“Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me” (Psalm 131:2 NKJV). There is no more calming, tranquil picture among humans than that of a child settled within the comfort and protection of his, or her, mother. And, yet, that is exactly what is missing from millions of children in the United States today. For their own sins and corruption, God seemingly had abandoned His people for good to punish them. Yet, to illustrate that He had not, He asked: “Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you” (Isaiah 49:15 NKJV). To be ignored or forgotten by our own mother, indeed, does permanent damage!
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
In preparation for a sermon on Mark chapter nine, an article by Brother Ben Flatt in one of the Getwell Church of Christ lectureship books was helpful.
Flatt wrote verses 17-29 was an opportunity for the twelve to learn two lessons from the boy possessed by a demon. The apostles should not have taken the power given them in Mark 3 for granted. They had evidently become self-sufficient and forgotten they must remember to rely on God. This was the reason why they found it impossible to heal the boy themselves.
They also needed to understand that greatness does not lie on the mountain of ceremony, Flatt wrote. After the transfiguration, Peter had wanted to build three tents to honor Moses, Elijah and Christ. Peter’s mind reveals he was still worldly because the worldly mind strives to achieve and live in glory. Jesus, however, reminds us that true greatness is in the valley of need.
This is why Jesus calls to him a child to teach the haughty-minded disciples the blissful youngster is unassuming and innocent, without lofty goals of glory, is humble and dependant.
The child’s mind really defines what the Christian must be. Wouldn’t the world be remarkably different if that were true?
If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.
Carl Jung, Swiss founder of analytical psychology (1875-1961)
Like Randal, I grew up in the church. And like Randal, I was a timid child as well, so I hesitated in being baptized until I was 15 years of age (Jan, 1960). My grandmother was always my great encourager, and thankfully, she was in the audience the Sunday I was baptized into Christ. What a blessing it was to have her witness the occasion. I look forward to seeing her again in eternity!
The proverb goes: “As a twig is bent, so grows a branch”. The Jews had a proverb with similar application: “train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” But remember these are proverbs. They are not laws of nature. In 1924 John Hopkins University psychologist, John Watson, claimed if he were given complete control of children for their first five years he would “guarantee” that they would become whatever he chose. This myth has been since repeated over and over. God created man with free agency and though training influences, it does not determine. God leaves the responsibility to decide up to each one of us. This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess