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Matthew 18:1

Good morning, Live Church. Welcome to my humble abode. No, I didn’t clean for you. I hope that you will accept my apology. We’re just getting back from our Thanksgiving family activities and getting some, some Christmas decorations put up. Kids are upstairs watching the Christmas movie and wife is at Wal-Mart trying to catch some last minute deals. Make no mistake about it. What you do in your home is extremely important, and it eternally matters. We have a responsibility if you’re married, you have kids. If you’re not married, doesn’t matter. We all have a responsibility to make sure that our realm of influence, our primary realm of influence, which is our home, that it is led as as Christ wants us to, that we establish it as a sanctuary men. It is our responsibility to serve, serve our wives as Christ, serve the church. To lead her and guide her spiritually wives, it’s your responsibility, according to scripture, to to lead and serve the children and and to also serve your husband as the church serves Christ and for you to walk together in harmony as a representation of what the relationship between Jesus Christ and his bride the church is supposed to look like. This is this is our core ministry. It’s it’s you know, what we do at church is important, but it’s secondary to what we do in our homes. Our children ourselves, this is our primary sanctuary. They shouldn’t be devils dens, they shouldn’t be places running rampant with the world and with gateways to all sorts of. Evil. It should be a place where God’s presence is felt, where we are honoring the Lord, bringing glory to his name. We’re the front lines for our homes, not just in the sense that we have a right of responsibility to protect them from harm. We certainly have that responsibility, but we also have a responsibility to. Bring. The Kingdom of God and its principles and the truth of God’s word. Into our homes. We have a responsibility to allow the Holy Spirit to transform us to where we’re not leaving our homes as the world leaves their home, but we are leading our homes as Christ wants us to lead our homes. This series, Frontlines is an invitation for everybody to walk in alignment with what God’s ways is in regards to how we operate and lead our homes. Would you take this opportunity in this series to learn to study scripture and to take action inside your own home as we open up and see what the Lord would have us do as we lead the front lines of our homes? All right, so we’re going to dive in today if you have your Bibles with you. Go ahead. Matthew? Technical difficulties. Things don’t work without batteries. But then again, I’m just going to shout really loud. So, Matthew, chapter 18 of. Turning your Bibles, they’re going to start verse number one, in addition to that, I’m going to ask you, please rise and stand. In honor of God for our initial and primary reading of it today, Matthew, Chapter 18, starting in verse number one. At that time, the disciples came to Jesus saying, who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven and calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever humbles himself, like this child, is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever receives one such child and my name receives me. 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. Woe to the world for temptations to send for it is necessary that temptations come. But woe to the one by whom the temptation comes in. If your hand or your foot causes you to say and cut it off, throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, then, than with two hands and two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sit and tear it out and throw it away, it is better for you to enter life with one eye. Then when two eyes and be thrown into hell, into the hell of fire. All right, you may be seated. We are launching a new series today called Front Lines, and today’s conversation is going to be less of our normal exegetical walk verse by verse. It’s going to be more of a prelude. It’s more of a family conversation that’s going to set us up for success as we go verse by verse through Matthew Chapter 18 and what we’re going to look at this is we’re going to look at how we should lead our homes spiritually. The crux of this series is to prepare us for 2022 as we head into next year. I want to hit the ground with our feet running. The single most important thing that we need to do to make sure that this happens is to get our homes in order. Now I’m not suggesting that your home is out of order. But I would invite you to consider the possibility that it gets out of order. At times it does that for all of us. It’s sort of like every spring, what do we do? We go through our house and we clean areas that we don’t normally clean throughout the year, we call that what spring cleaning. All right. So this is a little bit of spiritual spring cleaning in December. Well, everyone else is, and I say this in jest. They’re heading down a season of overindulgence, materialism, guilty, guilty and questionable music choices. Let’s buck that trend. Let’s make this a season where we set a standard and we keep it. That we set a standard, a biblical standard, and we do it for the sake of our homes, we do it for the sake of our marriages and we do it for the sake of our children. And we do it for the sake of the generations of people that are going to come after us and we do it to honor the generations that have come before. And above all, we