Archive for the ‘Church Life’ Category

Go, Send…or Disobey

Our Purpose and Mission…the Nations

It has been heard said on more than one occasion in Southern Baptist church’s “Who is the Lottie Moon and when will we get her paid off?” Although it may be a funny premise, the truth is that she won’t be paid off until the Lord returns! The Lottie Moon offering for International Missions is the yearly offering taken up by Southern Baptists for the purpose of world evangelization. Every dollar given to LM goes directly to the foreign mission field. Not one penny is kept for other causes. Our church celebrates this offering in a wonderful and unique way in and that we will designate one evening for an in gathering of our offering and as a church we will bring our gift to the alter and as a church family offer it to the Lord and to the cause of world missions. I love how we do this! As we all are beginning to pray about and focus on what the Lord would have us to give I thought I would offer some statistics to help direct our thoughts and prayers.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s Great Commission Resurgence Task Force reported that some 6 billion of the 6.8 billion people in the world are without Christ and over 3.5 billion have never heard the Gospel. In North America alone, 258 million are lost. In the unevangelized world, there are 20,500 full-time Christian workers and 10,200 foreign missionaries. In the evangelized non-Christian world, there are 1.31 million full-time Christian workers. That means we have apx one million Christian workers devoted to penetrating the darkness. However, when you consider the 6 billion that need Jesus then you begin to get an idea of the great need. Also, understand that in those statistics there is no distinction between and evangelical witness and that of someone who may not truthfully present the gospel. In SOuthern Baptist life we have a little over 5000 full time vocational missionaries on the field. This is startling! We must set our faces like flint towards the task of reaching the nations! We have the answer and we have the means of getting it done! THen what is the problem? Why is it “The least of these” are often the least on our thoughts and efforts? Well, for one thing the devil hates missions! He will do anything and everything to stop it. He will convince us that we cannot give and we must not go. This is a lie and a deception – The church has been called to GO! In fact, God has COMMANDED IT! God will never call His people to a task that He has not also equipped and empowered them to accomplish. SOmetimes we are just apathetic or to busy to think or act. Here is the reality that faces us…Hell is real, the lost will spend an eternity confined to it in suffering and separation, The Lord Jesus died so they would not have to, and the church has been given the mandate to make the story known! It is our privilege, honor and responsibility to do so. We really can make a difference. You can really make a difference. Give to Lottie Moon, support the Cooperative Program, support our own short term mission efforts in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, better yet – Go on mission! All of these efforts are what we are called to – it is our MISSION. One man summed it up this way – “We give, we send, we go, or…we disobey, these are our choices” AMEN and AMEN! I pray God will grant you and yours a joyous and blessed Christmas – and may we all be reminded that we go… because He gave! It is our mission, it is our purpose. Here is a video to help us focus on the need and the call!

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Clarification Please?

Lately I have been going back and forth with some folks on another blog which is known for it’s anti SBC stand (although it’s author is a SBC pastor) concerning just what is the nature of the gospel. There are some commenting on that blog that one can be a Mormon or Jehovahs Witness and still be a Christian. One poster stated that the only thing that really matters is love and that is the subjective actions of love towards others that saves us daily. My answer to this and other extra biblical claims…HOGWASH! Did I make that clear enough…if not let me say it again but this time a little clearer…H O G W A S H !

But equally concerning are the comments of those who believe that our salvation is either earned or perhaps actually validated by our actions and works. What this shows us is that there needs to be a clarification of the gospel in todays church. I am glad that the church in which I serve is very clear about this. We believe that salvation comes when we place our faith in Christ alone trusting Him alone for our forgiveness. There is no other name in which we can be saved and our salvation is based upon the precepts of scripture and not our own subjective approach to man made religion. I had posted a video some time back concerning the gospel but I think it is good to post it again. Dr. Moore does a wonderful job clarifying just what is the gospel. He will share with us that it is not:

1. Our good works

2. Our religious duty

3. Our own morality

4. Our own right standing

Our salvation is only found in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross where He paid the price for our sins thus appeasing the holy wrath of God so that we now have been reconciled by His blood. Three days later He was gloriously raised from the dead thus defeating death, hell and the grave! Thats the Gospel – Thats the good news! The Mormons do not teach it, the JW’s do not teach it…and apparently some very confused baptist are not teaching it…

