Summary: At least part of this lesson is adapted from a Jerry Shirley lesson entitled, "A True Baby Dedication." This lesson reminds us of the need to dedicate/return our children to the God who has given them to us.
1. Our Baby Dedication brings to mind a practical question: Parents, have you considered returning your children to God?
a. A Frustrated dad says, “I didn’t know that was possible. I thought He had a no return policy.”
b. Bill Cosby’s routine in which he told his kids – “I brought you into the world and I can take you out.”
c. I told our daughter that I saved the receipt from the hospital – just in case we needed to make a return.
d. One man said that when he and his wife married, they had 3 theories about raising children; today they have three children and no theories
e. One of those children asked his mother what she wanted for her birthday; she replied, “Three well-behaved children.” To which the child replied, “But that would make 6 of us!”
2. The Real Point – Children are a gift from God and to be received as such but they belong first and ultimately to him – Psalm 127.3
a. He designed children with purpose –
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1.5
b. It is up to Parents to show them the way to go – Proverbs 22.6
c. Parents receive children from God but are to return them to him after a few days
a. Abraham and Isaac (the Akedah) – Genesis 22
1) Because Abraham gave Isaac back to God HE blessed both of them
2) Isaac became wealthy/powerful/in the ancestry of Messiah
b. Joseph and Mary dedicating Yeshua (Jesus) in the temple – Luke 2.22
c. Hannah and Samuel – 1 Samuel 1.27-28
4. What does it mean to dedicate/give our children to God?
I. We Affirm Our Trust in God (1.11)
A. The Challenge
1. It is one thing to receive the gift of the child (or any gift) from God
2. It is another to return that gift to God
B. The Choice – to Believe (FAITH)
The Bay of Fundy is at the head of the St. John River where the river empties into the bay. It is a spectacle to see the currents of the mighty St. John rushing to meet the tides of the Atlantic Ocean. You would think there could never be anything that could stop the raging flow of the St. John. But every evening at the changing of the tide the flow of the St. John can be seen slowing. The Atlantic tide comes in little by little at 29, 30 and 40 feet until it reaches a height of 70 feet. The tide pushes and pushes until suddenly it reverses the river and flows towards its source. It is at this time that huge ships can enter the St. John River to gain access to the interior of Canada and Maine.
I submit to you that it is time for the spiritual tides of God’s blessings to come in. If you have had faith, whatever Satan does that seems so indomitable, remember God’s power is greater and His tides always come in.
32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith [OR TRUSTING] conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received their dead by resurrection. Hebrews 11.32-35
1. Parents can control very little
2. Trust God
II. We Affirm Our Love for God
A. We recognize God’s love for us by his gifts – John 3.16
B. We Express Love to Him by OUR Gifts!
I heard recently about a 90-year-old lady who one Christmas found buying presents a bit much, so she wrote out checks for all of her family and friends, and decided she would put them in with her Christmas cards. She wrote out her Christmas cards and put "Buy your own present" after her name, then sent them off.
But after the Christmas festivities were over, she found the checks in her desk! Everyone had got a Christmas card from her with "Buy your own present" written inside but without the checks!
We all like gifts. We like to receive them from those that we love. And we also enjoy giving them. What Jesus said is certainly true: "It is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20:35). I used to think that the greatest joy of giving gifts belonged to children because they get to experience the excitement of opening their presents. But I’ve learned that the real excitement comes in being able to give to those who mean so much to you.