glorify and honor Christ Jesus, our Lord. See, Christ came at a time when there was great political unrest. There was legalized the mass murderers of children instituted by the government itself, and they were enduring one of the longest spiritual droughts in the timeline of history. No one had heard from a prophet. No one had heard from the Lord in quite some time. The incarnation, the theological term that we applied to the reality of God coming in human flesh, that is reason enough for us to desire to get our homes in order to prioritize the Kingdom of God, above all. Front Lines is the name of the series, because you are the front lines for your home. Men, you are the protector and the servant leader of your wives. Women, you are the protector and servant leader of your children and children. You are a reflection of your parents on Earth and you are a reflection of your father who is in heaven. Grandparents, you are the legacy for your family, aunts and uncles. You are the support system. You are on the front lines of this battle. Even if you are not married, you still you have a church full of children. You have a church full of parents that need your support, your care and your love. You’re on the front lines of this battle. What battle you say? We’ll just look. The world and the enemy is after your marriages, after your children. He comes to seek to steal, kill and destroy, and he’ll take it all, if you will let him. In a world filled with such dis inclusion ment of truth, we must cling to the scriptures, to the holy word of God. We must renew our minds, allowing ourselves to be separated from this world, joined in the heavenly union with Christ via the Holy Spirit, worshipping the father in spirit and in truth. And for some of us, this is going to mean we need to take up our spiritual armor and go to battle for our kids. For some of us, that means maybe shutting off some of the gateways by which we are allowing evil into our homes and calling it good. For some of us, that’s coming. Cutting off our guilty stream of excuses from accepting responsibility and doing the right. Thing in life church. At our house, we have a security system, a security system by which we use to help alert us if someone is trying to illegally access our property. Um, but as I think I think about that is like, I think about how much we invest into our life here on Earth and I think about how much time and energy we spend into protecting what is temporal. Now, it’s not bad if you have an alarm system on your house or if you have insurance policies and things like that, those things can actually be very wise and be good stewardship, right? But as I think about this, I think that unwise part is that we would maybe sometimes spend all of our time and our investment on just things like this, and we wouldn’t actually spend time investing into things that are eternal. Um, if I’m willing to pay $30 a month to have a security system on my house, then then what could I invest time wise, resource wise into the eternity of my children, into the into my own spiritual growth, into my wife and in her calling and and her spiritual growth? How much more can I invest like if I’m willing to lay money aside? Maybe I can lay time aside, money aside, effort aside, my my intellect aside to invest in the things like Bible study into teaching to to serve my family. But if it’s time to start thinking about our homes like fortresses, castles that we have been put in charge of, and of course, most of us don’t live in a castle. That’d be pretty cool, though. Maybe you do invite me over, but we may not live in castles or fortresses, but it’s time that we think about our homes as if their castles or fortresses spiritually. When I think about those I think about, you think about the moat around the castle and you think about the drawbridge that goes up and down and what you let across the drawbridge you’re declaring as a friend and you’re allowing onto your your property. And thus, what you allow into your property can influence what’s on the inside? And so here, I mean, I have a drawbridge around my house that’d be pretty cool. Maybe someday, but I I have some devices here. Here’s a cell phone. Here is a here’s an iPad or tablet. This is a mobile gaming device. I believe you call it a Nintendo Switch. Behind me is a TV right there. The Ohio State Buckeyes are losing to the Michigan Wolverines. You all will know tomorrow if that score holds. But all of these devices, they are gateways. They’re not bad in it of themselves. I’m not saying go in and throw away. Obviously, I own it. I’m not preaching to you, something I wouldn’t do, but they can become gateways. TV can be great, tablet can be great, a phone can be great, even a mobile gaming device can be great if it’s used for good in its use, even for spiritual development, sometimes even. But if we’re not safeguarding what we’re allowing on these devices. And if what we’re allowing to come across these devices is actually bringing evil into our homes, then what we have essentially done spiritually is we’ve lowered the drawbridge and we have allowed the enemy to come across and we’ve called him friend. What are they watching? Are we paying attention to what they’re watching all the time? Are we paying attention to what the systems are feeding into them content but to allow our kids to just roam free? We’re really taking a great risk for really lowering the drawbridge and just saying everything can come across. So these are almost like portals. These devices