Summary: 4 of 6 on family. This message was given on a Baby Dedication Day. Several Sermon Central contributors were used in preparation for this message.
“I prayed for this child, and the LORD answered my prayer and gave him to me. Now I give him back to the LORD. He will belong to the LORD all his life...”
Hannah - 1 Samuel 1:27-28a
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!”
Little 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.
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?
This is what Dedication to God is all about.
Dedication is Your Releasing of Ownership of Your Children to God
“Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work...”
It’s about you understanding and acknowledging that God is responsible for the way in which they were imagined, designed, and put together and that he already knows the plan and purpose for their future?
It is about you understanding and acknowledging that God chose you to be the parent of that child… God knew that child before he was born according to the prophet Jeremiah’s teaching. You were carefully selected by God for that child.
Whether your child is disabled physically or developmentally, is a genus intellectually, a goofball and an entertainer; whether they are physically strong and put together for football, soccer, and Lacrosse, or has weak eyesight and loves books…
God choose you to be their parent – And God does not make mistakes – either with creation of a child or with the choosing of a parent.
It is about you understanding and acknowledging that God has left it up to you to show them His way – but that you are only the guide, the teacher, the parent – they belong to God.
It is about you releasing ownership of your child to God.
There are many examples of parents in the Bible who brought their children to God and gave them back to Him:
Abraham gave up Isaac on Mt. Moriah.
Joseph and Mary gave up Jesus in the temple of Jerusalem
This morning we’re going to learn how to give back our children to God – and how this is the greatest blessing you can give your child.
When You Give Your Child Back to God…
"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
When You Give Your Child Back to God…
When You Give Your Child Back to God You Acknowledge God’s Primacy in Your Life
When you dedicate your children to God you are simply making it clear that He is first in your life. Certainly, your child is your most prized possession…but you must not allow them to take the place of God!
This is exactly what Abraham proved by his willingness to offer Isaac. He was demonstrating that his love and fear of God were supreme in his life above all else.
Abraham loved God above the most prized treasure of his life...his only son Isaac.
Was this not what had to be on Abraham’s mind when he lay Isaac on the altar? Was he not saying, “Lord, this young man belongs to you—not me?” He was saying, “You do with him as you please. He’s yours!”
The critical piece here is “Trust”. When you worship God first you put your trust in God that he will love your children as much – more – than you do. He will do what is best for them.
Many question God. They question His love. They question His power. They question His integrity. They say, “How can God let a child suffer with sickness, hunger, disease, war, disabilities?” How can God allow a school bus full of kids to be in a terrible accident. How can God allow children to be swallowed up in a tsunami, crushed in an earthquake, or murdered by terrorists?