Heroes, part 3

by Joseph Parker

Have you not yet thought about who the heroes in your life have been? Though many people have read my posts this week, only a couple have dared to write about it.

Please, let me know who your heroes are and why.

You see, both Matthew 18:1-10 and Isaiah 58:6-12 gives some insight into who my heroes are.

These are men and women who do not take short cuts. These are men and women who do not look for the easy or quick fix answer.

In no matter what situation, no matter what context, the Church needs men and women who are willing to accept the cost.

In Matthew 18 Jesus tells his disciples to not forget the children, to not do anything that may cause them to stumble in their belief in him; that it is better for a heavy “millstone” to be hung around their neck and be dropped in the deepest part of the ocean, than to to do this.

He goes on (at first this seems to be an apparent tangent) to talk about temptation and the result thereof. But I do not believe this was a tangent.

NO, I believe this fits perfectly with the context of this whole message…in the church what is the least desirable ministry people want to serve?

CHILDREN!

It is behind the scenes, it does not receive much accolades, it is hard and often requires sacrifice. Jesus is telling us to not forget the children…do not be tempted to forget them.

Think about how many people, now adults, who were probably NOT discipled, or truly shown who God is when they were children.

How many kids have grown to be adults who hate God today because we did not follow Matthew 18, Isaiah 58, Deuteronomy 6, Mark 10:13-16, Proverbs 22:6?

In fact, he ends this little message with a strong emphasis: I even have my angels reporting back to me about this.

WHY would the ALL knowing, ALL powerful God need an angel to report back to Him!?

He doesn’t!

I believe he says this to emphasize to us the importance of discipling and walking through life (Deuteronomy 6:7) with our kids…SO THAT they will know Him and continue to walk with him in faith throughout their life.

This passage is NOT condoning us to enable or “worship” children in some perverse way.

It is a reminder to the church: DO NOT forget the children, but most of all…do it the right way.

That is, be intentional and make the sacrifices it will take to raise a child!

Isaiah 58:6-12 is referring to God’s desire for us to live this life of sacrifice. We think fasting is the withholding of food and water, but to God it is so much more.

Are we cutting corners by simply offering after school programs?

Or…are we willing to make the needed sacrifice?

Do we think if all we do is pray and fast that will be enough?

Those of you who have been working with kids for 10, 15, 30 plus years: how many of those kids you have been working with are still walking with Jesus today?

How many of them are living “productive” lives today?

Why…why not?

And yes, God is my “superhero,” but whether you are a pastor, a missionary, a lawyer, a school teacher, or in some other “profession,” if you are an adult committed to make the sacrifices needed to walk with kids through life in an intentional, long term manner, you are being a reflection of who God IS, and YOU are my hero!

I posted another Paul Washer sermon clip below; though the emphasis of this sermon is a challenge to pastors, I believe this is a message we all need to hear…especially when it comes to walking through life with kids.

Why? Because it is easy for us to pat ourselves on the back and say, “Hey, look at what I am doing!”

We must always remember, God is the TRUE hero of this story!

This is a message I believe we all, me included, need to hear.

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