are portals to the outside world. So much can come through them into our child’s mind, into their life, into our home. And we really got to stop and consider what we’re allowing into our fortress, our castle, because ultimately, dads. If you’re in a home with a dad, we are held responsible when Adam and Eve sinned. He didn’t go looking for Eve, even though Eve was the first one that ate the fruit. And even though Eve was the one that convinced Adam to eat the fruit, she was the first one that failed. And it might be, you might say, well, it would be fair for him to ask for Eve first since she sinned first. But no, he went, ask for Adam and you know why? Because God put Adam as the head of the household and he allowed it to happen. And so when things happen in our house and we lower the drawbridge and we allow things to come across. We’re going to get called on the carpet for these things, right? Single mom homes, you’re going to get called on the carpet for these things. You are being held accountable for what you’re allowing into your kids’ lives and into their minds. And here’s what we have to realize too guys, it is influencing them far more than what we could ever realize. Way more than we could ever realize. We can’t keep them from all of these things, but we can shut down the gateways and we can teach them the word of God. And so if we shut down the gateways in our home and our fortresses and we sit down at our table and we teach them the word of God, then what happens is we prepare them for success. So when they go into the world and they’re inevitably exposed, whether at school or work or someday, wherever they go, whatever they do, when they’re exposed to the world and the systems of the world, and in the enemy’s plan that they’ll know how to combat that with the truth. But the problem is, is that in a lot of our homes, there’s very little truth being preached. And there’s a lot of gateway is being blasted wide open, allowing the world to teach our children. Sometimes it’s not just bad material, but it’s it’s actually falsehood that’s coming through our TVs and through our devices that are teaching our kids antichrist doctrines. These are all things that’s very important. And so it’s your home, it’s your fortress. God has given this under your control, whether it’s just you that lives there or it’s a bunch of people that live there, you in particular, you are responsible. If we’re at war, we’re at war. And so during wartime, the drawbridge isn’t going to be down the whole time. The drawbridge is going to be brought up. In fact, during a time of war, the default position is for the drawbridge to be up and we’re only going to let it down. And when we do let it down, we’re going to let it down when we have to. And when we do let it down, we’re going to heavily guarded and we’re going to make sure nothing comes across that could potentially harm those inside the fortress. We all have a choice. To arm ourselves with the truth and go to battle on the front lines. Or to bow out. Make excuses, I’m too busy. And say it’s really not that bad. As parents, we invest a lot into our children, right? We invest a lot into their education, grandparents, you as well, aunts and uncles, you as well. We invest a lot into them, their education, their growth, their health. We run them around like they’re servants to their practices and we stand in the rain and the cold, the wind. For a sporting event, we pay hundreds of dollars for that jacket they just had to have. I’m not bitter. We take them to their friends houses, their friends come over and they break expensive stuff and we smile and say, that’s OK. We instruct them on how to interact with the opposite sex chase the boys away. We help them in any way we can, why do we do this because we love them? We love them. And if all of these things are true, we have no shortage of energy to invest in efforts that, though important, aren’t eternal, that how much more should we be investing in their eternity? Well, how do you invest in their eternity with scriptures clear Proverbs 22 six, train up a child in the way you should go. Even when he is old, he will not depart from it. So how do you do that? Well, number one, we teach them the scriptures. We have a responsibility to teach our children the scripture. Now we have a wonderful children’s ministry team and a wonderful youth ministry. Felicia in Troy and their team are great. They work throughout the week. They put a lot of effort into what they do. They care deeply about teaching your kids and the kids have fun, but they’re not there to during their fellowship and enjoy each other. But they’re there to learn the scriptures. They’re there to grow in their relationship with God. But Felicia and Troy and their teams, they can only do so much, so we get your kids about an hour every week sometimes. And if we look at their schedule, they’re awake 111 hours a week. If your child is getting eight hours of sleep a night, they’re awake 111 hours a week. Well, let’s know they’ll spend about thirty five. If you’re a traditional school environment, home school may be a little different. Private school may be a little different, but they’ll spend about thirty five hours on their schoolwork a week. Let’s say they’re in a really difficult school situation, and they get about five to 10 hours of homework a week. Pretty intense homework load just just for the sake of it. Let’s say that. So thirty five hours at school, five to 10 hours of homework that leaves sixty six hours of being