“But whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 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. 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! Wherefore it thy hand or they foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee; it is better for thee to enter it no life halt or maimed, rather than having tow hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee; it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having tow eyes to be cast into hell fire. Take heed that ye despise not onto of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heave their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 18:7-10
Today’s Christian daily devotional
“I wanna play outside!” Peering out the window, I watch the wildflowers in the field across the street dance in the wind. The confines of Penny’s purple bedroom starts to feel a bit stifling for my kind of energy.
“Na. Let’s just stay here.” Penny tried distracting me by ducking her head under the bed.
“Penny!” A deep voice bellowed through the hallow plaster walls of her small home.
From the look of Penny’s frightened expression, my heart froze in fear.
“Yes!” She scrambled up from the floor, quickly darting out of the bedroom.
I got up to follow her, but stopped in my tracts when I heard the stern voice again.
“Change the channel for me.” Peering around the corner from the hallway, I watched Penny’s stepfather flick his finger at the television screen. This interrupted his fervent dipping into a bowl of cashews that was right beside him.
I watched my gangly friend flip through the channels slowly. Listening intently for his direction, Mr. Hammond commanded her to either slow down or pause from clicking for a second.
“There. Yes. Channel 9. The Cubbies are playing…” Penny paused for a moment, watching his face to see if he was satisfied.
As she got up to leave, Mr. Hammond pulled the sleeve of her sweater.
“Where are you going? I’m not finished with you yet.” She didn’t seem shocked, but her shoulders hunched as hope drained from her face.
“I could use a foot rub.” Both sets of eyes dart down to look at his rancid-looking brown socks.
The dichotomy of their separate expressions spoke volumes without saying one word. Mr. Hammond was quite satisfied with his end of the deal, my poor friend Penny was in complete misery.
Penny’s stepfather didn’t bother glancing at her forlorn expression, he dove his greasy fingers right back into his dwindling bowl of cashews. With his eyes carefully glued to the Cubs game, he yanked his socks off one at a time, flexing his toes like he was a king.
Even Harry Carry’s jovial belly laugh couldn’t drown the heaviness that weighed that room down. I silently watched Penny kneel down and rub her stepfather’s sweaty feet. Her position made it obvious that this was a ritual she had grown accustomed to.
I could feel my throat tighten at the thought of saying something. But, I felt compelled to try and rescue my poor friend, Penny.
“Can we play outside?” My voice sounded so tiny and un-charactisically quiet; not like my usual loud self— I was infamous for making my presence known wherever I was.
“Who’s that?” Mr. Hammond seemed shocked that there was someone else in the room.
It was odd that Penny’s stepdad didn’t seem to recognize me. Mr. Hammond had been a long-standing deacon in our church. Seeing his thick black mustache and pompous grin was one of the things I hated most about Sundays—he definitely made a lasting impact on my memory.
“I’m in Penny’s fourth grade class with Mrs. Cantu. I’m Julia.” I inch over a bit closer to my friend.
“When I’m done with her, you can have her. But for now, Penny has to take care of her daily chores.” Mr. Hammond’s twisted mustache reeked of annoyance. It was apparent that explaining himself to a grade-schooler was not common for him.
In Matthew 18: 7-10, the Bible reminds us of that the precious gift of innocence should be preserved. Any person that provokes a child to become a bitter and angry person will have to contend with the wrath of God Himself.
It is important for us to remember that although we cannot see God, He sees all the actions that are performed. The privacy of closed doors and private homes can not shut out the eyes of God; He sees all.
If we live with this awareness, we can guard our hearts before they start to produce the kind of actions that will cause hurt, pain and offence in the lives of the vulnerable.
We are to be defenders of innocence, truth and hope; not people who destroy all hope in humanity and even in God Himself.
“Dear Heavenly Father,
There has been so much pain in my life. Much of this has been inflicted by the very people who claim to love and serve you.
Lord, you are not the author of pain or confusion. I know that your word says that satan has come to steal, kill and to destroy. I know that satan would just love for me to turn my back on you, to lose all hope in you.
I am asking you to help me to forgive all those who have abused, hurt and rejected me. Bless them, Father for they have no idea that they have only put a curse upon themselves. Help them to see before they pass into eternity the depths of what they have done. Give them hearts that are repentant, so they can come and seek your forgiveness and you can wash their sins away by the blood of your Son. You did it for me, now I pray that you do it for the ones who have hurt me. In Jesus’ precious name, thank you for making me whole enough to pray this, Amen.”
Thank you for reading today’s Christian daily devotional on verses: Matthew 18:7-10
Please check back and see what we have for you tomorrow!
Author: Julia Shalom Jordan