Command of Christ # 29

As I was studying this week's command I felt impressed to re-emphasize why I am sending out e-mails every week about the commands of Christ. "He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him" (John 14:21). We show God that we love Him by keeping His commandments. If we don't know God's commandments, how can we keep them? And if we don't do them, we will miss out on knowing Christ more fully. This week, try to apply this week's command while it is on your mind and be prepared to reap the rewards!
Well, on to Command #29: Despise Not Little Ones. Jesus said, "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 your Father which is heaven" (Matthew 18:10).
God loves children just as He does adults, and did not even cherish the religious leaders of His day above them. Jesus tells us not despise children, which means to think lightly of, or to be mentally disposed against them. It is thinking that children are not useful and that they are a nuisance. I don't have younger siblings, but I am guessing some of you have struggled with 'thinking lightly' of the littler ones in your home.
I watched my 2 1/2 year old niece this week, and thought I would write this command after the fact. There were times when I was frustrated with her natural rebellious behavior and worn-out after reading the same book multiple times in a row. More than that though, I was reminded how precious children are and what a blessing they are! They are so full of love and they totally depend on you to guide them and help them.
Children have become an accessory in this country and we only have one or two, because they are just too much of a hassle and burden. God said be fruitful and multiply and that children are a gift from the Lord; happy is the man that has his quiver full ('one or two' does not communicate the thought of being 'full') (Psalm 127).
When we 'despise little ones' it is a sign of pride, because it is often a result of thinking that they are not of value. A few verses before Jesus says, "Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:4). Jesus is saying that those who are humble like a child will be greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus realized that despising children was just a sign that we are proud and have an exalted view of ourselves. Jesus warned us against this because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. The key point of this command is to humble ourselves and not to see others as less than us, whether it is children, unbelievers, or our 'weaker' brother. 
As we continue through the week, let's focus not only on treating children with respect, but all those we come in contact with. Let's be aware of any attitude that makes us feel like we are better than others or that others are a 'nuisance' to be around.
-Is there any attitude of superiority in me?
-Have I seen children as a burden more than a blessing from God?
-How can I value other believers, particularly those in whom I see immaturity?
"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" (Matthew 18:3).
Notes adapted from IBLP Commands of Christ study guide and pocket guide

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