what other girls are wearing, but there are tons of stylish choices for your daughter without allowing her out the door looking like a tramp. In the same token, you can teach your sons that the value of a woman is not based on her body.
Teach them to be an example instead of following what is out there. Whether you want to face it or not, whether you believe it or not: there is a very real battle in the spirit for your childís soul. You donít have to believe that to make it so. It is.
Nobody said it was going to be easy. Sports are not easy, losing weight is not easy, face the facts sister, putting on make-up and getting your hair right isnít easy; yet you lack none of the motivation you need to succeed in getting these things accomplished.
We shriek in horror, watch the programming, talk at the water coolers about the Casey Anthonyís of this world; and rightly so. It is appalling. But sometimes, I fear, we forget our place. This world is temporal. Eternity beckons! Is Heaven shrieking at our spiritual neglect of our children?
What are you feeding your children? There is no monetary donation here that can be made to ease your conscience. Heavenly things are not for sale, but they do cost you something: the price of giving up your will and your way of doing things. Easier said than done, isnít it?
Would you rest well tonight knowing that our military, was hungry, beaten down, weakened to the point of not being able to defend themselves let alone our country?
Why would you send your children out that way? Ask the Lord to show you that snapshot of your child. What does He see? What can you do? Donít let your child fade away with this world! Prepare them for Heavenly places!