1 Samuel 1:27-28 Give The Children To God

Children in church

“I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.” And he worshipped the LORD there. 1 Samuel 1:27-28 

Every day thousands of children are born all around the world. While the majority of parent’s are pleased to have the child, there are also many who do not want the child. They see the child as an inconvenience and not a blessing from God.

As there are people who are having children, there are some that want a child and cannot have any. They cry out to God and doctors all the time to have a child without any success or favor.

Hannah was one of those women who wanted a child, but could not have any. After crying out to God and making a vow to Him, God gave her favor and gave her a child. Shortly after the child was born, Hannah fulfilled her vow to God and gave the boy, Samuel, over to God to serve Him his whole life.

Every child that is born is a blessing or a gift from God. Parents are given the child by God to raise to know God and serve Him.

However, many parents raise the child to serve themselves, rather than serve God. They hold on to the child and do not want them to do what God has for them to do. Parents often determine every step the child takes for his whole life–what college to go to, what career to do, where to live, and much more.

Today children are not given over to a temple or church, as Samuel was, but they can be given to God to use in the way He desires.

If you are a parent, you need to see your child as a gift from God to raise. The best way to raise your child is to give Him back to God to allow God to use the child in the best way possible. God has great works for your child to do. Do not hold your child back, by trying to raise the child your way.

Samuel became a mighty prophet known by the whole world, because Hannah gave him back to God. Give your child back to God and see what God can do through your child.

I pray today that you will trust God with your child; that you will allow God to guide your child; that you will allow God to use you and your child for His work in this world; and that God will change this world through you and your child. 

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Leviticus 20:2 Sacrificing Children

Children together

Say to the Israelites: Any Israelite or any foreigner residing in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molek is to be put to death. The members of the community are to stone him. Leviticus 20:2

One of the commands that God gives the Israelites is to not sacrifice any children to Molek. It was a common practice to burn the child to get the favor of the false god, Molek. Neither the Israelite, nor the foreigner living in the land was allowed to do this detestable practice.

Since that time, the majority of the world is willing to accept that physically sacrificing children is not an acceptable practice, at least in word. Many nations have rules against sacrificing a child. Yet, the majority of the world does sacrifice children on a daily basis.

The first thing most believers think of when talking about sacrificing children is with abortion. In America, this had become an acceptable thing to the point, that today abortion is accepted for any reason at all, right up to the point of actual birth. This practice has even crept into the church as acceptable.

However, there is another also another method of sacrificing children that occurs daily in many homes, even Christian homes. It is the sacrifice of time spent with a child. For the same reasons that many children are aborted, many are left alone in the search for money, position, fame, or more. Children are left to be raised by the school, nannies, day cares baby sitters, or older siblings, rather than by the parent.

This is a type of sacrifice people make in order to make money or survive in life. Abortions are done out of fear and to survive in life, to make money, have fun. Not spending time with children is also sacrificing their lives for the same reasons.

God is a God of relationships of love. Love is spending time with others. If one is aborted or ignored, then there is no love and there is a sacrifice.

If you have children, NOW is the time to tell them that you love them. NOW is the time to take the time to spend time with them. Prove that you do love them, by spending time with them. Prove that you love by allowing your child to have life.

God is a God of life, not death. Are you allowing your child to have life?

I pray today that you will know the love God has for all people of all ages; that you will not sacrifice children or others for selfish reasons; that you will trust God to help you make the time for others; and that you will trust God to provide for your needs.

Mark 9:42 Causing Someone To Stumble

Wave Of Water

“If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.” Mark 9:42

Jesus makes a harsh statement about causing a little one to stumble. In another gospel He is talking about children who believe in Him. Jesus states that it would be better to be drowned in the sea than to cause a child to stumble.

Stumbling here is not the causing someone to fall down. It is causing someone to fall down in the belief in Jesus. He is more concerned with their spiritual welfare than their physical welfare. A person who physically falls only creates a short-term physical problem. Falling spiritually can cause a lot of greater problems that can last for all eternity, if not dealt with correctly.

The ‘little ones’ mentioned here are not just children, but all new believers. New believers are called infants in the bible and need to grow into maturity. And all believers are called the children of God, regardless of how long they have been a believer.

In the world it is easy for people to think that they do not have a major influence on other people, but that is not true. Every believer sets an example before every other person that they are around. Parents have a major influence on their children. Co-workers have a major influence on their fellow co-workers.