awake. Hours of their week. Where are we going to do with those sixty six hours? Well, fun. Of course. Play, definitely that’s healthy. Sports, if the child wants to absolutely entertainment sure so as long as it’s not helpful or not harmful. Yeah, that too. Chores. Oh yeah. Yeah. Come on, parents. Amen. That lets us go. Chores eat. Of course you got to feed them. They eat a lot bottomless pits. So let’s say that sixty three of their hours during the week is spent having fun playing hang out with friends, doing chores, doing sports, eating and enjoying entertainment. Let’s say they spend sixty three hours a week on all that. They’re sixty six hours that they’re awake, awakened, freed from their responsibilities. That’s a great amount of time. I don’t know, though, when was the last time I had 63, three hours to spend on all that stuff? It’s not a big deal. Well, that math leaves us with three hours. That’s half an hour to study scripture with our kids. A day and then you could take a day off. That’s 30 minutes. Six days a week now, depending on their age. If you have a toddler, are you going to get 30 minutes of focused time out of a toddler? You’re going to get 30 seconds. OK, so this is going to vary by age, but when they get a little older, is your teenager who’s been brought up in the scriptures, are they going to be a little bit more than 30 minutes sometimes the wrestle with the text? Yeah, they’re going to have really deep conversations. You may need an hour. So this is going to vary by age, but all in all. Sixty six hours of free time. Sixty three to all the extracurriculars. Half an hour a day to study the scriptures, and that would go a long way. But regardless, we feel pressured all the time, we’re always stress and pressured. But the challenge is, is I think when we take inventory of the things we spend our time on and I love you, church, I’m just going to be honest and I fit right in there with you no different than you. I think we failed to count the hours we spend texting TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Snapchat. Any combination of the above, we all really count that time. And so I’m not so sure we’re just not making excuses and avoiding the things that we need to do. And I wonder if some of the stress and pressure we’re under actually isn’t an overstimulation from the media content. Now, listen, I’m not old school and I’m not up here telling you like the throw away all of your devices there can they can be used for good. But I am of the mindset that I think sometimes we start abusing them and we become overstimulated by them, and we don’t consider them into the equation of when we say we don’t have enough time to lead our homes and study scripture and teach our children. One of the assignments that we do in a live U class that we have here, called deeper is one of the first assignments and almost everybody gets it. And for my students who have been through the class, you know which one I’m going to use you. You record everything you do for three days out of your week. This is always one of my favorite assignments because everybody starts journaling what they do throughout the day for three days. And I don’t know that I’ve ever had a student come back and not be illuminated to realize they had actually had more time than what they realized. They were just blowing it. I haven’t had some arrive at the conclusion that they were embarrassed by how much time they spent on things that provided no value, not just no eternal value, but no value at all, even temporal value. Parents, families, my friends. We must make time to study the scriptures. But a lot of times the reason why we’re not teaching our kids the scriptures is because we’re not teaching ourselves the scriptures. We avoid our own responsibility of studying the scriptures by listening to podcast. And by catching a sermon on the go, but my friends, I love that God provides teachers of the word of God. It’s what I do, but I better not be the only person that you’re listening to and you better be testing what I say. How do you know if I’m not just blowing smoke and telling you what you want to hear unless you go to the scriptures for yourself and you put me to the test? I am but a mere human. I’m not special. Some of us we need to stop trying to do it. Study the scriptures on our phone. Why? Because Aunt Bettie is always going to text you in the middle of your Bible study. Want to start a conversation back and forth on Britney Spears new hairdo? Remove the distractions, maybe you got to go hard copy. Maybe you got to turn the notifications off. That’s OK. If you got to use a tablet, that’s fine. I use a I use logos, Bible software on my computer, but whatever you got to do. Get the distractions out of your way. Invest in a concordance it’s a Bible dictionary, a lexicon. Other resources. Heck, if you don’t have the money for those things. Tell me there is nothing I’d rather spend church money on. Then investing in your personal, discipleship and growth. I’ll do that all day long. You ain’t got money for a concordance. Tell me I will buy you one, I’ll buy you two. OK. Number two, the second thing we got to do is we got to discipline them in the ways of the Lord. You see, our kids think discipline is fun for us. Is discipline fun for us? Most of the time not. It’s not fun. I would prefer never to have to discipline my children again. I hate it. I hate it. You know what, one of the things the reason why is because it ends up being more for work, more work for us. Who wants