DO NOT DESPISE THE LITTLE ONES

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 18:10 (KJV). “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

Every Christian is called to the work of winning souls and preserving them. The Lord said the following, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”— John 15:16 (KJV) The Lord added that in this is my father glorified that ye bear much FRUITS, so shall ye be my disciple. (John 15:8) Any Christian who has not come to terms with this task of winning souls and seeking for their establishment is a baby Christian.

The Lord says we must not despise any of these little ones. Seek for their establishment in the faith. There are some churches that give no special attention to children or the child department. The Lord said these have angels standing before the father, who jubilate greatly at the conversion of the little ones. In verse 12 the Lord establishes that every soul is very important, and non must be left to perish. Learn how to communicate the gospel to them at their level. Ask the Spirit to assist you in reaching out to them. In some aspects of Africa, poverty has driven a number of the little children to the streets. Find a means to support them and show them the love of Christ. Ps Chris Oyakhilome PhD DD said’ every child is your child’.

The above idea also suggests that various Christian bodies must have programs to win the very little ones. Many outreach programs of churches leave out the very small ones. I have been to crusades that when only children raised their hands to accept Christ, with no adults responding, these children are told you are not the ones we wanted. A soul is a soul, and so the little ones must not be despised. If attended to, they would one day grow to be the very adults that some of us are today.

CONFESSION

I soul is a soul, whether a child or an adult. I do not despise anyone, but attend to all with every seriousness as required.

FURTHER STUDIES

Mark 10:14 (KJV).  “But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”

 Matthew 18:12 (KJV).  “How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?”

NOTHING SHOULD STOP YOU FROM HEAVEN

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 18:8 (KJV).  “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.”

The Lord said, if your hand is to hinder you from entering into everlasting life(heaven), then cut it off. I believe the use of the’ hand’ is figurative since flesh and blood will not inherit the kingdom of God. “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” — 1 Corinthians 15:50 (KJV) The Lord knowing how important any part of man is to him or her, he uses the parts of man to signify something very valuable to a man. If you can cut off a part of your body, then there should be nothing in this life that you can’t forsake in order to enter into life.

Some brethren keep unforgiveness and are not in any way ready to let go that pain. Dear one, cut it off, or else you would miss your access to heaven. If there is a particular sin, in your life, then do away with it today, before it is too late.

Failure to enter into everlasting life means eternal damnation in hell fire Just consider what part of Mk 9:45 says. “….. cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:” – Mark 9:45 (KJV) The Lord says the fires of hell is never quenched and the spirits of men cast into hell never dies. Dear one, these things are not child’s play. Some of us have been hearing about a place called hell fire since our childhood in Sunday school days, and it sounds like a tale or a myth to some. Do not be deceived. The Lord made a lot of statements about hell fire and He meant whatever He said.

The Lord Jesus died and resurrected, never to die again. He showed himself alive to the disciples by many infallible proofs. Acts 1:2&3 This proves there is life beyond the grave. Life beyond the grave is destined for two places, hell or heaven. Heaven is for all those who repented from their sins and accepted Jesus as their Lord and savour. They must forsake ungodliness and live to please Christ Jesus always. If a man lives this way, he would be a candidate for heaven. If not, then hell will be your destination after your death. Do not allow the love for any material thing keep you from heaven. Severe that thing from your life today.

CONFESSION

I have repented from my sins and made Jesus my Lord and Savior. No physical thing or condition would I permit to stop me from entering into life.

FURTHER STUDIES

Titus 2:11-12 (KJV). For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Mark 9:45 (KJV). “And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:”

OFFENCES 5

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 18:7 (KJV). “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!”

OFFENCES are a very common condition that easily happen to many. One area where people are overtaken with offence is envy. Envy is when one develops a bad feeling towards another individual, because he sees an advantage, success or opportunity in the other party. Envy is an unconscious acceptance of failure and a rejection of what God has for you and says about you

King Saul envied David and as a result fell out of God’s program for himself. He lived in offence for a great part of his reign. This offence drove him into various levels of madness. On two different occasions he attempted killing David with a spear. David was sent by God into his life as a preserver of his life and the stability of his reign, yet envy, working out offence made him fight his own deliverer. Joseph’s brothers were terribly offended in him, all because of envy. Joseph was an appointed deliverer for them, yet, they tried to kill him. The Pharisees schemed till they killed Jesus, who was their savour LESSON. MOST OF THE PEOPLE, YOU MAY OFFENDED IN BECAUSE OF ENVY ARE MOST PROBABLY GOD’S ORDAINED SOLUTION FOR YOU.

IT is surprising to find a man offended with his wife because of envy. Some do everything to ground their wives from making it FINANCIALLY, so they could dominate them. There are senior Pastors who are just mad with some younger upcoming and enterprising Pastors, all because of envy. Such men or women would do everything to frustrate this young pastor. The very terrible part of envy is that it always makes a murderer out of you. A careful study throughout the Bible shows that all those who were offended in their neighbours out of envy either murdered their victim or attempted to murder them (examples are Cain and Abel, Joseph’s brothers, the Pharisees and Jesus, king Saul and many more) . Envy poisons your whole system and makes you a walking mystery.

The root of envy is pride, wickedness and competition. Repent of all these, choose love, humility and wisdom. Just enjoy the blessings and advantages of the one you envy and make your life better. Note: All those beautiful fruits you see in the envied was put there by God, not for that person, but for you and many others,

CONFESSION

GOD is the giver of all good things. I appreciate every good thing in all men. I partake of the blessings and excelling of those close to me. My life is enriched and bear no offence.

FURTHER STUDIES

  Job 5:2 (KJV). For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one.”

Proverbs 14:30 (KJV). “A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.”

Proverbs 27:4 (KJV). “Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?”

OFFENCES 4

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 18:7 (KJV). “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!”

In our last study we said to combat an offence from erupting in your heart, you must count all adverse situations as joy. A question arises out of this statement. How can one rejoice over a bad situation? Please this is the instruction of the word of God. We do not argue with God about His instruction. We believe and do it. This is what faith is all about. The situation may be bad, but say to yourself if God says I must Rejoice about it, then I Rejoice. Start thanking the Lord for that situation, declaring it is working out for your good (Rom 8:28)

In such moments you are pressurized from within to be worried. The act of worrying is what generates the offences. Some can even get bitter with God. This is walking into the trap of the devil. “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, is thereby many be defiled;” — Hebrews 12:15 (KJV)According to the scripture bitterness takes you out of the grace of God. Refuse to be bitter

The scriptures suggest you cast all your cares unto Him. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”— 1 Peter 5:7 (KJV). The preceding verse before this one says humble yourself under God’s mighty hand. This is what makes you able to leave the problems, heartaches with the Lord.

Dear one, do everything to free yourself from offences. It is an invisible prison, that limits your horizon and makes everything look like a problem. Some people have walked all their lifetime carrying offences. They are angry with themselves, with their neighbour’ s and what have you?  You are a living being and not an existing being. Start living, put up a smile on your face. Sing a song, bless somebody. Enjoy your life by casting away that offence. Remember it is your choice to stay happy and fulfilling

CONFESSION

I have chosen to be happy, for the Joy of the Lord is my strength. Every day is sunshine for me, no matter what happens, if my Lord Jesus is reigning over all things then nothing can surely put me down.

FURTHER STUDIES

 Philippians 4:4 (KJV) “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again, I say, Rejoice.”

Philippians 4:6 (KJV). “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

OFFENCES 3

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 18:7 (KJV).  “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!”

We now consider other sources of offences. These are offences that come from circumstances and situations which are not necessarily from a human being. The uncertain weather can spark of an offence in a person. The economic situation, causing high inflation, may place heavy burdens on certain individuals, and can cause very deep offence. A delay in a flight schedule at the airport can also result in an offence. The delay in child birth of a couple can generate a very deep offence. There can be a million situations that create an offence in certain individuals. There are also offences caused by individuals who may not be aware that their actions or inactions has hurt another person.

In the Lord’s statement concerning offences, He said it must needs be that offences come. Why did the Lord add this very statement to the things he said about offence? An offence proves what kind of person you are. “If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.”— Proverbs 24:10 (KJV) When an individual pick’s up an offence, it means his strength is small. It means he or she must do something about it less he may be destroyed by a more severe situation. Offences put the whole body in a very bad shape. It may even be fatal or deadly depending on how bad one allows himself or herself to feel. Some have even ended up committing suicide because they could not control the way they were feeling.

In the book of James, it shows us what to do when we find ourselves in diverse situations that can cause various degrees of offence in us, James 1:2-4

IT teaches from verse 2 that:

Vrs 2 Count it all joy when adversity comes

Vrs 3: Adversity tries your faith to produce patience

Vrs 4 When patience is allowed, it makes you perfect wanting nothing

Instead of getting offended and destroying your moral, allow the adverse situation to work out perfection in you. Determine that you would overcome it.

Someone said challenges are what makes life interesting, and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. Kill the offence, don’t let the offence kill you.

CONFESSION

I am equal to every challenge that comes my way. The greater one lives in me and I am able to overcome it. God my father will not allow what I cannot stand my way.

FURTHER STUDIES

1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV). “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

Romans 8:28 (KJV) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

OFFENCES 2

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 18:7 (KJV). “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!”

In our previous study we considered offences that come as a result of contrary actions of close associates. We now look at offences that proceed as a result of the differences between two persons saying the same thing from a different perspective. There are also cases where the two parties are not antagonizing each other yet they see things differently. These issues can also result in offences.

In the missionary work of Paul and Barnabas, there came a very sharp rift between them, because they were seeing John Mark with different views. “And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;”— Acts 15:39 (KJV) These were not people who hated each other, they were viewing the same thing from different sides. The cause of this kind of differences is temperamental.

There are couples who are not necessarily enemies but because of differences of temperaments or other differences find themselves conflicting over issues, and as a result they hurt one another. One wants the house painted white, the other wants it light green, and so there comes sharp differences. Some run into conflicts over how to discipline their children.

WHY should such things happen? Once again, the cause of this is selfishness. To solve such an issue, the parties must give up their individualistic stands to see the bigger advantage of the two or the family. The other approach to solving this is the one with a lesser authority to allow the view of the one with a higher authority, like the husband to prevail over, the wife’s view. God’s word always has instructions on what to do in various situations. Please know that God’s word remains your strongest counsel for victory, so choose it and win. If you fail to accept divine instructions, you would suffer from offences that may end up destroying you.

Thought: CHOOSE to be selfless and you would have the right mind to always act rightly.

FURTHER STUDIES

 James 3:17 (KJV). “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”

Romans 12:10 (KJV). “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;”

OFFENCES

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 18:7 (KJV). “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!”

An offence is a feeling of anger or pain caused by a contrary action of another. In our key scripture the Lord said woe to the world because of offences. Offences create pain anger and in certain occasions bitterness. Offences may result in counter actions that causes more pain Offences indeed complicates people’s life.

WHY would offences surely come? The root cause of offence is selfishness. When men place love for themselves before love for God. This is selfishness “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,” -2 Timothy 3:2 (KJV)Selfishness makes men to seek their own interest against that of others. Every hurt men inflict on their fellow men is rooted in this.

There are a number of Christian homes which are boiling with pain anger, suspicions and bitterness. All these are signs of putting the Holy Spirit aside in various things they do. Beloved, this should not happen to you. This Christian must not be led by the flesh, but by the Spirit.

 The Lord concluded that verse by saying, woe to the one who causes the offence. Dear brother or sister, are you the one offending your neighbour? Be very sincere with yourself. Please you are never safe when you are a creator of offences. Sadly, there are many who justify their grounds in causing pain to others. Dear one, if you are justifying your grounds, in hurting another, then pride is blinding your eyes from seeing the deep pit ready to swallow you up.

Beloved there is no peace for anyone who gives sorrow to others.  If you know   your words or actions have hurt another, please kill your pride by accepting you did not act rightly.

DO not justify your actions, just tell the person, you are sorry. The rest is left with that individual to accept your apology or not

PRAYER

Father I pray for families and people living with offence to receive the ability to overcome the pain and also for those causing the pain to make proper amends. This I ask in Jesus’ name.

FURTHER STUDIES

 Philippians 2:3 (KJV). “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

Philippians 4:5 (KJV). “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”

CHRIST REPRESENTATIVES

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 18:6 (KJV). “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

Irrespective of   the status of the child of God, he is one with our Lord Jesus. (1 Corinth 6:17) The Christian is called the body of Christ. “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”— 1 Corinthians 12:27 (KJV) The Lord taught that if we received any one of the little ones who believes in Him, then we have received Hiim the Lord. If you happen to offend any of these children of God, then you have offended the Lord Jesus.

Every child of God must really come to terms with the weight of offending the Lord. What do you do if the Lord Himself, should be against you?  There are many Christians who are careless about the way they treat their fellow Christians. One area of OFFENCE is the utterances we make about one another.

Some areas of offending one another are as follows

1. Telling complete lies about fellow Christians

2. Insulting each other or using very harsh words at each other. This is most prevalent among married couples.

3.There are those who defraud or cheat their fellow Christians

4.Some people out of envy, wish and pray for the failure of their fellow brothers or sisters

Dear Christian, it does not matter, if he is your husband or she is your wife, she is one with Jesus. Do not mistreat her or him

The scripture teaches that those who offend the body of Christ may suffer from one of the following. Sicknesses, weakness or death. “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.”  — 1 Corinthians 11:30 (KJV). This should not be your portion, decide to allow the love of God in you to accept every child of God. Love them like the master.

Thought:  It is always a great privilege to show the love of God to one another.

FURTHER STUDIES

 John 13:34 (KJV). “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”

Romans 12:9-10 (KJV). Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

GOD HONORS THE HUMBLE

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 18:4 (KJV). “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

The Lord’s disciples argued among themselves, about who should be the greatest in heaven? The Lord took a child and said, if anyone would humble himself as a little child, he would be the greatest in heaven.

What is the humility of children?

1.A child does not have any image to protect

2 children are very simple and do not attract anything to themselves

3 Children have pure hearts and just sincere with whatever they do.

Humility is about honoring God and not self.

Humility places a very little regard to self.

Humility places others first. Humility does not regard people’s praise or how right people consider of him but to bless men and to bring glory to God.

Humility seeks to serve others.

Humility seeks God’s interest and not self.

Now God highly honors the humble for the following reasons

1. God’s purposes are achieved through him

2.God honors him because he lives to honor God

3 God honors the humble because he obeys Him

What must one do to maintain a humble attitude?

1.Stop considering how important you are, rather give that to God

2Pray and meditate on the scriptures that talk about humility

3.Be always thankful for everything God does

4.Always admit to yourself that you are a man, and whatever you have and can become comes from God.

5 Speak to yourself not to take any honor for yourself

PRAYER

Thank you, heavenly Father, for all good comes from you. To you alone belongs all power and might and the glory. I am only your instrument to fulfill your purposes. Thank you, Lord,

FURTHER STUDIES

Proverbs 22:4 (KJV). “By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.”

 Acts 20:19 (KJV). “Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying-in wait of the Jews:”

ACCESS TO THE KINGDOM

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 18:3 (KJV). “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

The disciples of our Lord Jesus came to Him asking, who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? The Lord in answering explained how to first enter into the kingdom and then what makes one the greatest. He said one must first be converted and then become as a little child.

To be converted is to repent from your sins and believe the gospel. The gospel is all about, Jesus’ death for our sins on the cross, his burial and resurrection on the third day. “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”— Mark 1:15 (KJV)The next is to be like a little child. Little children are very trusting. They easily forget a wrong done them. Children hardly acknowledge who is their enemy. The Lord was in effect saying that those who do not have the nature of children do not qualify to be part of His kingdom.

Dear brother or sister do you accept God’s word like a child. Are you able to easily forget an OFFENCE and wholeheartedly accept the one who offended you? If your answer is no, then you are/ not like a child yet, and according to the Lord, you don’t qualify to belong to his kingdom.

IF one does not qualify, then where does the grace of God come into this issue? Please note, it is the grace of God that gives us that childlike. heart. When a person refuses the grace of God, then he operates with that hardened heart of unforgiving, unloving, and untrusting.

Dear reader you may be thinking you belong to God’s kingdom yet you are not, by virtue of the Lord’s standard or terms. Please repent today, accept the grace of God that transforms our hearts to one of love for God and fellow men.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus I accept your love for me as I repent from every unloving way. I receive that loving nature that makes me as a little child. I truly forgive, truly forget grudges and truly accept those who have offended me. Thank you, Lord Jesus.

FURTHER STUDIES

 Matthew 19:14 (KJV). “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

Romans 5:1-2 (KJV). Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

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