Gospel Faith in the Old Testament: Abraham part 1
Baby Dedication 5-20-12
Hebrews 11:8-12; 17-19
Our children tip our hand. In other words our children will do what we have taught them to value. By and large. No doubt, they are sinners and have the potential to follow evil rather than good. Ultimately, this is not our decision. However, what is our decision is the front-end training. Our children are arrows that take our effectiveness or lack thereof far beyond our days.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.” (Psalm 127:3-4 ESV)
Each child is not just a toy to be had to placate some empty spot in our souls because we refuse to surrender that “empty spot” to the Lord. Children are a heritage from Father. Our charge is to make sure that they represent his heritage well. In order to do this we must represent his heritage well.
It is not our job to indoctrinate our children into our westernized set of values. It is our job to train our children in Father’s heritage with his values and his mission.
We have sought to plant a heritage in the lives of our children. Each family receives a gift of money from TRCC to place in an account with the responsibility on the parents to add to it in order that when the children reach appropriate age their first trip to unreached people groups remaining is already paid for.
In 15 years there is going to be a mighty movement to the nations from Rome, GA. Believe it. Live it. Reach for it. Take hold of it.
How do we believe it, live it, reach for it and take hold of it?
This is what we are trying to do when we dedicate / offer our children to the Lord.
Very briefly I want to draw a couple of examples from Abraham’s life that will help us in the offering / dedication of our children.
When offering our children, remember:
1. Abraham was operating by faith with eyes on the coming King and his Kingdom (11:13-16)
Therefore, we too, must offer our children with eyes on the King and the Kingdom. We can’t operate in Gospel faith if our eyes are on our kingdom and us.
A. We can’t rightly offer our children if we are not greeting the Kingdom while here
1. Living now like what that kingdom will fully be (don’t forget you will be raised!)
B. We can’t rightly offer our children if we believe we have reached “home”
1. Live now in light of the metanarrative
C. We can’t rightly offer our children if we are double minded
1. Live radically and make radical Kingdom decisions
a. Radical – arising from and connected to the root source (John 15)
If you and I read our bibles and obey them we will be considered
nut cases by those who are intoxicated by this kingdom’s lies and
llustration: What if rather than finding a job then doing that job as a Christian one began early in life thinking with Gospel purpose, because they were trained to do so, and they chose a vocation with purpose and intentionality to engage that domain of society with purposeful job skills and purposeful living in order to transform that domain of society with the Gospel?
Rather than just getting a job as a Christian and trying to do evangelism we made niches in markets as well-trained and highly skilled followers of Jesus who have been in training for years to use that domain of society as a platform for global transformation with the Gospel.
If we have eyes on the King and his Kingdom, we will seek to be intentional in preparing our children for the King and his Kingdom.
A. Dads are the priests of the home
1. Imitate Father and operate with bible open and Kingdom in your sights
B. Children are taught through example and lesson to love Scripture, Father, Son, Spirit
C. Children are taught to love the church, Jesus’ bride, and be a vital part of the church in using their gifts for the King and the King’s mission and the King’s people
D. Children are taught to see the grand story, the Metanarrative, of reality, the Gospel, and live
in it with expectation that this reality defines all things and will burst into completion when the
Great Commission is completed.
1. This is a challenge because children are concrete thinkers not abstract thinkers; this
is also a challenge because they are blinded by sin from seeing the light of the Gospel
so use story to capture their imagination (Chronicles of Narnia; Lord of the Rings; Bible
2. Abraham was operating by faith with eyes on eternal life (11:19)
Father had promised that Abraham would bless the nations through his offspring, Isaac. Abraham considered that if Father were in the least faithful, he would have to raise the dead; therefore, he could obey without hesitation and trust Father perfectly. Of course, Father does not ask for human sacrifice, this was a test to prepare and train Abraham for continuing to trust Father.
Abraham was being taught that Yahweh “sees”. Abraham did not yet know this about Father. So, Father placed Abraham in a situation in which his option was to look to what he did know by faith and that was that Father can raise the dead, therefore, it was no stretch to bleed his son and it was not irrational.
When we “dedicate” our children to the Lord, we must operate with eyes on eternal life (Knowing God the Father and Jesus Christ who he has send, John 17:3) not on temporal life here. We have to remember that Father can raise the dead.
A. Dedication is not a commitment to pursuing life long safety
1. Dedication is surrender to Father’s mission and means
B. Dedication is a commitment to pursuing the Kingdom regardless of safety
1. Dedication is surrender to the façade of safety
C. Dedication is being willing to let Father have our children for his purposes
1. Dedication is surrender to vocation given by Father not vocation handed down
D. Dedication is saying that we trust Father’s ends and means with our children
1. Dedication is not a magic bullet for salvation but a declaration that Father is good
and his ways are perfect.
Join me in praying that we will raise radical followers of Jesus and that we would never fall to the temptation to distrust Father’s goodness as our children advance the Kingdom in his chosen means of doing so on the backs of our children as they fulfill their good works prepared for them to walk in.