Welcome Home everyone
Today we are taking a break from our normal study of Acts. Because today is a special day. Today is special because Jordan and Tonya Ayers have decided to dedicate their precious baby boy, River to the Lord. Before we do that, I wanted to tell you all a story.
I wanted to tell you the story the story of a woman named Hannah. Hannah was a married woman, but she was childless and as a result there were certain challenges that she faced. Although Hannah’s husband loved and cared for her, his other wife had many sons and daughters and tormented/provoked Hannah. In her home she was mortified and culturally, she was desperate. What I really want to focus on today is not her issue rather, Hannah’s course of action and her response to God’s answer. If you have your Bibles today you can join me in 1 Samuel chapter, verse 10
In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. 11 And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”1 Samuel 1:10-11
Here are a few things that stood out to me as I read this passage.
Hannah understood the valued children and wanted desperately to conceive. Again these are some things that stood out as I read. No matter your why; Having children is instinctive. We desire children because it solidifies the framework of the family. Having children is a manner in which we express our love and devotion to our family and even our spouse. As a human race children is a symbol of hope and security of our people.
In fact, raising children emulates our relationship with God. God is our heavenly father and we are his children, and the cycle continues.
Hannah’s instinct to turn to God for help and then vow to dedicate her child to the service of God is on point and commendable.
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.Proverbs 22:6
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.Romans12:1-2
Jordan and Tonya have acknowledged God in their marriage and in all aspects of life and today they make a vow before you all and before God.
Jordan and Tonya—would you please join us up front. While they are making their way, I want to explain why we do a baby dedication. Every baby is a gift from God and the dedication is an opportunity to thank God, as well as, bring family and church family together in celebration of a commitment to pursue Jesus Christ. The dedication does not give salvation however, it communicates a commitment to help and encourage River to pursue and to know a Personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
FAMILY COMMITMENT: JORDAN/TONYA/FAMILY—Do you commit to the dedication of River to the Lord, to teach him to honor God, to trust in Jesus, to seek the leading of the Holy Spirit, and to love his neighbor in the name of Jesus?
CHURCH COMMITMENT: Now, because it takes a village to raise a child, I’m going to ask you church to participate in the same vow. Are you ready?
CHURCH—Do you commit to the dedication of River to the Lord, to teach him to honor God, to trust in Jesus, to seek the leading of the Holy Spirit, and to love his neighbor in the name of Jesus?
I’ll close with this.
Then Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. 2 “There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.1 Samuel 2:1-2
Will you join me as we seek an authentic relationship united in Christ and each other? Rejecting division, embracing God’s reality in Jesus, and encouraging one another. It’s just between you and God. Here’s the thing, If we love God and abide in Christ we will find ourselves more and more loving each other. You will we more and you will love better. We will experience God in spirit and in truth and we will share that amongst each other. Share all the ways God has shown you mercy and grace. Will you allow the Holy Spirit to stir faith in someone through your testimony?
Would you join me as the Holy Spirit moves on us to be unified in the spirit of Christ? These are the kingdom values. This is truly the work of God. The intentional actions of the body of Christ. Remember the devil seeks only to kill steal and destroy. Steal your freedom, kill your joy, and destroy your destiny for hope and love. But God has a plan! He’s stealing from your neighbor, your family, and your loved ones today.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
Jesus, He’s the Son of the living God, and we can receive from Him today His Righteousness, His purpose and His calling. Will you call on him today? Your salvation/forgiveness is just one prayer away. Will you trust in his ability to do what He said He would do? Will you believe today? Many of you need a fresh touch from God today. Is there some form of unbelief or a fracture of trust as it relates to God in your life today?
God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life? He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today. You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today. There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late
It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me? Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here. Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life. If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me? Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.
“‘“The Lord bless youNumbers 6:24-26
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’