more work? But our discipline methods, we do it because it’s good for them. Our discipline measures have to be measured by different terms than the world. If we were followers of Jesus, then his standard becomes our standard. Now we’re not just parenting what our parents taught us. We’re parenting. The scriptures to them, the truth to them. The number one rule in the Troester house is. What is it, honey? No lying. Tell the truth. Why? Because if you don’t have the truth, you have nothing to stand on. Bringing the truth doesn’t bring immunity, but it does mean a lot of added grace. Bringing the truth requires what humility? What does Pride do? Pride elevates ourselves above the truth, meaning that our position, our narrative and our desires now require more consideration and value than what’s true, which causes us to lie. Now I manipulate the truth, which is lying to fit my narrative to help me the best. That’s pride. I’m putting myself above the truth. Humility puts myself below the truth, meaning my position, my narrative. My story, my well-being. Falls Subject to what is true, true humility strips us of our ability to lie because it positions truth above all. Now we honor truth regardless of whether that’s good or bad for me. This is what Jesus is telling us here in this text. Humility is the most important. Matthew Chapter 18 Verse one At that time, the disciples came to Jesus saying, Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven? Now we’ll get into a little bit of what’s going on in our study next week. Like I said, this is more of a prelude. Next week, we’ll get into our exegetical verse by verse stuff that we normally do. But the disciples, like a bunch of kids, are walking around going, You know what? I want to be Jesus’ number one. I want to be as number two, and they’re arguing, who’s going to be the greatest in the Kingdom of God? By the way, this is not the first time they’ve had this conversation. It will not be the last. And Jesus rebukes them each time. Sounds like children, right? They’re arguing about who’s going to be great. They’re looking for a pecking order. What is that? That’s pride. So, Jesus, immense, infinitely wisdom wise, he calls the child resources, are calling to him the child, he put him in the midst of them and said, Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. In other words, you have to strip yourself of your. You have to allow the Holy Spirit to strip yourself of your pride. And whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Kingdom logic, which is backwards to worldly logic. So as parents, we discipline with humility. We discipline saying my rules follow under God’s rules first. What he says goes. I don’t play LAX from it. I stick to it. I don’t add to it become a legalist. I play by his rules, I discipline, according to the Lord’s rules. We also discipline knowing what we ourselves had to be disciplined and come on adults. We still were disciplined today. It may not look the same, but we still get in trouble in just different ways, right? So we discipline with humility, knowing that we to ourselves had to learn the same way. What is the third thing that we do. The third thing is we teach them to apply their understanding of the scriptures that we taught them and the discipline that we executed in the name of the Lord. We teach them to apply that to the worldview. What’s their worldview? It’s like your glasses. It’s it’s how you see everything that happens in the world. I don’t think any good Christian parent really desires to send their child off into the world and allow the world to mold and shape their values and allow the circumstances of their life to discipline them more harshly than at home. I tell my kids this all the time You may not like me disciplining you, but you just wait. If you don’t learn it in my house, the world will discipline you. And that will be far worse. Come on. So you better learn it here. We desire that our kids have a great foundation of truth and that they’ve learned boundaries that then they can apply to their worldview. Now everything they see in the world is through the perspective of 18 or how many ever 18 years or how many ever years of hard labor of teaching them, rather than them being educated by a grumpy person in society that just wants to infiltrate them with a lot of anti-Christ ideologies. There’s always going to be people wanting to do that. There’s going to be people on the TV, there’s going to be people at education facilities, there’s going to be people at their jobs, there’s going to be people on the streets. There’s only tons of people that’s going to want to educate them, according to Antichrist ideologies and falsehood. How can they combat that if they don’t know the truth? They don’t have to just wait until they leave for college. How about now? School and social media and friends, they’re getting exposed to it now. This isn’t preparing them for when they leave, it’s preparing them the face now. Sorry, got a little baptist there. No offense. You can’t keep them from these influence, but you can. Teach them to look through the lens of the Bible and everything that they experience, and when they hear somebody spout often say something that sounds nice to go. I got something different right here. So I fall under this. That’s a lie. We have to teach them the word of God. And we have to teach them to test everything they hear and see through the word of God. How can we do that if we’re not studying the word of God ourselves? We have to be people of