As we are nearing another Christmas season, I thought it would be good to remind ourselves of what Christmas is all about. There may be much debate as to the date of Jesus’ birth but, one fact remains – He was born, and all the Scripture says about Him is true! He was born in Bethlehem in a stable and shepherds did hear the angel’s announcement of His birth and His birth was a sign to them –
“This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” – Luke 2:12-14
I love it when God gives signs because they alert us to His plans. And in the last decade, we have been given many signs, both in the heavens and on earth, as to His second coming.
But, rather than concentrating on His actual birth, I want to concentrate of His Dedication.
“On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived. . . . as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”. – Luke 2:21-23
Mary and Joseph took Him to the Temple to present Him to God. And there they were met by an old man, a righteous man and a devout man, who prophesied over the child –
“Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” – Luke 2:28-32
Jesus was sent to earth with a mission. He would grow up as all humans do but, always in the background was the Spirit of God guiding and directing His path. while Jesus was and is the Savior, each of us also are born with a calling, a mission for our lives ordained by God. To the Psalmist, this was revealed –
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!” – Psalm 139:13-17
It was also revealed to the Psalmist –
“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.” – Psalm 127:3-5
Here, I want to include a dedication I did for one of my Grandsons (I won’t say which, as I have many.)
“Children are a gift from God. To the Christian they are not merely the product of virility and fertilely but, a down payment on the heritage of the Lord. Christian parents will never have a better chance to fulfill Christ’s command to “Go and make disciples in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy spirit, teaching them to obey the things Christ commanded us” – Matthew 28:18-20.
They are also a blessing to parents because they force us to live out what we confess. To them actions are as important as words. They are a constant reminder of the law that ‘we reap what we sow.’
They take the concept of love out of the realm of philosophy and bring it down to earth. They test our patience and endurance and show us the reality of forgiveness.
If we embrace them as a gift from God and take the time to straiten and smooth them as the arrows of the Lord, they will become the brightest stars in our crown of righteousness awarded by the Lord Himself.
“Blessed are all those who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.” – Ps. 128:1-2
This will be the main reason God is going to send the prophet Elijah back to earth before the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord – to reunite the fathers and their children with God’s purpose for them. (Mal. 4:5)
As Jesus came from heaven to earth, we are destined to be translated from earth into heaven. Scripture says ‘God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.’ Paul; prayed for us that God may give to us ‘the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.‘ (Eph. 1:17-21).
Jesus gave that same authority to us, if we will but follow Him and exercise it! That is what we were born for and that is what the Dedication is all about – being dedicated by God’s grace to equip us to perform His will, which is –
“My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you,” – Gal. 4:19
So as we remember once again about Christmas, it would be good to remember what it is all about – not just our salvation but, God’s provision to fulfill our destiny. It is about “bringing many sons and daughters to glory.”
“For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” – Heb. 2:10