If someone sees a believer doing some sin as though it is nothing, it can cause that person to follow in that sinful way. This is different from doing an accidently sin, it is doing a sin on purpose. Purposefully telling lies, cheating, stealing, cursing others, disobedience and any other sin.

As a believer you have to be careful how you lead others or what you show others that Jesus looks like. You are the representation of Jesus on this earth. If you live your life in sin, while claiming to be a believer, you may cause someone to fall away from Jesus. At that point, it would be better if you were drowned in the sea.

Live your life in a way that does not cause others to stumble in any way. Be the shining example of who Jesus is. Lead people to Jesus, not away from Him.

I pray today that you will live for Jesus; that God will keep you from a life of sin; that God will strengthen you to not lead others in sin; and that you will be an example of Jesus to others around you.

A Time To Scare?

Halloween

October brings about a holiday that children all over the nation love. It is one that makes a child able to get a lot of candy. It is a time for both children and adults to dress up like someone or something else. Costume parties are located everywhere. It is Halloween.

Along with all of the fun, candy, and costumes that Halloween brings, there is also the element of scaring people. Some people go to extreme levels of dressing up in costumes. It is more than just a simple bed sheet as a ghost. Those who go to the extreme levels, make it appear as though they are physically injured or deformed. The realism of the costumes and makeup is amazing.

Trick Or Treat

People usually fall into one of two categories of thought when it comes to Halloween. There are those who run with it and have lots of fun, regardless of the implications or thoughts behind it. The others run from it and will have nothing to do with Halloween at all, because the primary thought behind it is demonic or celebrating the evil in this world.

For my family, I have led them to never really celebrate Halloween for what it is. My children have never dressed up to go out and go trick or treating.

One thing that has become very popular in our area is the idea of trunk or treating. It is a time that churches, and now some other organizations, set up various games out of the trunks of their vehicles. Children from the surrounding neighborhood are invited to come and play the games and get free food.

trunk or treat

Immediately in the minds of some Christians, there is a red flag that goes up. How can they take something that is demonic and make it good?

I fully understand the concerns that some people have. In doing this, there is some point of celebrating Halloween, when one does the trunk or treat, even though in word most will state they do not celebrate Halloween.

One of the things that is important for people to keep at the center of their focus is why they are setting up the trunk or treat. The trunk or treat should be an outreach to the community. Often it can be just a place to play games and get free food and candy. If that is the case, it is falling short of doing any good.

Every believer is called to be a witness of who Jesus is to every person they meet in this world. The whole purpose is to build God’s kingdom on this earth. God does not want anyone to die in their sins, so He sent His people out to be His witness to them of the salvation Jesus provides.

Be My Witness

When a church is setting up the games and activities for a trunk or treat, the Great Commission should be kept at the forefront of their minds. How can they use the game to be a witness? How can they use the activity to point children and parents to God?

In being able to do this, it takes some serious thinking and planning. Each person involved in the planning must be planning it with lots of prayer. Be open to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit.

Psalm 19:1New International Version (NIV)

The heavens declare the glory of God;

    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

All of creation declare the work of God. When you look out on a field or you look up into the sky, you do not hear anything being said. However, if you open your spiritual eyes and ears and listen, you will see and hear the works of God. You will see that glory of God being displayed in creation.

Romans 1:20 New International Version (NIV)

20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

All of these things show who God is and what He is like. These things are not things that are seen inside the church walls, they are out in the world, where the world can see them.

The trunk or treat games are to be set up outside of the walls of the church. This is where the world is located and are willing to be.

When games are set up for children to play, there should be some way to focus them towards God. Each game should be set up to be a witness of who Jesus is and what He can do for them. The workers of the games must show God’s love to each and every person that shows up.

Along with the children being able to have fun, they should be provided some food. For some of those children, that may be their only meal that day. It is showing God’s love for them, without any judgment.

While it is true that some of those children will only come for the games and food, there will also be a seed planted in their hearts and minds about God. That little bit of love and care may someday be the seed that changes their heart to follow Jesus. For some of these children, you may be the only Jesus that they will see.

Whether you do a trunk or treat, or not, that is between you and God. However, if you do it, be sure to keep God at the center of it. Make sure that in the process of doing games and food, Jesus is being proclaimed. This is using the things of this world to spread the gospel message. Be open to what God has for you to do today.