Summary: We dedicated our newly remodeled sanctuary back to the Lord.
Good morning, and welcome to God's house this morning! It is always a pleasure to see each of you on Sunday mornings. Our prayer is that, as you sit here, you will begin to feel an upswelling of God's Spirit working in you to bring you closer to Jesus Christ than you have ever been before.
Today's message is a dedication service. As Christians, we always want to dedicate everything we do and everything we have back to the Lord, and that is what we are going to be doing today; dedicating our newly remodeled sanctuary back to God.
We have stepped out in faith, as one body in Christ Jesus, to accomplish a new work for His glory. Look around you for a moment. Isn't this a beautiful place? They worked so hard to accomplish so much in so little a time. We very much appreciate their work and their dedication to this project.
A beautiful sanctuary may act to help us feel comfortable in our worship, and all the latest technology may help us worship in better ways, but it is not these things we dedicate back to the Lord. We dedicate the place - a holy place - to be consecrated and set-apart for the Lord's will to be done.
Today, you will hear me talk about giving. I am not talking about our tithes and offerings today. I am talking about our hearts, and what we are called to give from our hearts to God.
Throughout the bible, we read about how important a sanctuary is to God.
In EXODUS 25:8, God told the Israelites;
"Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them."
Did you catch that? God's desire is to live among us, not apart from us. He does not want us to live and worship here while He is somewhere else. He wants us to be close to Him, in body and spirit, so we can feel His glorious presence!
And so, today, we will act on that premise to make this sanctuary set apart and holy while giving it back to the Lord, so he can dwell in here and be near us as we humbly worship Him.
Let us begin by going into prayer.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
You have blessed us with your love and mercy far beyond anything we deserve or could expect. And as you continue to bless us with Your love, we would ask that You create in us a heart of worship, Lord. A heart that puts you above all things. A heart that desires to draw nearer to You.
Help us to feel your Holy Spirit in this place and in our hearts. And as we dedicate this sanctuary back to You this morning, we invite Your Spirit into this place, to make it His dwelling place, also.
In Jesus name, Amen.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
As we look through the bible, we will find many events that were so important, they actually changed people's lives and even changed the course of history for nations. These events were holy events because they always exalted the Lord above all things.
This sanctuary is an example of that. What is it that makes this room holy? The answer is very simple: It is holy because God is here and we worship Him. This is a place where it is not about you or me; but it is all about what you and I can sacrifice to God from our hearts.
The idea of dedication is not a new one. It is found in both the Old and New Testaments.
In 1 SAMUEL 1, we read about a woman named Hannah. She was barren and without child. She craved to be a mother and so she prayed for a baby. She didn't just pray the occasional prayer, though. This woman prayed diligently, with all her heart, that God would let her have a baby of her own! Hannah was extremely serious in her prayers and she prayed with the expectation that God would answer her prayers.
In verses 27 and 28, we find the results of those prayers.
27 - "I have prayed to have this child, and the Lord gave me what I prayed for.
28 - "So now, I give him back to the LORD. For my child's whole life will be given over to the Lord."
Hannah's child was Samuel, and we know that his entire life was in service to the Lord. This woman had extreme faith, and she backed it up with faithful actions.
In LUKE 2:22-23, we read where Mary and Joseph dedicated their son, Jesus.