Friday, April 2, 2010

Dedicate Your Gifts

Focus Verses: I Samuel 1-2:21

Hannah is a model of dedication. She wanted a child desperately. She prayed so fervently that Eli thought she had been drinking. Her emotions were raw and visible.

But the Lord heard her and granted her this son. She nursed him til he was weaned, perhaps the age of two or three, and made good her vow that he would serve the Lord all the days of his life.

Imagine taking your toddler and leaving him in the hands of a man who, if you read on, obviously didn't know how to raise his own sons. Hannah had to be trusting in the faithfulness of God, not the wisdom of Eli, for her son.

So what is most precious to you? What gift can you dedicate completely to the Lord?

There are different kinds of gifts, but all can be put to use in the service of God. If you are brickmaker, you make the best bricks possible. If you are a baker, you bake the finest bread. If you are a janitor, you scrub and clean and chase the dust assiduously.

If your gift is hospitality, or evangelism, or wisdom, you use it gently, graciously, as if the Lord himself were the object of your hospitality.

When you dedicate your gift, the Lord increases it. Look at Hannah. She asked for a son which she gave back to the Lord. Then he gave her five more children, both sons and daughters.

But you don't dedicate your gift hoping to bargain with God for more. You simply dedicate it, and yourself, because that is the right thing to do. Then God is responsible for the outcome. Had Samuel been Hannah's only child, she still would have been satisfied because she had given birth to a great man of God.

Father, God,

Help us to realize that anything we have is yours. Grant us the graciousness to acknowledge that fact and dedicate ourselves and all we have to You.
In Jesus' most precious name.

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