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Kids Sunday

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Kids have incredable value in the kingdom of God

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In 2000 a movie came out called Left Behind
In 2000 a movie came out called Left Behind
I was in 5th grade
I didn't know Jesus, but I knew that I didn't want my friends to see a pile of clothes left in my place
So I invited other kids over and led discussion and taught what I knew of the bible
At the end of our discussion, I would ask the other kids if they wanted to know Jesus so they wouldn't get left behind
One kids response was “My mom doesn't want me to hang out with you anymore” to which I now think was probably a pretty good idea
but reflecting on that time, I can see that God was developing my gift of teaching and evangelism through teaching
everyone in this room has a gifting and that gifting doesn't just show up when you're an adult
God gives everyone gifts and talents, and we can see those show up in the lives of little kids
we are in a series called relentless, where we are studying the Bible as a whole church, making sure that we are all sitting under the Word of God, praying and seeking God collectively. We believe that if we do this, we are going to see God do some pretty amazing things in our hearts. If you notice around you there might be some faces that you don’t normally see during the sermon on a Sunday morning. It’s kid Sunday! This is a day that we want to start doing so that we can all celebrate the gift that our kids are here at Vista. So if there is any extra fidgeting, or extra noise we are cool with that! The sermon is going to be shorter this week, but before we get started, can we just give a round of applause for our kids?
Kids, we love you, you have so much to offer this church, and we all learn so much from you! God has gifted each and every one of you to be part of the whole church, and were so blessed by your’e presence here with us. Thank you so much for being a part of our church family.
Today were going to be studying what it means to be great in the kingdom of God through child-likness. Most of us have been taught that in order to be great, you must be known, you must have lots of wealth, and you’ve got to have a lot of power, but that is not the way that Jesus went about greatness, as one of my favorite authors Zack Eswine says, “obscurity and greatness are not opposites in the kingdom of God.” Obscurity means to be unknown, not important to the world, but those things that seem unimportant to the world matter greatly in the eyes of the one who counts.
Before getting into the text, lets just get a little back story, Jesus has entered a town that was really important to Him, it’s called Capernaum, and many of Christ’s miracles were done there. Well Jesus is there with His friends that are called the Disciples, they are guys that love Jesus, but sometimes just really mess things up. Well these friends of Jesus start to get into an argument, some of them had just see Jesus transfigured which is just a fancy way to say they saw both the human nature of Jesus, and also the divine or Godly nature of Jesus, when they saw Jesus looking this glorious, they saw His power and they wanted to be in on His kingdom, but they thought that Jesus was going to bring in His kingdom through fighting and concurring, so they said if this guy is this powerful, and this strong, then we want to be in power with Him, we want a seat at the leadership table. They wanted to be important and looked up to in the kingdom of God, but they had no idea that Jesus idea of greatness was different from their own. So were going to get into the text for today, and see what we can learn from Jesus about greatness.
Matthew 18:1-
Matthew 18:1–6 ESV
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
So the disciples are wanting to know who is going to get the honor of being great and Jesus takes a little kid, and plops the kid down on His lap and says unless you turn and become like one of these kids, you can’t enter the kingdom of God. For all of us, there are things that we need to turn from in order to turn toward God. Jesus makes it very clear that we need to become like children, does that mean that were never supposed to grow up?
Ask yourselves the question… What is the difference between Childishness and Child-likeness?
Childishness is shown in someone who refuses to grow up, and become the adult that God wants them to be. It’s staying stuck in immaturity because it’s comfortable, it feels safe, and growing up sounds difficult and scary at times. And I assure you, growing up is scary there’s a lot of things that are scary as an adult, but the one who has child-likeness knows they have a heavenly father that will love, care, protect, and provide for them.
The disciples needed to turn away from their desire for greatness, and turn toward humility, Jesus took greatness and turned it upside down in a very beautiful way. In His kingdom, the last would become first, the lowest of the low, would become people that we will one day look up to and stare in wonder at God’s amazing work in them.
But there are so many things that we can learn from the humble attitude of a child, and I came up with 7 of them that I think we can all grow more child-like in.

1. How to be disciplined

Kids are amazing at this!
you can be disciplined and bounce right back
This is probably because you know that your parents love you
Hebrews 12:6 ESV
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
Kids… We adults need to learn this from you, that when things aren’t going our way, or if we are experiencing some kind of discipline for a lifestyle that we have been living that is outside of God’s desire for us, we should be so thankful that God would pull us back out of danger, and not think that God is against us.

2. How to have awe and wonder

Kids are fascinated by the most mundane things.
Its so amazing to go to Disney and watch kids in wonder
Having grown up in Orlando, I was sick of Disney by the time I was 10, but as an adult its so cool to see kids light up over mundane things
Every time we go, Clive wants to see the monorail, to me, that's just a stuffy tube to get you from place to place
We must reclaim a heart of awe and wonder, because we were created with it, its only as we grow cynical and cold that we loose the eyes to see the miraculous in the mundane.
Psalm 65:8 NIV
8 The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.
God is so grand, and His beauty should fascinate us day by day, moment by moment

3. How to not worry about status

Kids are so great at knowing their identity as a kid
One of the first things that Clive learned about himself is that his name is Clive Luke Adams so he belonged to the Adams clan
He knows his identity
Kids are just busy being kids, and we adults try so hard sometimes to be things that we’re not
1 Peter 2:9 ESV
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Galatians 2:20 ESV
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
We need to learn from you what it means to have our Identity found in Jesus

4. How to trust in higher authority

I remember being a kid, and just trusting that my parents were taking me where I needed to go, I never questioned if we were getting there the right way, I trusted their will
Now this can be a struggle for all people, but I really do think kids do a better job of trusting authority than we adults do
Proverbs 3:5–6 ESV
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
God has a good plan, and through you kids, we can learn so much about what it means to trust Him and His will for our lives

5. How to be quick to forgive

Watching my son at school, some kid can smack him in the face, and two seconds later (after retaliation) they're good, as if nothing ever happened!
Eph 4
Ephesians 4:31–32 ESV
31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Adults we can hold grudges like they're somehow going to help us heal, they don’t, they only hinder the healing process
Kids, you are awesome at this, I wish I could learn to be like you and be quick to forgive!

6. How to be honest with our emotions, and find God as our refuge

When we hide our emotions deep down the problems that exist only fester and get worse
If you see a kid who is mad… they just say their mad… Daniel Tiger says he’s mad
But when kids are sad, where do they run? Directly to their parents
Psalm 62:8 ESV
8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah
Kids, your honesty of showing how you feel is so beautiful, but the fact that you know where to run when you’re feeling these deep emotions is something that we all need to learn from

7. That God preserves His Church

After all of us are dead in the ground, these kids will be the church. The church is never the four walls of a building, but a people.
For us, lets not do what the disciples were wanting to do, which was make a great name for themselves
Count Zinzendorf (Funny name) He was a bishop in the 1700’s said “Preach the Gospel, die, and be forgotten”
There is so much freedom in that, we don’t have to single handedly make sure the kingdom of God moves on, God is doing that! and He’s way better at it than we are, and these kids are proof that God plans to continue His Church
again obscurity and greatness are not opposed in the kingdom of God
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