Posted by: pastortomvabeach | October 29, 2013

Thought For The Week October 27, 2013

This Sunday I get to participate in something that is one of the greatest joys of serving God’s people. We will present and dedicate a baby to the Lord. Every time we hold a ceremony like this, I think of all the potential that is wrapped up in that little bundle of arms, legs, googoos, and gagas. Babies are so precious and special and always remind me of how kind, generous, and loving God must be. He lets us see His creative genius and share in His nurturing even though most of us are totally unqualified and not ready to be parents. How wonderful is that?

As I thought about the dedication I remembered the tragic news from yesterday near Reno, Nevada. A middle school boy (12 or 13), came to school with a gun and killed a teacher, wounded two students, and apparently took his own life. I thought about that because one day 12-13 years ago, this boy was a little ball of potential like the baby we’ll dedicate on Sunday. What happened? How does someone so young, who only recently was an innocent toddler, kindergartener, and third grader, decide he needs to use a gun and harm others?

I don’t know what happened to him. Surely, the Bible says that along with all the potential God puts in us, we are born with a sin nature, a nature that leans towards acts of rebellion towards God, but we don’t expect to see something this egregious as such a young age. And isn’t this why we come to present our children to the Lord? We promise that we will do our best to ensure they repent of sin and turn their lives over to Jesus Christ as early in life as they are able and then, to help them grow in their relationship with God so they live out the potentials He has given them. I wonder if anyone ever talked to this boy about Jesus?

I’m sure this is sobering but I bring it up to remind all of us as parents, grandparents, Christian men and women, that we all have a collective responsibility to do everything we can to watch over and nurture the spiritual lives of the children in our families, churches, and communities. We must be examples of the type of fruit that leads to righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. How’s the crop of fruit of the Holy Spirit growing in your life lately? Does it need weeding? What kind of influence do you exude to the impressionable ones who watch you?

In another way we all have a tremendous opportunity to represent Jesus to children from all over our community next week. Think of it! Trunk or Treat is an event where people bring their kids to us. Each of these kids may get a chance to see how Jesus touches His world through the way we touch their lives. It just may be that one, two, or even several dozen begin to bother their parents about going to church because of what they see, hear, experience at Trunk or Treat. Maybe a boy or girl who has been damaged by the world can find out how special he or she is to God and avert some future problem.

This is a call to action. At baby dedications we really dedicate the parents to care for their child all of its life. We dedicate ourselves, as adults, to getting the kids around us through life with Jesus. Will you commit one night of your week next week to come out and influence kids with Jesus’ love? It’s really easy. Just buy a bunch of candy, park in the parking lot, and pass it out! If you have the time you can decorate your car but that is not necessary. Or you could be a safety attendant at one of the bounce houses we will have on sight. Or you can give away hot dogs, make popcorn, smile a lot. Just being here will make a huge difference.

What would happen if all the churches in the country made it their business to influence kids in their communities for Christ? Could we prevent another occurrence of what happened in Nevada? Maybe not, but I like the odds better if we’re loving the kids around us than if they are neglected. Random thoughts from the heart.

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