Matthew 18: 1 - 5, At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. NKJV
The disciples were being "childish" and fighting over who was the greatest among them. Consequently, Jesus used that occasion to teach them (and us) some powerful truths about children and God's view of them.
What is about children or being child-like that God loves so dearly and protects with great passion? He loves children, but He also loves the way they trust without having any strings or conditions applied to the recipient to which that trust is extended. Innocent trust is very precious to God, and He strives diligently to protect the willingness of children to trust without question. Parents teach their children not to trust everyone, and that not everybody is looking out for their best interest.
Since children are so vulnerable to becoming prey in the hands of someone evil, Jesus not only teaches us to become as a child, He also teaches on offenses as a warning. We live in a fallen world that is filled with evil and wickedness. Jesus wants us to be aware of offenses, while continuing to place our trust in God, lest we allow the attacks of our adversary to turn our hearts away from faith in God and become spiritually hardened.
Whenever a child or a believer stumbles or backslides from God because of the offense of someone dishonest, Jesus tells us that God takes such violations against the innocent very seriously.
Matthew 18 : 6 - 7, "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes! NKJV
Even though we become born again, it doesn't mean we won't experience offenses in our new walk with God. However, it does mean that through our faith, we don't have to go back into unbelief or revert to sin in order to get vengeance. We belong to the Lord, and He will fight our battles for us. We must continue to trust in Him, even though the offense was allowed to occur. Remember, the goal of Satan's use of offenses or injustice against us is to try and turn our hearts away from God.
Our church recently helped a ministry that reaches out to children who have been sexually abused and exploited by the very people who should be protecting them. This ministry works in Bulgaria with children and parents to educate them on the dangers of the sex-trade and predators. In that region of the world, it is a known fact that 80% of the children involved in Europe's sex trade come from Bulgaria. The parents are so poor that they can't afford to care for their children. The parents of the children are approached by people who promise to take their children and give them an education and "save" them from a life of hardship.
Once the children are removed from their family, homes, and villages, they are introduced to a life of slavery. Please pray for the children in Bulgaria, America, and around the world that are taken daily and sold into the sex trade industry. Jesus loves the little children of the world.
Reaching Out to Help the Hurting Children,
Pastor Asa Dockery