Sometimes the circumstances of this world seem to do anything but esteem and treasure children as God’s blessing. I personally struggle with the terrible things that happen to children, but God’s word tells us that whether or not men and women in this world esteem and treasure children, God does. The eyes of the Lord are on His little ones because they are esteemed and treasured in His eyes. I hope this devotional blog post encourages you to trust in the tender compassion of God loving children.
Read Mark 9:33-50
“Whoever welcomes one of these little ones in My name welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me does not welcome Me but the one who sent Me.”
“And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would have been better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck.”
Nothing has caused me to fear more than fear for my children – to lose them, disease to strike them, them to fall prey to evil men… You name it when it comes to my three daughters, I have feared. Mark 9:33-50 gives me a glimpse of how God esteems and treasures children: my children, your children, children forced into evil situations, children stricken with deadly diseases, babies who never made it out of the womb… The English word, “welcome” used in Mark 9:37 in the original Greek language means to receive kindly. Jesus expected us to receive children with kindness and promised a reward in return. However, that was conditional.
Notice the first three words in Mark 9:42, “And if anyone.” Jesus shifted His teaching to deal with the opposite of receiving the children kindly to causing them to sin. Here Jesus warned how He would deal with children being harmed and not treasured. In Mark 9:43-47 Jesus used the phrase, “thrown into hell” three times. Jesus will deal with those who hurt our children’s tender feelings, when they know better. Jesus will stop the evil of child prostitution. Jesus will heal their deadly diseases and give life to the babies who never had a chance.
Understanding how Jesus esteems and treasures children makes it so much easier to give our children over to His protection and guidance. Understanding that the evils of this world inflicted on the most vulnerable are seen by Him and dealt with by Him helps us to trust in His trustworthiness to avenge the children. Knowing that Jesus redeems their hurts and heals their brokenness helps us live in peace but only when we realize we are His hands and feet. We are His servants. (“If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35) We are His arms to hug and His mouth to speak hope and teach in love.
Dear Heavenly Daddy,
Thank You for esteeming and treasuring children. Thank you for seeing, avenging, and redeeming the hurts of the helpless. You are an amazing God and this reminds me of Your goodness and grace that I receive everyday as Your child. Help me to be willing to be the very last and the servant of all.