Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" (Matthew 19:14).

In Jesus' day, children were powerless. They were sometimes resources utilized to provide for the family. Many were loved by their parents, yet far too often, they were not. Mainly in the days when Jesus came, children were only valued if they were wanted. If a child wasn't wanted, they were abandoned at the city dump where they were often retrieved by religious pimps who would raise them to become cult prostitutes at the pagan temples. Such a reality sounds horrifying.

Today, we like to think that we value children. The reality is somewhere between the extremes. Children are precious. Children are demanding. Children are pandered. Children are exploited. Children are loved. Children are abused.

In our world, much like in Jesus' world, children are valued if they are wanted, convenient, or politically expedient. When we dig a little deeper into our modern culture, we discover that children are often impoverished, forgotten, abandoned, abused, trafficked, and exploited. Many are never allowed to be born. Many who are born aren't valued. So as we listen to James Nored in today's video, let's not pretend that we value children more today in our world than they did in Jesus' day. Instead, let's hear the challenging words of Jesus. Let's choose for Jesus to be our example in the way we value children!

If you can't see the video, and you sure don't want to miss it, view it online. For additional ideas to consider and some things to discuss with others, we encourage you to see the Study Guide.

Who do you believe God is calling you to bless and serve?

How is Jesus calling you to bless children in his name and impact your world and how it treats Jesus' little ones, today?

Let the little children come to me!
Those are great questions that I'm asking myself because this video powerfully challenges me (Phil). I've just come back from being a resource person for church leaders in Africa. While our team loved, served, prayed, counseled, encouraged, listened, and worshiped with these church leaders, we were also humbled. Most of them were bi-vocational or self-supporting — that means they weren't paid to be a minister, but instead used their livelihood not only to support their families but also to support their church ministries.

Some of these leaders came from a ministry you see in the video called "Made in the Streets" in Nairobi, Kenya. They sometimes partner with Coach Mauldin's "Change a Life Ministries" to bless children raised on the hard streets of poverty, neglect, and abuse. Notice that these ministry leaders don't focus on themselves or on being important or being in the limelight. In James' video, you heard how Coach Tony does the simple jobs, encouraging and equipping the Kenyan believers to lead the ministry. He knows that valuing means empowering, encouraging, and equipping others to find their place in God's family.

You don't have to go to Africa to serve children, bless the impoverished, or care for street children. Jesus asks all of us to become like children and find joy in being with God's people and sharing God's goodness. So, I will ask our two questions one more time:

Who do you believe God is calling you to bless and serve?

How is Jesus calling you to bless children in his name and impact your world and how it treats Jesus' little ones, today?

Our answers say a great deal about how we view our role in the Kingdom of God!

Learn more about Tony Mauldin's work with Change a Life Ministries in Kenya and donate to sponsor a child with a quality education, Bible taught daily, 2 meals a day, school supplies, and lots of love.