the word. We have to study to show ourselves approved. Now I’m going to I’m going to give you a little help guide. I want to kick start you. This is my method. It’s not like you have to do this method, but I also want to help you maybe give you some ideas. I am not. I don’t like to store a bunch of books. I know a lot of you. You like the smell of pages and you like my wife bookcases. And she loves to read like this. I’m a digital guy. I like it. Index searchable. Highlightable on my phone, on my tablet, on my computer, everywhere I go. Pretty amazing. That’s the kind of guy I am. So I have a Bible software called logos that I use. OK, really cool. Everybody says I don’t get it because it’s too expensive where you’re looking at the $8000 version. Nobody can afford that. OK. Just get the plain simple. And if you can’t afford it, let me know I’ll buy it for you. It’s like, it’s like nothing. It’s like $10 a month, or it’s like $80 or something like that for life. But you get the basic version and then you just buy the resource material as you need it. You don’t need to buy everything that’s ever existed under the Sun. Eight Thousand Dollar Plan When you start, you just need to get a concordance. You need to get the right Bible versions, and you need to get a healthy commentary that is safe, a lexicon. All those sort of things. OK? If you throw that back up there real quick. So here you are. I got tabs. Everybody loves tabs. How is computing before tabs, right? Like, it’s a tabbed world. And so we pull this up and now I can click on hyperlinks and it pulls me over to my concordance and I can right click on words and highlight them and do a search on everything that the logos Bibles software has to do. And they’ve got pretty graphs and images and graphics and media. OK, now my point is this there’s tons of tools that make researching the Bible helpful and actually fun. It’s fun to study the Bible. You know, some of you are looking at me like you’ve lost your mind. It’s fun to study the Bible. It is fun. I have a lot of fun diving in and studying the Bible all the time. Now that doesn’t mean, every time I’m looking at it, I’m just like, oh, this is the greatest thing ever, sometimes because of my own flesh. I fall asleep. But then there’s other times I’m like, I’m like, But we got to study the Bible now. Here’s what I here’s my process. OK. You can take a picture of this if it helps you. You probably have your own process. But here’s my process we got slide up there. Connie, if you want to throw it up there, the outline. All right. So I pray. First thing I do is pray. Why? Because I’m not going to get out of the text when I need to get out text without the Holy Spirit’s help. Because if I go in in this without the holy spirits help, it’s just my flesh and I’m not going to ascertain the wisdom from the text that I need, so I’m going to pray before I start. The second thing I’m going to do is I’m going to read the texts fast. OK, it’s not like speed reading. It’s just read it. Normal speed. I’m going to read the text slow, slow down really processes, by the way, I’m not looking at I’m not normally looking at like a whole book. I’m not going to be like, Well, this is my first Bible study, so let’s dive into Leviticus. OK, I’m going, I’m going to pull out. I’m going to pull out a section or sometimes even a verse and start there. The fourth thing is I’m going to examine the context who wrote this book? Who d right? Who that person write it to what was going on during that time frame and what problems were they addressing? Here’s some of the questions I ask. What is the original intent of the author? Whether they trying to accomplish with this book? What historical information is pertinent to my understanding is an important for me to understand where this is taking place. Of course it is. How does this translate to our context today? All these things are important. The fifth thing is I’ll look up key words and a concordance exegetical guide in biblical lexicon. If you don’t know what those things are, just Google, it will tell you. For the sake of time, just take a picture. Google it, but look up keywords. Go on. Look at a word. Sometimes you know how I find keywords as words I don’t understand. I don’t know what that word means. So I’ll go and I’ll look that up. Ask how this communicates the gospel or glorifies Jesus, the Lord, the Bible. Everything about the Bible is about Jesus. So I ask myself the question How is this about Jesus? How does this promote the gospel? Examine the question What does this demand of me? What does this text? Ask this examine the question What is it? What about this text makes me uncomfortable? Why do I ask this question? Because if there’s something about the text that makes me uncomfortable, that means it’s challenging me. And that’s probably something the Lord wants to change about me. Hey, formulate my study findings in the form of an analytic breakdown. That’s just a fancy way of saying I make bullet points with the goal of defining the intent of the text for the teaching of the body. That’s that I’m summarizing, and I’m basically. That’s a really fancy, obnoxious way of saying journal. OK. That’s the process now. We have to be studying the scriptures. We have to be teaching our kids the scriptures, this is where it all begins. How does this all connect to our texts and Matthew Chapter 18? We’re just dipping our toe in the water. These are the essentials we have to get clear. Study the scriptures and do it in humility. That’s what we