 

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A Word On Alcohol

Recently a firestorm in the baptist blog world has arisen over the use of alcohol in moderation. Without getting neck deep in all of this let me simply say that my position is one of total abstinence and I am very surprised that this has even become an issue in SBC life. I do not believe it to be a real issue in our church’s, yet I do understand that we have people who drink…some in excess. This has always been the case and I assume will always be. I have placed for you’re reading pleasure a blog entry by Dr. Danny Akin, President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a former professor of mine at the Criswell College, concerning his position on the whole matter. I find myself in great agreement with Dr. Akin although I readily admit that I have not dealt with the details in the same way he has. Perhaps I need to…

May we all agree that we should do nothing that would dishonor our Lord and bring reproach to His great name! I think we can all drink to that! A nice cold Dr. Pepper for me…or if I am feeling particularly feisty – a “Full Throttle” Energy drink!

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DR AKINS ARTICLE  

The Case for Alcohol Abstinence

Oct 14th, 2010 by Daniel Akin Print This Post

I readily confess to a personal bias when it comes to the issue of alcohol.  My wife Charlotte grew up in the Georgia Baptist Children’s Home because her parents were alcoholics.  Her father died a lost alcoholic.  Her mother, by God’s grace, was saved on her death bed.  Her body had been ravaged by the twin killers of alcohol and tobacco.  Today her sister and brother are lost alcoholics as is most of the rest of her family.  My sister Joy and her husband Kevin King adopted a daughter born with fetal alcohol syndrome.  She began life with two strikes against her through no fault of her own.

Today there are more than 40 million problem drinkers in America.  Alcohol is the number one drug problem among teenagers.  One in three American families suspects that one or more family members have a drinking problem.  Misuse of alcohol costs our nation $100 billion a year in quantifiable cost.  Because of these experiences and many more, I have often said that even if I were not a Christian I would have nothing to do with alcohol.  There is simply too much sorrow and heartache connected to it.  Avoiding this devastating drug is simply the wise thing to do.

This year at our Convention we again passed a resolution calling for abstinence from alcohol.  The resolution passed overwhelmingly, but it did generate significant debate both during and after the Convention.  Some have accused those supporting the resolution of being pharisaical and legalistic, traditionalist and anti-biblical.  It is said that we fail to understand Christian liberty and freedom, and that we even stand against Jesus.  These are strong accusations from fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.  However, are they correct?  Are those like myself who believe abstinence to be the best lifestyle choice really guilty of these charges?  Let me respond as graciously and kindly as I possibly can, explaining why I hold the position I do.  I share my heart with no malice or ill will toward anyone, but from a desire to honor the Lord Jesus, and to protect others from the evils alcohol has visited on so many.

We should remember from a Baptist perspective that there are historicalprecedents for affirming abstinence.  In 1886 Southern Baptists issued their first resolution on alcohol.  Since then there have been almost 60 resolutions that in a united voice have addressed the risk of alcohol and the wisdom of abstinence.  For 120 years Southern Baptists have made clear their stand on this issue.  Individual Baptists no doubt continue to take a drink as they had before 1886, but the Southern Baptist Convention as a whole has been crystal clear on where it stands for a long time.  I am confident that our forefathers understood the issue of Christian liberty as they passed these resolutions.  I am grateful for this tradition.  I believe we should continue it.

There are moral reasons for affirming abstinence.  John Piper teaches the wisdom of abstinence because alcohol can be a mind-altering drug, and it can be addictive.  It does not help one in doing the will of God and can genuinely be a hindrance.  Further, he notes “the carnage of alcohol abuse” and therefore chooses to boycott such a product.  He then adds, “is it really so prudish, or narrow to renounce a highway killer, a home destroyer, and a business wrecker.”  Some questions are in order and deserve an answer.  Does alcohol make me a better person?  Does alcohol draw me closer to God?  Does alcohol help me run the race faithfully to the end (Heb. 12:1-2)?

Some respond by saying the issue is not abstinence but moderation.  They draw an analogy to both eating and sex.  There is however a significant difference.  We must eat to live.  We must engage in sex to procreate.  Alcohol is not a necessity for life or good living.

