09.14.20 | Youth Ministry | by Lauren Shaddix

    READ: Matthew 18:1-6 & Mark 9:33-37

    THOUGHT: In Mark, Jesus is the one that brings this conversation up by asking His disciples what they had been talking about earlier out on the road….uh-oh.  Maybe they thought He wasn’t paying attention.  Oh but Jesus knows it all, He hears us, all of our words, He sees it all.  So Jesus uses this child to help His self-centered disciples get the point—that we are not to be childish (like the disciples, arguing over petty issues), but that we are to be childlike, with humble, dependent, and sincere pure hearts. 
    In what areas of your life are you self-centered?


    APPLY IT:  The disciples had become so busy with the organization of Jesus’ earthly kingdom, that they had lost sight of the earthly kingdoms purpose.

    Instead of looking for a way they could serve, the disciples were looking to see who would have the “best” position.  The disciples got so caught up in their constant struggle for personal success, they were embarrassed to answer Jesus’ question.  It is painful sometimes to compare our motives with Christ, but it’s good for us to compare.  It is not wrong for us to be ambitious, but when ambition and future dreams push aside obedience and service to Jesus, this is sin.  Pride or insecurity inside of us causes us to overvalue position and importance.  But in God’s Kingdom, these motives are destructive.  Serving others is real leadership.  Jesus described leadership from a new perspective.  Instead of using people, we are to serve people, to love people with our service to them.  Think about this!!!  Jesus’ entire mission was to SERVE.  Jesus’ entire mission was to serve people, to the extent of giving His life away for people!!!!  A real leader has a servant’s heart—because this is our LORD, this is who He is!  It is so easy to lose our eternal and heavenly perspective, to lose our eternal and spiritual mindset, to lose our spiritual words, to lose our heavenly behavior….AMEN?  But why?  Because we operate in the natural, instead of, the Spirit. (Spiritual).  Natural vs. Spiritual.  The physical world we live in…our world says we are always supposed to be competing for status, or popularity, or “best” position—we the church, we do this too.  BUT our Father in Heaven says to live in Spirit—not to follow the flesh, but to follow Spirit.  We don’t follow after the desire to attain status, or popularity, or the “best” position—we follow the Spirit of God, where He leads us.  We who are actually children of our Father in Heaven, we live in Spirit, living lives led by the Holy Spirit.  For example: “Okay Spirit, you want me to buy their gas?  You sure you want me to do that God? Okay, then I will do that Spirit”.   We no longer live our lives led by what the world says we should do, or the Father of lies, who rules this world—we ask the Spirit, He tells us, and we obey—daily.  AND the Spirit drops something in our head for us to do, or say, and we say, “Spirit, are you sure?  You sure you want me to give them my $40?”  Spirit says yes, so we obey and keep going, trusting, and watching God work.  It is difficult, but healthy, to identify as “children”—weak and dependent people with no status or influence; they are truly just led by their parents.  This needs to be us—“children” who are led by our Father in Heaven.  We must allow ourselves to be led by God, the Holy Spirit, inside of us, led like children.  Children are trusting by nature.  Because they trust adults, they are easily led to faith in what the adults are saying, doing, and leading them to.  In this exact way, God leads us with His Spirit.  We are body, soul, and Spirit.  All throughout scripture God tells us to be led by the Holy Spirit.  Let God’s Spirit lead you.
    Let’s learn from the disciples’ error here—let’s not become so busy with the organization of Jesus’ earthly kingdom (Ex: focused on religion), that we lose sight of the earthly kingdoms purpose:  to serve our LORD Jesus. 


    PRAY:  God holds parents and all adults accountable for how they influence these little ones.  Jesus warned that anyone who turns little children away from faith in Him will receive severe punishment.  Jesus taught the disciples to welcome children.  This was a new approach in a society where children were usually  treated as second-class citizens.  It is important not only to treat children well but also to teach them about Jesus!!  Children’s ministries should never be regarded as less important than those for adults.  Pray for children.  Pray for parents.  Pray for ourselves to truly be led by the Spirit of God inside of our bodies.  Pray that we do what scripture says and we "be filled with the Holy Spirit".  Ask that we obey the Spirit, by following the Spirit and not following our own flesh, or world thinking.  Pray that we teach Jesus not to just children but to those around us. Pray that we are childlike, trusting, with humble, dependent, and sincere pure hearts. 


    *If you have any questions— I am here.  We are here to answer questions and to lead you to the Lord by His instructions and Word.  If you would just like to talk about the things of God, I am here :)  Lauren: 281-636-8635 

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