Summary: really a parent dedication!--THE CONFIRMATION, THE CLARIFICATION, THE COMMITMENT, THE CLAIMING. Link to free Formatted Text Version and ready-made Powerpoint included.
GIVING YOUR CHILDREN BACK TO GOD
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Question: Have you ever given your children back to God? (Some of you are thinking, “I’d like to give them back—but I didn’t think God would take them back. I thought He had a ‘no return’ policy on kids! Besides, I lost the receipt!”)
· The truth is, there is not a parent here who hasn’t had a few moments or days when they wouldn’t have liked to package up that kid and take him/her back to God’s customer service counter and demand, “I want my money back!”
Ex: Kimberly and I: “When first married we had 3 theories on raising kids…now we have 3 kids and no theories!"
Ex: Jacob came to his mom and asked, “Mom, what would you like for your birthday this year?” She said, “I would like 3 well-behaved children!” Jacob said, “Then there would be six of us!”
· Well, I’m not suggesting you return your kids to God and try to get your money back, when I ask you if you have ever given your children back to God.
· What I am asking is, have you ever really:
Recognized your children are a precious gift from the Lord, and they belong ultimately and always to God first—not to you?
Released ownership of your children to Him—understanding God is responsible for the way in which they were designed and already knows the plan and purpose for their future?
Realized God has left it up to you to show them His way?
God has been asking us to put many things on His altar recently. And today, He is asking every one of us who are parents to “BRING OUR CHILDREN AND PUT THEM ON THE ALTAR!”
There are many examples of parents in the Bible who brought their children to God and gave them back to Him:
1. There is the classic example of Hannah bringing her son Samuel (the son for whom she had prayed), and presenting him to God, and handing young Samuel over to Eli the priest. (I Sam. 1:27-28).
27 For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: 28 Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD.
2. Of course, you remember Joseph and Mary brought the infant child Jesus to the temple following his circumcision at 8 days. they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (Lk. 2:22).
But the example of a parent surrendering his child to God that I want us to read about today is that of Abraham offering Isaac on Mt. Moriah.
Genesis 22, -- let’s see what God would have to say to us today about “Giving Your Children Back To God.”
TEXT GENESIS 22:1-13
Abraham literally, totally, irrevocably gave Isaac back to God. Man, that had to be hard and painful for Abraham. After all:
· Abraham loved Isaac. V.2 God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love, and sacrifice him ...”
· Isaac had been a MIRACLE baby. He was born when Sarah was 90 and Abraham was 100 years of age.
· Oh yes, just try to put yourself in Abraham’s place. It was incomprehensibly painful for Abraham to strap his dear son on an altar and a stack of wood, raise a knife to slash open that boy’s chest and throat, cremate the body and sit by as he smelled the stench of the burning flesh of his boy—and then watch that boy literally disintegrate into a pile of ashes!
· Whew! I don’t know if I would do that…even if God asked! But in a very real sense, I know I MUST DO THAT with all 3 of the precious children God has given me.
Do you know—the best thing Abraham ever did for Isaac was to tie him to that altar and to surrender him back to God?
1) Had Abraham refused to give Isaac back to God, he would have forfeited all God’s promises and plans for Isaac. Isaac would have lived and died in obscurity—a nomad, and a nobody.
2) Because Abraham obeyed and gave Isaac back to God, Isaac received the fullness of God’s best plan and promise for his life:
· Isaac became a wealthy man.
· Isaac became the forefather of God’s own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
· Isaac’s life is still having an impact on and blessing millions of people worldwide through his offspring—Jesus Christ.
And so, you and I need to learn from Abraham today. If we refuse and fail to give our children back to God—we may very well be forfeiting God’s best plan and purpose for their lives. And when we entrust our children back to God—we secure for them the covenant of God’s best purpose and plan for their lives.