I am in total agreement with my spiritual hero Adrian Rogers who said, “Moderation is not the cure for the liquor problem.  Moderation is the cause of the liquor problem.  Becoming an alcoholic does not begin with the last drink, it always begins with the first.  Just leave it alone.”  My friend James Merritt wisely says, “It is impossible to be bitten by a snake that you never play with.”  Alcoholism cannot strike unless it is given the opportunity.  That potential becomes real with the first drink that one takes.

There are biblical reasons for practicing abstinence.  Let me quickly note several. 1) It is consistent with the principle of edification (1 Cor. 6:12).  Alcohol does not build you up or make you better for Jesus.  Avoiding it ensures you will not harm yourself with it.  2) It is consistent with the principle of refusing that which enslaves (1 Cor. 6:12).  Alcohol is a drug that can impair the senses and has a potential addictive element.  Like addictive pornography, it should be avoided at all cost.  3) It is consistent with the ethic of love for believers and unbelievers alike (1 Cor. 8:13; 9:19-22; 10:32-33).

Because I am an example to others, I will make certain no one ever walks the road of sorrow called alcoholism because they saw me take a drink and assumed, “if it is alright for Danny Akin, it is alright for me.”  No, I will choose to set an uncompromising example of abstinence because I love them.  4) I will seek my joy and filling in the Spirit not in alcohol.  I love the Phillips translation of Ephesians 5:18 which reads, “Don’t get your stimulus from wine (for there is always the danger of excessive drinking), but let the Spirit stimulate your souls.”  Psalm 4:7-8 adds, “You [O Lord] have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.  In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”  5) It is true Jesus drank wine, and I am sure I would have had I lived in the first century.  However, there is no evidence that he ever partook of “strong drink.”

As Bob Stein has carefully documented, “The term “wine” or oinos in the ancient world, then, did not mean wine as we understand it today but wine mixed with water… To consume the amount of alcohol that is in two martinis by drinking wine containing three parts water to one part wine [a fairly common ancient ratio], one would have to drink over twenty-two glasses.  In other words, it is possible to become intoxicated from wine mixed with three parts water, but one’s drinking would probably affect the bladder long before it affected the mind.”  It should also be noted that children would have drank this diluted mixture of water and wine.  It seems clear that there is no one-to-one correspondence with first century wine and twenty first century distilled liquor.  Concerning the latter I believe the Lord Jesus would have no part.

Let me conclude with some practical considerations.  Should those who practice abstinence look down on those who do not?  The answer is an unqualified no.  That is pride and therefore is sin.  It is true that alcohol has contributed to many going to hell, but pride, no doubt, has done so in even greater numbers.  A smug, prideful abstainer without Jesus is just as lost as the poor drunkard who is always in search of another drink.  Those who believe in abstinence should be gracious and humble, kind and caring, loving and patient.

As a pastor or church leader, would I demand abstinence for church membership?  No, I would not.  Would I demand it for leadership?  Absolutely!  The principle of Proverbs 31:4-5 is appropriately applied here, “It is not for Kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.”

I agree with John MacArthur.  Can I say it is always a sin to take a drink?  No.  Can I say it is almost always unwise?  Yes, because it violates the biblical principles of wisdom and witness.  One of America’s leading pastors is Andy Stanley.  He wrote a book entitled The Best Question Ever.  That question is this, “What is the wise thing for me to do?”  I challenge anyone to show me the superior wisdom of drinking “in moderation,” as opposed to not drinking at all.  This is not legalism but love.  This is not being anti-biblical but pro-brother and sister.  This is not working for evil but for good.  Given the world in which we live I believe such a lifestyle honors the Lord Jesus.  I believe it pleases Him.  Without question it is the wise thing to do.

Worship Wars

Thought I would repost this – it was sent to me by a preacher friend in Georgia. It is
certainly gris for the worshipers mill!

Worship Wars Erupt When We Put Style Over Substance

Posted on 2009/09/06 by Tim Jeske

By Guest Writer: Alexandra Armstrong

This article was featured in the Saturday (9/5) edition of the Dubuque Telegraph Herald. The author is a featured writer for the Religion column. I say, “Kudos Alexandra!”. She graciously provided permission to post this here.

