Don’t stumble, little one!

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!

When little ones are learning to walk, there legs can be pretty shakey. Let’s top up our coffees and see how God desires us to help keep his young children from stumbling…

Readings for Sunday, September 29: 16th Sunday after Pentecost

Daniel 10:10–14, 12:1–3; Psalm 91; Revelation 12:7–12; Matthew 18:1–11

“If anyone causes one of these little ones – those who believe in me – to stumble,

it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck

and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

Matthew 18:6

My husband and I had the privilege of watching our eleven month old granddaughter this past weekend. She is a very busy and independent girl. She crawls to her desired destination, grabs the piece of furniture in front of her and pulls herself up into standing position all in the time you can say, “Hey little miss, where are you going?” Over the past few weeks I have seen her legs get stronger and stronger. Where she used to be wobbly and unsteady, she is now becoming surefooted and solid. With her determination, I am awaiting the day when she decides that going back down on her knees to get to her desired object, especially her Mama, will be just too much excess work, and she will take her first steps. Of course, at this point in time, we are calling out to her, and coaxing her to come to us. We are clearing the path between her and us in order for there not to be anything that would make her stumble, just in case ‘today’s the day’. We are all looking forward with anticipation to the day she takes her first steps.

In the same way, we have a responsibility as brothers and sisters in Christ to spur one another on in the faith and remove any stumbling blocks that may be in each other’s way.  Even more importantly, we should always consider if our actions or words are creating stumbling blocks for other believers, especially our children. This does not mean that we remove all things that would cause our children sadness or to avoid things they don’t like. Children need guidance, boundaries, discipline, and examples from which to learn. Children need parents and mentors. Children need to experience routines, like meals and brushing teeth, like playtime and sleep time, like going to church and praying at bed and before meal time. They need to experience grace, mercy and forgiveness. They need to hear of their Heavenly Father’s love.

Just as we guide and watch over our children to meet their physical needs, we too must guide and watch over our children for their spiritual needs. This is a great privilege and responsibility, and is to be done, not with a heavy hand, but with great humility and patience, just as our Heavenly Father is merciful and patient with us. He has removed all stumbling blocks that would keep us from him, even the greatest stumbling block – our sin. Just think, if we as parents and fellow Christians, took this most precious saving faith, this life in union with God, as seriously and with as much care as he did, oh how our families, churches, and communities would be so much better off.

Oh how God desires us to welcome his children. For Jesus says, “whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” (Matthew 18:5) Therefore, may I encourage you to be a guardian of the way of truth and life, and to be steadfast in welcoming your children and those children-in-the-faith by removing the stumbling blocks that would keep them from walking towards Jesus, the Saviour of the World, who is sitting with arms open wide, calling their names – calling your name- and desiring to sweep them up into his embrace with the words of, “Come to me, my precious one. I love you.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to guide people, especially my own children, to know and to trust you by removing all stumbling blocks so they can see you clearly. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!

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