Rocky Shearin November 12, 2023
John 10:22 I’ll tell you briefly how this Feast of Dedication relates to us today. About 165 B. C., a ruler named Antiochus, severely persecuted the Jews. He tried to force them to give up their faith in God and adopt the practices of the current culture. He slaughtered a pig on the altar and set up an image of Zeus in God’s temple. Finally, the Jews revolted. Against overwhelming odds, they defeated the Syrian army, and dedicated the temple back to the true worship of God. The lights and joy associated with the holiday we now know as Hanukkah, came from dedication to God.
What does it mean to dedicate? Dedicate means to devote to the worship of; to commit to a goal or way of life.
What do we dedicate to God? We dedicate:
I. Ourselves Romans 6:13; 12:1, 2
This is our first dedication. “present yourselves to God” Romans 6:13.
Romans 12:1 in the Amplified Bible says, “present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves…”
We dedicate ourselves to God in response to his mercy to us.
The entire human race is condemned to death and separated from God by the sin in our hearts Romand 3:23; 6:23. Thank God, he sent Jesus to rescue us by dying on the cross for our sins Romans 5:8. Three days later, Jesus was raised from the dead. If we believe with our hearts in Jesus and confess him as Lord, God forgives all our sins, and gives us his righteousness Romans 10:9, 10. Jesus loved us and gave himself for us. We’re to love him and dedicate ourselves to him. This is the appropriate response to his mercy.
Romans 12:2 Our dedication to God is constantly attacked and challenged. This world system tries to force us into its order and away from God, just like Antiochus did to the Jews. We must constantly renew our minds with the truth of Scripture to know and live in God’s will. God helps us to live out our dedication as we stay in close relationship with him.
II. Our families Joshua 24:15; Luke 2:22
We dedicate ourselves and those in our care to God. Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple to dedicate him. Dedicating our families to the Lord does not automatically make anyone a Christian, but we invite God and his will into our realm of influence.
Your biological family may just be you. That ok. You can be a dedicated and blessed member of the family of God.
We see an example of blessing in Luke 2:27-32.We bless our children, families, and others with our words and with godly physical affection.
III. Our goods Ezra 6:16; Nehemiah 12:27
In the Bible, people dedicated different items to God, including their homes. We can dedicate to God anything we want to use for his purpose and glory. At the dedication of both the temple, and the wall around Jerusalem, there was great joy. The people celebrated the dedication with gladness and thanksgiving because they were right with God. And God blesses dedication.
As Christians, we cannot have the full measure of God’s grace, peace, and joy, if we are out of fellowship with him.
Will you dedicate yourself, or rededicate yourself, to the one who loved you and died to pay for your sins?
What area of your life do you need to renew your mind in, to help you live out your dedication to God?
May the Lord bless you in your dedication to him.