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Committed To Caring

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Committed to Caring

Part 4 of Together We Make a Difference Series

Colossians 3:12-17

February 19, 2006

ÿ    Being a part of a family means caring for each other.  The churches role is to model this to the world and invite it to participate in God’s Kingdom Family.

Defining Who We Are

ÿ    The way we see ourselves often determines the way in which we will treat others.

5 Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had.

Philippians 2:5

23 Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.

Proverbs 29:23

God has chosen you to be a part of His family.

8 And yet, Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We are all formed by your hand.

Isaiah 64:8

17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites when he judges. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as foreigners here on earth.

1 Peter 1:17

Focus here as seeing ourselves as “foreigners here on earth” as opposed to being slaves here on earth.  Talk about the idea of foreigner in the Biblical context – God warns the Israelites again and again to guard themselves from being inculturated…

ÿ    Because of Christ’s loving sacrifice for you, you are now called Holy in the eyes of God.

12 So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates in order to make his people holy by shedding his own blood.

Hebrews 13:12

“22 Now you can have sincere love for each other as brothers and sisters because you were cleansed from your sins when you accepted the truth of the Good News. So see to it that you really do love each other intensely with all your hearts.”

1 Peter 1:22

ÿ    You are dearly loved by the Creator of this universe – God.

9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.  John 15:9

A Change of Clothes

Living in the family of God according to His guidelines is not easy, but it produces life and peace for those who follow through with their commitment to Him.

“All those who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and live with them.  John 14:23

ÿ    The love of Christ compels me to “change my clothes” by:

V      Having compassion for those who the world has forgotten.

Read or tell the Good Samaritan Story – Luke 10:30

Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”  Luke 10:37

V      Being kind to others without wanting something in return.

31 Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but those who help the poor honor him.  Proverbs 14:31

V      Defining myself according to God’s standards rather than the worlds.

21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls.  James 1:21

V      Modeling gentleness in a world of violence.

23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted. When he suffered, he did not threaten to get even. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.  1 Peter 2:23

V      Waiting in the Lord and committing my time to Him.

9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise to return... No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish,...  2 Peter 3:9

V      Intrusting others into the Lord’s care and seeking how to be faithful to God in those relationships.

3 Never let loyalty and kindness get away from you! Wear them like a necklace; write them deep within your heart. Prov. 3:3

V      Forgiving more and blaming less.

25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”  Mark 11:25

Parent/Child Dedication – Jason, Shellie, Kelce, Hannah and Alexis.

M: When Christian parents present their child to God before the congregation,  they come to thank God for the life entrusted to them,  to offer their child back to God and to ask for God’s blessing on their life together.   We as a congregation come to share their joy, to pray with them for the child’s well-being and to receive him/her into the care of the church.  Like Hannah and Mary of old, you have brought your child here to consecrate it to God.  You have come to offer Kelcie, Hannah and Alexis into the strong and tender providence of God and the nurture of the church.

Prayer

Gracious God:

like a father who nurtures his children you have cared for us;

like a mother you have called us by name and claimed us as your own;

you have loved us into being, placed us in human families, and blessed us on our journey.

By the presence of your Spirit consecrate these children and parents for their journey together through life, through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

The Questions (to the parents)

L:         Do you accept your children as a gift from of God?

P:         I/We do.

L:         Do you dedicate yourselves as parents to bring up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, preparing them to come to an open confession of Christ?

P:         We do.

L:         Do you promise to gladly surrender your children to the ministry God has in mind for them, even if it might involve going to the ends of the earth?

P:         We do.

L:         Jason and Chellie, may the God who has entrusted you with these children grant you fullness of  love in raising them.

            May God grant you to live a life of faithfulness to the gospel before your children so that they might know the way of the kingdom.

(The minister takes the child into his or her arms and prays:)

Kelcie, Hannah, and Alexis, the God who created you, who sent His Son to redeem you, and His Spirit to dwell in you, may this God watch over you, enabling you to seek, to find, and to know him.

Kelcie, Hannah and Alexis, may God bless you and keep you;

May the very face of God shine upon you,

                        and be gracious to you.

May God’s presence embrace you

            and give you peace. Amen.

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