Have the worship wars come to your church? My husband and I don’t have to go to church to disagree about music — we can argue about it at home.

Gary and I are six years apart in age but a generation apart in our musical tastes. There’s not a Gaither Homecoming CD Gary doesn’t own, a Homecoming friend he doesn’t love or a Gaither song he doesn’t know. Saturday nights are a Gaither-fest at our house since they come on three channels consecutively. When Gary drives us to church, there’s no discussion about what we’ll be listening to in his car. It’s all Gaither, all the time.

I think of Bill Gaither as Christianity’s Lawrence Welk. I like more contemporary Christian music. I listen to Travis Cottrell for taking walks and Mandisa for driving. I can clean my whole house in 30 minutes listening to Toby Mac because his music hits my happy-mood button. Gary says Toby Mac hits his headache button after 30 seconds.

The one thing Gary and I agree on is that neither of us expects our style preferences to play a role in the congregational worship music of our church. We have 167 hours each week to listen to the music we’re partial to. For one hour a week we can manage to forget ourselves. Church worship wars exist when God’s people refuse to do that.

Worship is about focus. Our singular focus as a gathering of God’s people is to magnify him and bless his heart. Period. The moment we institute a policy of catering to the style preferences of a particular generation (whether young or old) or we use worship music to lure potential converts, we’ve put our worship focus on the creature rather than the Creator.

That’s the very definition of idolatry. Good intentions are no defense for idolatry.

I fear the evangelical church has missed the point of worship by focusing on style over substance. One generation builds a doctrine that drums are tossed up to Earth from hell. Another generation deludes itself that God is honored when their elder’s sensitivities are dishonored. Neither generation is tripping over themselves to prefer one another in Christ as Scripture commands.

I used to believe the solution to the generational worship divide was to have a separate service for each style. Now I believe this only reinforces a burger mentality in God’s people — who expect to have worship their way. It might give God the impression we don’t think the unity he thinks so much of is worth our effort.

We need to move the discussion past the style of worship music and on to the substance of it. Has anyone noticed how self-exulting our songs have gotten? We’ve moved from “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” to “I Am a Friend of God” and from “I Know Whom I Have Believed” to “I Know Who I Am.” Yikes.

Worship is to be selfless. Ditto for marriage — which is why I’ll be with Gary at the Gaither concert at Five Flags next Saturday.

Wherever you are at this Sunday – no matter what you sing – I pray it is with a heart directed towards Him and that the songs you sing are not only inspirational – but also biblical!

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Revival and Me

Beginning on September 26th our church will host 4 days of revival meetings.

We will be blessed to have leading us Dr. Jim Richards, the executive director of the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention. Dr. Richards is also our former associational missionary here in NWABA and known by many of us. As we approach these series of meetings God has placed on my heart our real need for corporate revival. I sense a hunger and longing for greater intimacy with the Lord and a profound desire for His manifested presence in our corporate gatherings.

It is my understanding of revival history and church history that corporate revival is something that takes place when we as individuals seek a great move of God in our own personal lives. The culmination of our doing this as individuals finds fruition in what God is seemingly doing in our congregational meetings. Certainly we all long to see many saved, but revival is more about you and me getting our hearts and lives in alignment with the heart of God and the life of His dear Son.When this takes place people are drawn in greater numbers to the cross and salvation. When revival comes people get right with one another, they pray more, they fast, they witness, they give more, not only of their finances but also of their time and talent. When revival comes people love more – they love Jesus and others in a greater capacity!

What is a good definition of revival? The following definitions serves a great purpose in teaching us what revival really is and perhaps what it is not:

“Revival is that sovereign work of God in which He visits His own
people, restoring and releasing them into the fullness of His
blessing.” – Robert Coleman

“Revival is a return to spiritual health after a period of decline
into sin and broken fellowship with God… Revival is for God’s people
when they need to be forgiven and restored to life, spiritual health,
and vitality” -Blackaby & King (Fresh Encounter, Lifeway, 1993)

“Revival is an extraordinary work of the Holy Spirit producing
extraordinary results.” – Richard Owen Roberts

My own definition is this – “Revival is God working in and through me
in a fresh and powerful way in which the joy and purpose of my
salvation is made fully known, not only to me, yet to those around me”

Look in the Bible. Notice how many times it says, “me” or “us” when
speaking of revival. Here are some examples:

Psalm 119:156: “Great are Thy mercies, O Lord; Revive me according to
Thine ordinances”

Psalm 119:37: “Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, And revive me
in Thy ways.”

