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Summary: Learn how to give your children to God.

Home Improvement Series

GIVING YOUR CHILDREN BACK TO GOD

GEN. 22:1-13

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: One man said, "Before I was married I had 6 theories on raising kids…now I have 6 kids and no theories!"

Ex: One little boy came running in to his Mother and asked, "Mom, what would you like for your birthday this year?" The Mother said, "I would like 3 well-behaved children!" The little boy said, "WOW! 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 that your children are a precious gift from God, and they belong ultimately and always to Him first—not to you.

Release the ownership of your children to Him—understanding God is responsible for the way in which they are designed and already knows the plan and purpose for their lives.

Today, God is asking every one of us who are parents to "BRING OUR CHILDREN AND PUT THEM ON THE ALTAR!"

BIBLICAL EXAMPLES:

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).

2. Zechariah and Elizabeth circumcised the infant John the Baptist and gave him the name the angel had instructed them to give him. This was an act of surrendering that child to the purpose and plan for which God had chosen him. (Lk. 1:57-66).

3. 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 the temple 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. So, let’s go back to where we started several weeks ago, to Genesis 22, and let’s see what God would have to say to us today about "Giving Your Children Back To God."

TEXT GENESIS 22:1-13

I hope before we leave here today, every parent, grandparent and hope-to-be-parent have something of an Abraham and Isaac experience. I hope you have a real encounter with God where you can come and in a very real way, give your children and grandchildren back to God.

That is exactly what Abraham did. He 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.

· Abraham’s entire life was invested in Isaac. Abraham had spent his whole life following God around the deserts of the Middle East because God had promised to "bless him and make him the father of many nations, and by him all the nations of the earth would be blessed..." and all of this was to be fulfilled through Isaac.

· 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. But in a very real sense, I know I MUST DO THAT with all 4 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 surrender him back to God?

FOUR ELEMENTS OF SURRENDERING YOUR CHILD TO GOD:

· What does it mean to surrender your children to God? I think it means 4 things:

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