knew as we step into this book, we have to look at this whole process through that lens to set ourselves up for success. There are going to be important parallels in Jesus’s discourse when we get in there and explain this more in depth, the in the coming couple of weeks. He talks about becoming like a child and how we are to treat children. But then at some point, he’s going to shift to talking about us as little children in the context of being God’s kids. There are both in the same whether you have a child under your care, you serving kids ministry or you have a niece or nephew or a grandchild that you have influence over. Maybe you’re a teacher or educator in some capacity. Maybe you plan to have children, whatever it is. We must realize that we both must learn to treat a child with care, become children ourselves in humility, and recognize at the same time that we are God’s children. And this is how he treats us. So he’s trying to teach us how to treat children because this is how he treats us. And what this is all really about is humility. Realizing that our children or the kids in our lives, whether they’re our children or somebody else’s children, that that their eternal needs far outweigh our temporal needs. Realizing that part of becoming God’s child is walking in humility. We are not above the truth. We stand under it. We live by it. Let me read to an excerpt from a commentary. The message of Matthew, and this is what it says, it is a quality that is imperative among Christians. Others may need to keep face because they have no ultimate security to fall back on. Christians should never need to do this. They know they are accepted in Christ. They should be willing to and able to take their mask off. Lay no pretense to greatness and be utterly at the disposal of Jesus. The American preacher, SD Gordon, not himself highly educated, once advised, get every qualification you can and then use it for God. The trouble is that those who are not humble spend much of their lives hunting wealth, possessions and qualifications for their own sake, hoping that they will give them the status and self-esteem that they crave. But no God has already given us the highest status in the world. We are his paidia. His children. But in Greek, as an Aramaic, the word also means servants. We have the highest position in the world, God’s kids. And you know what? The children that you have influence over, whether they’re yours or someone else’s, that’s God’s kid to. And how you train them up and how you treat them. It’s very important to the Lord Jesus. What you allow into their hearts and in their lives is very important to the Lord Jesus, how you steward their care is very important to the Lord Jesus and my friends. It should scare us that we will be held accountable. But in a good way. That it will draw us to repentance and where we’ve let the drawbridge down and let things come across and call it friend, that was actually an intruder. That we would change a roundabout and chase that thing out, pull the drawbridge up and say, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. It will take humility for us to lay aside our time, our resources, our human aspirations, our goals for the sake of what’s best for those in our home or in our care. And ultimately, that’s what’s best for us. Because what’s best? For your family, is this what is what’s best for you? And my friends, I’m going to tell you this. This is your ministry. God doesn’t care about what goes on in here if your home is out of order. That’s your ministry. My job is simply to equip you to go into your homes and lead them well. And so that’s what we want to do in the coming weeks. Listen, I want to come alongside you. I this is a hard conversation, but I don’t want to beat over your head. I want to come alongside you. Because there’s things in our house we need to get in order to just as much as anybody else. But let’s begin evaluating as parents, let’s go back and study the scriptures. Parents, if you’re or anybody, adults, if you’re not setting the scriptures, that’s where we begin. How can we teach if we ourselves are not students? And then it’s time for us to train up our children, to prepare them, not just for the battle that they’ll be in someday, but for the battle they’re in now. We can’t keep them from everything, but we can’t teach them to look at it. Through the lens of the truth, a man. You are on the front lines of this battle. I’m your pastor, but I can’t walk into your home and and lead your home. That’s your job. I would be stepping I would be I would not be in my rightful place. That’s your place. That’s your domain. And the Lord has given it to you as a as a gift. And if we will allow his grace and his mercy. To teach us then we to could train up our homes. A lot of times the reason why marriages fail is because Christ was an at the center. We need to make sure that we’re studying the word together. They were putting Christ at the center, because if the marriage isn’t right, the kids are going to feel the effects of that. The whole family does. So let’s get our homes in order church and by that I’m not, suggesting your homes out of order. But like I said earlier, I’m inviting you to consider that maybe there is some alignment tweaks that need to be put into place. Would you come with me on this journey? Would you do it with humility, considering that maybe we don’t all have it figured out? I don’t have it all figured out. I’m learning with you. Would you go on this journey with me? Let’s pray.