Encounter: Meditate on the words Jesus prayed in John 17 and think about how Jesus is personally praying for you.
“Come here precious and let me wash the sand off your feet.” The father motioned to his son to set his feet under the water spout next to the beach path. It was fun watching this dad and mom play with their young children all day on the beach, with the most special moment when this dad bent down in the sand to build a sandcastle side by side with the children he very clearly cherishes.
To Cherish: To protect and care for (someone) lovingly, to hold dear, to keep in one’s mind, to love someone dearly, to treat with tenderness, give warmth, ease or comfort, to foster and encourage, to encourage growth, by protection, aid or supplying nourishment
What does it mean to be chosen? We were made in the image of God, and God loves what He has made. We are precious to our Maker. And there is nothing more that our Father loves to do than bend down in the sand, side by side with His children and create something out of the least of all things.
On many beaches all over the coastlands of the world, we can find elaborate sandcastles formed through hours of carving and sculpting until it is a Masterpiece. But I always think, why would someone put so much time into creating something that will only be washed away by the next shift of the tides? And then I think of this dad, it wasn’t the sandcastle that was the point, he loved being with his kids and watching them create and come to life. He loved getting down in the sand with them and encouraging their creativity, their growth and their Masterpiece, no matter how humble.
In Episode 3 of The Chosen, children take center stage. They display the best of what Jesus says is precious in the human soul as they learn to follow Him; to be teachable, humble, genuine and open to the truth with wonder and joy. What can we learn from these moments of watching Jesus cherish these precious ones?
“Unlike most of the adults who came in contact with Jesus, the children knew they had nothing of value to offer Him except their love and excitement to be there - and Jesus welcomed them. He wanted to spend time with them, hug them, and heal them. He wanted to. He accepted them, not because of who they were or what they could do, but because of who He is and what He does.”
Our Father is inviting us to know this deep within our own souls by becoming like a child in these ways:
Jesus called a little one to his side and said to them, “Learn this well: Unless you dramatically change your way of thinking and become teachable, and learn about heaven’s kingdom realm with the wide-eyed wonder of a child, you will never be able to enter in. Whoever continually humbles himself to become like this gentle child is the greatest one in the heaven’s kingdom realm…(Matthew 18:2-4)
Our Father is inviting us to create alongside Him, maybe not sandcastles, but a Masterpiece out of the least of things. When you look into the mirror today, try saying to yourself, “I am precious, I am cherished by my Maker.” I am Chosen…
Reflect: What is what you are experiencing today in your faith life is less than what God actually has for you? How difficult is it for you to say to yourself I am precious, I am cherished?
Encourage: One way we cherish others is through encouragement. First, how does it encourage you to know that God wants you to know him as Abba (Dear Father, Dear Daddy). What name for God are you most comfortable with that brings a smile to your face? Who can you share this truth with?
Gather: Discuss in your small group how we can invite more children and youth to know they are cherished by their Maker. How can we improve the ministries to children and youth in our community and reach more with the Good News of God’s love for them? Share your ideas with one another and with a staff member or leader.
1 Thess 2 - We were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherishes her children.