11th March 2014

Recapturing True Values

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

We know the story well of how the disciples were stopping the children from coming to Jesus, which is recorded in three of  the gospels.  Two centuries later the actors may have changed, but the story remains the same and obstacles still seem to want to block our children from knowing and having a relationship with Jesus.  Some of those obstacles include: 

1) Media—the media clearly has a strong and complex influence upon how we understand our society, world, family and self. From news reporting and investigative journalism, to the broadcasting of soaps, dramas and films, they provide us with information and entertainment. Basically, they seek to enhance or influence our understanding of the world. Often in indirect ways, the media engages with us and affects our beliefs, values and fundamental commitments. Naturally, given the media’s increasing presence and influence within our world, there arise a host of ethical and social questions that need to be addressed. 

“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.’” (Mark 10:14) 

2) Science—most scientific studies of human development and behaviour deal with man as if he were a passive product of genetics and environmental factors. This deterministic approach is justified by the fact that each child is born with a particular body incorporating a nervous system. Also, that each mother has her own style of motherhood which is the result of her own life in a given society at a specific moment in history. Lastly, that surroundings affect all phases of development. 

“But 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.’” (Luke 18:16) 

It cannot be ignored that what a child becomes also depends  to a large degree upon their own creative activities, which are God-given.  The existence of free will probably can never be demonstrated specifically as science implies determinism. The Bible and our experience highlight that we are given free choice. 

Children differ of course.  Each, we hope, tends to select and/or make use of the environmental conditions best suited to their innate endowment.  Increasingly, children try to create a world, external and conceptual, in which to discover themselves and develop. Play is regarded as the chief method for securing their private reality. The child must first become a selector of the environment before he or she can move on to solving the problem. 

As parents, teachers, and mentors, we are to nurture, guide and protect our children. Like our heavenly Father, we give them everything we can to help them succeed in life. Some important gifts they need to combat the pressures of the age are a love of learning, the ability to make wise decisions and to know their God. By this, we are helping them to truly live. 

Prayer
Dear Father, thank you for our children and that you work with us to teach and provide for them. Help us each day to help them to see and know you more clearly. In Jesus’ name.
Amen
 

Study from David Gibbs

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bible2David Gibbs in an Elder and on the Pastoral Council in the Birmingham Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Birmingham
All Saints Church
George Road
BIRMINGHAM
B23 7QB

Meeting Time:
Saturday 1:00pm

Local Congregational Contact:
David Gibbs
Phone: 01213420609 (answer phone)
Mobile: 07974440580
Email: david_gibbs@wcg.org.uk

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