Evangeline Rae Oren
Born: March 28, 2011
Dedicated on October 16, 2011
Life Verse: Isaiah 52:7
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
(Poor Evie. Her bow is not supposed to be on top of her head).
A Letter from our Pastor to Evie...
It has been my privilege over these past few years to get to know your Mom and Dad as they have been attending Harvest Bible Chapel. Laura and I have greatly enjoyed getting to know your parents and you and your brother Mekonen. It really is an honor for me to be the Pastor for your whole family.
Today, I was able to pray for you in church as your parents dedicated you to the Lord. By dedicating you to the Lord, they are promising to help you know about Jesus and learn to live for Him as you grow and mature. They chose Isaiah 52:7 as a Bible passage for you because they want you to know the good news of salvation in Christ and be a person who shares it with others. Evie, God has been good to you to allow you to be born into a family where you will always be taught that God loves you and has sent His own Son to die on the cross for you. It is my prayer that as soon as you are old enough to understand, you will accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and that you will live your life to always please Him.
You have a lot of exciting days ahead of you as you mature and grow into a lovely young lady. Remember to be a woman of God's Word and to be careful to obey God, for He loves you very much. You really are at the beginning of a life full of adventure! I trust that through all your experiences, you will mature into a fine young woman whom the Lord will use for His service.
Jon's parents joined us for Evie's dedication. Such a blessing to have them nearby.
What is Baby Dedication?
- It is taken form the story of Hannah in the Bible. Hannah was barren past child-bearing years. She fervently prayed every day asking the Lord to give her a son. She told the Lord that if she did bless her with a son that she would "give him back to the Lord" and diligently raise him to love and serve God. God did just that- He blessed her with a son she named Samuel. Hannah gave him back to the Lord, teaching him to serve God all the days of his life.
- It is a commitment of the parents to do all that is in their power to teach their children about Jesus in hope that when they are old enough they will choose to follow Him and serve Him.
- It is the parents placing themselves under the humble position of accepting the guidance and direction of other Christians as they seek to nurture their children to come to know Jesus.
What Baby Dedication is Not.
- It is not salvation. Baby dedication is not a means by which a child can go to Heaven. Salvation is an individual matter. When the child is old enough to understand that they are sinners, realize they cannot make themselves perfect enough for Heaven, and need to Jesus to forgive their sins, they then accept salvation as a gift form God, not something they earn by going to church, being born into a "Christian" family, being good, etc.
- It is not a means by which a child becomes part of the church- The "universal church" is simply all Christians (those who have believed in Jesus to forgive their sins) all over the world. The "local church" is the specific group of Christians that you worship Jesus with. Being part of a local church does not mean you go to Heaven, nor does it grant you any special rights.
- It is not Baptism. Baptism is simply a public profession of the fact that you know you are a sinner, cannot be perfect enough for Heaven, and therefore need Jesus to forgive your sins so you can spend eternity with Him. Baptism is an individual choice a person make after they have understood and accepted salvation. This happens at any time in a Christian's life, but it is usually right after a person has asked Jesus to forgive all their sins and has decided to follow Him.
What Do You Do For Baby Dedication?
- I imagine different church do things differently, but this is how our church does it. We take a short "class" with the director of children's ministry as they explain baby dedication and the importance of parents being the ones who teach their children about Jesus, that we as parents, have the first responsibility of pointing our children's hearts towards Jesus. It's not the job of the church, the Christian school, or anyone else.
- During the Sunday morning service, they called each family up with their child, announced the child, their birthdate, and read the Bible verse the parents chose for their child.
- Then our Pastor read 5 commitment statements that if we agreed to we answered, "we will."
- Then our Pastor called family and close friends to come up and gather around each family to pray with them as they committed to teaching their child about Jesus.
The 5 Commitment Statements
- Do you desire to dedicate your child to the Lord and publicly commit to parenting them in a way that honors God?
- Do you promise to raise your child in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” through instruction and discipline that is defined by God’s Word? (Ephesians 6:4)
- Do you promise to lead your child to an understanding of salvation and his/her need for Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior?
- Do you promise to work diligently and consistently to instill in your child an understanding of God and His Word? (Deuteronomy 6:4)
- Do you promise to conduct your home in a way that models Christian love and heart-felt commitment to Christ and his instruction? (Psalm 127:1)