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Last Sunday I addressed the stages of life from Earth Day to Birthday: Conception, Pregnancy, and Birthday.
Already I am hearing some good reports  of what Go d has beein doing as some of you have been doing the daily reading and journaling as well as how some have been blessed in their small groups  I want to encourage you to share your story.
It would be so encouraging for others to hear if from you.
If you would like to share your story at church please speak with me later so we can arrange an appropriate time.
*Scipture: Mark 10:13-16*
* *
*/13 And they were bringing children to Him so that He might tough them; and the disciples rebutked them.
/**/14 But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
/**/15  Truly I say to you, woever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a small child shall not enter it at all.  /**/16  And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, layin His hands upon them.”/*
*/ /*
< Let Us Pray>
Today we are going to examing the “Childhood” stage and blessing as it relates to it.
The passage we have just read is very familiar to most of us.
It is often read at a baby dedication.
I must say that after the things I have been learning through the study of the 40 Days of Blessing I don’t believe I will ever look at baby dedications the same.
In fact I don’t know if I will be able to perform them the same way I used to either.
God has been helping me to learn so much and I trust he will help you too.
Jesus as we know was a man of perfect peace, patience and selfcontrol.
He handled every situation from sarcasim to accusation, to entrappment and even personal injury and injustice with poise and grace
Yet there are two occassions recorded in the scriptures for us when Jesus becam very demonstatively angry.
The first occasion was when He got angry in the *temple* at the *money changers* and those who were making a business of profit out of selling the animals for worship and sacrifice.
He ran through the temple with a whip He had made from cords, kicking over the tables, throwing their money on the floor decrying their wicked use of God’s house.
The second occasion is in the story that we have just read from the scriptures.
It was the only time when Jesus got angry with His disciples.
He got angry when his disciples ignored the need for *blessing* little children.
·         In our scripture today it tells us that when the disciples rebuked the children and the parents who had brought them, that when Jesus saw it “He was indignant.”
·         The original word used for indignant in the greek means to “*Be Angry at Injustice”*
·         It is the only time that this word is used in reference to Jesus
·         This is a very significant point because it means Jesus is making a very strong statement about the *value* and *worth* of LITTLE CHILDREN
                 i.      *Three of the Five Elements of Blessing *(implied in story)
A Meaningful* Touch* – Jesus Picked them up
2.   A Spoken *Message* – He Blessed them
3.   Attaching High *Value* – Jesus received them when the other wanted to drive them away, and he undoubted listened to them
4.   The other two are not specifically mentioned in this story
-Pictuing a special *future* -  though it is probable Jesus spoke of their future
-And an active *commitment** *– while not specifically mentioned, He is the Savior and He will go to the cross for them (that’s commitment)
5.      *The Major Life Question of Childhood is Who Can I Trust?*
6.      Think how the children must have felt when Jesus rebuked the disciples and instead told the children; come to me awhile.
I will make time for  you.
7.      Think how his actions would build trust in the hearts of the children
The blessing Jesus gave them was not just the words He spoke over them but also the me ssage he was writing into their hearts to help answer that life question.
Here is this big adult, who is very important and has all these people coming to see him, and has a bunch a men who are there with him too,  and He stops everything to spend time with them, to pick them up and to bless  them, Jesus was writing a message of affirmation.
Value and worth upon their hearts.
8.   Jesus wasn’t just teaching His disciples but he was teaching all of us how to “Bless Children”
·         *Pg.
91 */ in the Power of Blessings – /*“As the twig is bent so grows the tree”*
·         *Prov 22:6 *says,  “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it”
·         Many have clung to this verse thinking if I train them up to follow the Lord they will stay faithful to God.
But that is a very narrow application of this verse and the depth of meaning it holds
*/                                i.
/* */How we treat our children early in life shapes the direction they will grow in every facet of life./*
·      *Do you know what one of the greatest joys of being a grand parent is?
It’s the “Grandchildren!”*
·      *Tell a short version of my Grandson’s visit this summer*
·      Why do you think grandchildren have a special place in their hearts for grandma and grandpa?
Because grandma and grandpa love to stop and make time just for them.
Grandma and grandpa love to get down on the floor and play with them /(as long as their body allows them to)/*.
*Making cookies with grandma, flying a kite with grandpa, go for a walk in the park,visiting the zoo, going fishing, kicking a ball in the back yard, going swing, etc…
·         Tell me, what’s so special to the children about those things.
I’ll tell you, because when you stop and spend the time with them and play with them, listen to them and try and answer all their “WHY” questions it tells them something very powerful.
It says very loudly to them – *I Think YOU are Special,  that You have Great VALUE and You are IMPORTANT!
A.                How many of you like it when someone makes you feel special and important to them, that  your opinion matters?
Doesn’t it make you feel good!
B.                 *Well Children are People too!  *And as someone has said “Little people have BIG Feelings!
*/                                          ii./**
/Blessing usually isn’t completed in one magic moment of time, rather through a series of events/*
·         Especially true in lives of young children who require repeated messages through words, deeds and ceremonies in order to receive the whole message
·         Children never tire of hearing something they like over and over
·         If you have small children then now is the ideal time to start developing a family habit of blessing
·         Perhaps one of the best times to do this is just before bedtime.
It can be one of the most teachable times in a child’s day.
·         Think of all the things that can happen in a day, and of all the things that can go wrong or we can say that we wished we hadn’t
·         Imagine if you could have an insurance policy that would underwrite the unintentional and accidental hurts that occur.
·         As you spend a couple of minutes with your child at the end of the day,  no matter what he~/she has done or what you have said, you have an opportunity to apply a healing ointment to the wounds that may have occurred and reaffirm your love, your commitment to them, their value and identity.
A few simple words and a hand on their head or shoulder can communicate a lot.
·         <*listen to story of ……Rolf Garborg> DVD #7 (play 0:59 to 5:41)*
·         Start a family habit patern of blessing.
Create your own unique way to bless your child
Don’t Trip over a Blessing Blocker*
It is important to become aware of the commence occurrences in life that can “Block” the blessing in the life of an individual.
We call them “Blessing Blockers”
Typically they are negative words or actions the send a message of low value or worth.
Experiences that write a negative message or script on their hearts
So lets take a quick look at *four (4)* things that are common blessing blockers /(there are many more but we will focus on these today)/
*/Improper Punishment/*
-          Of course child discipline is a very big subject and probably requires a complete series of messages to deal with that but we must address it somewhat today.
-          You will go into more depth in  your reading and small group studies
-          But we are all born with a lie, our sinful nature tells us that “If I get my own way I will be happy”
-          *Prov.
22:15* “*/Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him”/*
-          Proper discipline and proper punishment will overturn the lie and replace it with the truth
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