One Day at a Time Devotional
Many of us are familiar with the passages in I Samuel chapter one about Hannah who had no child. She was scorned by another woman for being barren and as a result she cried out to God in the temple (church). She asked God to give her a son whom if he would answer her prayer, she would dedicate and give this son back to God. We know that God answered this prayer of Hannah’s and gave her Samuel. Hannah kept her promise and gave Samuel to God to be raised by the preacher Eli for the rest of his life in church. We also know that Samuel became a great preacher who served God for all of his life. This is where we get the practice of dedicating our children to God within the church today.
I had my first child when I was eighteen. I was so excited and proud to have a son. I had prayed to God for a son just as Hannah did. There were many struggles and heartaches that I experienced with this newborn and many he also experienced as a three pound and fourteen ounce premature baby. I remember as an unsaved eighteen year old mom staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Marshfield, Wisconsin, crying out to God to spare my child’s life and to give him health. It was during this time that I prayed to God and read Psalm ninety-one for comfort. However, at this time I had not even dedicated myself to the Lord, I did not know Christ as my personal Savior.
Joyfully, God did spare my son’s life and strengthened his body. A month later at four pounds and eleven ounces, he was released from the hospital with a machine to monitor his heart and breathing rhythms. His health improved quickly and at six months old, my husband and I stood in front of the congregation of the Pentecostal church we occasionally attended and dedicated this child to the Lord. There I was giving my child to the Lord before I had even given myself to Him.
Fast forward one year and I have now moved from South Carolina to California due to my husband’s military career, here we are at age nineteen raising two children. Throughout that year we have forgotten about that dedication service for our oldest son and we rarely attend church. We do not even bother to dedicate our second child.
California is a new, exciting, and intimidating place. Military life takes some adjustments and before we know it God is brought back into the picture. A co-worker approaches my husband and invites him to a Baptist church and so we begin to attend, slowly at first, and then every service. This church is exciting, fun, and they teach the Bible. Eight months later, I give myself to the Lord and am saved. I am twenty now and my life will never be the same.
As my husband and I begin to understand the Bible, attend church every service, participate in multiple ministries within the church, we realize that the life we were living in Christ was not just for us. We again stood on a church platform, this time at Hopewell Baptist Church in Napa, California and dedicated our first son a second time to God. However, our first son is not the only person dedicated to God this time, but we now have a daughter and another son. At age twenty-one we realize that this practice of dedication was for ourselves first and then for those children God had entrusted us with.
In Psalms 22:9-10 it says, “But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.”
It is God who created you from conception and has formed you within your mother’s womb and it is God who has given you life from the moment you were delivered. You do not belong to yourself, but to God. If you are like my son and have had struggles at birth, it is for a reason. If you are like my husband and I were, with a knowledge of God and no direction, it is for a reason. God has created you for His purpose and for His service, it is not to live this life selfishly.
I want to challenge you to day to put aside your selfish desires and dedicate yourself to God. First, by trusting Christ as your Savior and secondly, by faithfully living out the Word of God as taught through a Bible believing and preaching church. It is never too late to dedicate yourself, your family, or a child to God. The very man who wrote the book of Psalms taught his son Solomon, the wisest man in the Bible, how to live for God. Solomon then passed this truth to his own son in Ecclesiastes 12:12-14, “And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. 13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
In conclusion, dedicating a child or even yourself to God is not an act of lip service or show, but it is a life of commitment and servitude to God. Dedication is you with your hand raised saying, “Here am I Lord, send me.” The decisions you make now will affect the lives of your future children and grandchildren. If you are struggling with your dedication to God or that of a child or family member, remember it starts with you. Once you are fully committed to serving the Lord, others will take notice and follow. Dedication is a daily act of committing your thoughts, actions and life to God. May you trust God to take care of you as you wholly give yourself to Him, He created you for a purpose.
& One Day at a Time Devotional,
a ministry of Riverview Baptist Church