Psalm 119:88: “Revive me according to Thy lovingkindness, So that I
may keep the testimony of Thy mouth”

Psalm 85:6: “Wilt Thou not Thyself revive us again, That Thy people
may rejoice in Thee?”

Habbakuk 3:2: “Lord, I have heard the report about Thee and I fear. O
Lord, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, In the midst of the
years make it known; In wrath remember mercy”

Like the old song says, “It’s me, it’s me O Lord, standing in the need
of prayer.”

Revival begins with and ends with me. Would you join me this month in
praying for and seeking revival in your own life and the life of
your church. These are desperate times and the need is as great as it
has ever been – Lord send REVIVAL – and let it begin in me!

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“Radical” by David Platt – A Review

I have been changed and challenged by David Platt’s book “Radical” In our church not only is our staff reading it, but we are calling our people to read it also as our staff shares it with individuals and asks them to return it when they are done so that we can continue to share it with others. It is an approach to discipleship with the end in mind of likewise challenging our folks and key leaders in our church to abandon the American dream for the glory of God and the embrace of the gospel! I have included Frank Gantz’s review of Radical for your information and with the hope that you will grab a copy and read it for yourself!

When I picked up this book to begin reading it, I half expected to glance through a book with some of the typical Christian talk about being all you can be. Instead I found myself being challenged to my core and desiring to follow Jesus like never before.

David Platt is the young pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama. I have been hearing much about him and his ministry, but have not had any direct connection to his work. In Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, Platt strikingly contrasts the choice that American Christians have to make. Either we pursue the American Dream or we pursue Following Jesus. Too often we have mingled these competing visions. This union of the two naturally leans toward the American dream.

Platt does not merely provide preachy exhortation. He lays a solid foundation of the gospel and what it means to believe the gospel. In fact, if you want to understand what the gospel is, then this book is worth whatever price you might pay.

Platt also provides fantastic anecdotal accounts of the gospel being lived by people in the United States and throughout the world. At the end of the book he spells out a 5 step one-year challenge. The steps are both simple but profound. I have definitely been impacted, and believe that in a year I will be changed for the better.

Without question, this is the most moving and the best book I have read in years. To get your copy from Amazon, click on one of the titles (Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream) or on the book image above.

Pick up a copy of ‘Radical’ and be changed!

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Vacation Bible School, Children, and the Gospel

I love Vacation Bible School! There, I said it! I readily admit that I am one that believes that if our church’s would have VBS every week we would experience God in a fresh new way. Of course we would…we would die from exhaustion and would be with him in the big VBS in the sky!!! Seriously though, I really do believe that VBS is an essential ministry in our church’s today and the wise Pastor will lead his church not only to participate in VBS, but he will be a part of it himself. This past week our church has been holding VBS during the evening hours. We have had a record number of children and workers and God has been so good to us by allowing us to minister to them and have a blast while doing it. VBS has changed over the years. In the past VBS was held in the morning hours, involved a minimum amount of curriculum, was taught and led by moms and ladies who were stay at home workers (the majority of the community) was heavy on crafts and was rabidly evangelistic! Today, we have kept our evangelistic edge, however the majority of schools are held in the evening due to working moms, it is theme driven, music is the driving force, decorations and thematically converting ones church into the theme of the week is the norm, and much organization and effort is required. Although the look and time of VBS has changed through the years, one thing remains the same … VBS is committed to telling children about Jesus Christ and the difference He makes in your life.

The bible expressively teaches that we are to reach out and minister to children. Jesus repeatedly spoke to the issue of childlike faith and the stewardship we have towards children. This comes form the Jewish tradition and worldview that it is the responsibility of adults and indeed parents to instill spiritual truth in their little lives. I have had well intentioned folks say to me “Are we not ‘indoctrinating’ these children?” “Should we not let them discover these things on their own?” The answer is yes and no. Yes we are indoctrinating them. We are called to indoctrinate them. God would have us to pour our doctrine and teachings into their little lives so that they may make a responsible informed decision when God begins to draw them. We are not to let them simply stumble upon truth. We are to do do all we can, any way we can, every way we can to get the truth to children and instruct them in the ways of God and His plan for their life.

