Being a father is one of the greatest joys I have ever known. I can relate to what the Apostle John said in his letter to his friend Gaius: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
Interestingly enough, Gaius was not John’s son. And yet, rightfully so, John saw him as a “spiritual son” for whom he held the highest regard and affection.
Our church has always had a heart and calling for children and young families. I believe, like people, churches have a God-ordained purpose and gifting. From the very beginning (our church started in 1967 with a VBS in the Toledo City Park) God has made it clear that we are join Him in reaching out to families and particularly young children.
As we approach our 50th year as a beacon of light in our community, it would be good and right for us to look back and remember with thankfulness the many blessings God has brought into our lives as we have been faithful to follow Him. The hundreds of little faces that have learned the good news that Jesus loves them should come to memory as we think back over these 50 years of ministry.
This Sunday, we will talk not only about the joy of being a father to our own children, but we will also talk about the joy that John felt toward his “other” children. On Father’s Day and the eve of Vacation Bible School, I can’t think of anything more appropriate to set our hearts on.
Join me Sunday! And bring dad with you!!
I love you all,
PREPARING FOR SUNDAY: SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS
Small Group Questions
An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him.
Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all–he is the greatest.” – (Luke 9:46-48)
- Based on this passage, how would you say that children were viewed in that time? Has that changed in today’s culture?
- Babies are cute – well, most of them… but are they important? Why or why not?
- How do we demonstrate the value of children in our culture today?People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them.
When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. – (Mark 10:13-16)
- What are some attitudes or actions that prevent people from coming to Jesus?
- What can children contribute to God’s kingdom?
- How can you show that you care about people whom the world considers to be unimportant?
Take a closer look at how the passage ends in verse 16:
And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. – (Mark 10:16)
We see three verbs that describe Jesus’ actions toward the children (took, put, blessed).
Jesus didn’t just briefly touch the children; he took them into His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them. He valued them, even though the world saw them as unimportant and insignificant.
- How can we receive God’s kingdom like a little child?
- How does God expect us to see other people?Seeing others the way Jesus did requires us to have a completely different mind-set. We learn how to have that mind-set by spending time with Jesus. Jesus affects the way we think about everything.
Joining God where He is at work means setting aside our preconceived notions about what we or the culture values and focus on what He values. Today, ask the Lord for a clear understanding of how you can invest in the lives of others. And be prepared to experience the same joy as the Apostle John when he said,
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
- How can we pray for you?