6And(G) these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7(H) You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8(I) You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9(J) You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Duet 6:6-9

but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14

Now children and their world can be messy. They break things, they redesign walls, The often times push all the stress buttons and they are ALWAYS loud! However, they are joyful, fun, full of laughter and they have the ability to make us feel very young and very old all at the same time! At the end of the day, we love children and thank God for the opportunity to serve the Lord through serving them.

One thing I must stress however. When we are sharing the gospel with children, we must always be careful to share the whole gospel. It is so easy to present a watered down version of the gospel because we think children are to young to grasp or comprehend the words of Jesus. When presenting the gospel to children we must remember to teach them that salvation does not come because we raise our hand, repeat a prayer or “go down front’ with our friends. Salvation is Gods free gift to us when we respond by faith to Him in believing on His son and trusting Him and Him alone to forgive us. They must know that Jesus bore their sins on the cross. They must know that repentance and faith are necessary. They must know that when Jesus calls us to follow Him, He calls us to a life of abandonment and that we are to walk in the steps of the master all of our days. They need to know that their righteousness is that of Jesus and Jesus alone and nothing of their own merit. They need to know that the indwelling Spirit of God will transform their lives into the likeness of Christ and the life of a believer is a different life, a holy life, a life that is like Jesus! The ability to live this life comes form our understanding that we cannot live it on our own accord or effort, but that the grace of God compels us to a higher standard and that Jesus has taken on himself the punishment of when we fall short of it. In other words, they must know that being a Christ follower means following Christ. That forgiveness is not based on just a decision, but it is trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross and our relationship with God through His Son. Simply put…if we are going to teach children the gospel…teach them the whole gospel. Singing the “ABC” song will not get you to heaven…but union with Christ will!

Will they understand it you may ask? Jesus said they would…and we are to teach it to them until they are old enough to comprehend it and apply it to their own lives. Perhaps one of the reasons we are loosing 8 out 10 teenagers once they reach the age of 18 is because we have, although well intentioned, presented a half gospel to them as children. May we reclaim the simplicity and power of the gospel and teach it to young and old alike!

Read the following rendition of a familiar story and be blessed. Love your children, enjoy your children, teach your children the wonderful, life changing gospel!

Everyone in the small town by the lake was excited. Everyone was talking about Jesus, the Messiah. They had heard about the marvelous stories that He told, He taught about God’s Love, and preformed wonderful miracles. Jesus was going to Jerusalem and He was stopping here in their little town. Everyone wanted to see the miracles with their own eyes. They wanted to hear His stories first hand. Everyone wanted just to be in His presence.
When the mothers heard that Jesus was in their town they stopped their cooking. When the fathers heard, they stopped working in their fields or put down their fishing nets. A large group of parents decided to bring their children with them. They wanted Jesus to bless their children.

When they finally reached the place where Jesus was a dreadful thing happened. They could not get near Jesus! Everyone from town was there. Finally the parents and children managed to get close to Jesus, but Jesus’ disciples stopped them. “What are you doing here with all of those children?” asked a disciple. “We came in hopes that Jesus will bless our children,” replied a father. “You must go away now,” insisted the disciple. “Jesus does not have time for children. He is very busy talking with important people.” The parents sadly turned away, and started to leave.

But suddenly a gentle voice could be heard saying “DO NOT TURN THE CHILDREN AWAY.” It was the voice of Jesus. He had heard what the disciple had told the parents. Jesus heard everything even when a big crowd of people were around Him. “Bring the children to Me,” Jesus continued. The crowd moved back to let the children through to Jesus. The parents followed behind. Jesus held out His arms and hugged each one of the little children. He gently touched each one, from the youngest to the oldest child. The children made Jesus smile and laugh. “I wish everyone were like little children, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these,” Jesus said, and then He placed His hands on each child and blessed them.

(This story was inspired from the Bible Story in Matthew 19:13;
Mark 10:13-16; and Luke 18:15-17)

The Little Children and Jesus ~ Luke 18:15-17

15People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

…following…