Last night we had a special service where we gave thanks to God for the safe arrival of Isla-Rose in November and dedicated her to God. It was lovely to see so many of her family at the service and to be able to share in fellowship and food after the service.
The sermon looked at Psalm 16 and in particular at verse 11: ‘You make known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.’ (Ps 16:11) Many think of God as a kill-joy, someone intent only on punishing us and enjoying our misfortunes, but the Biblical view of God is completely different. God is the author of joy and Jesus wants us to be people of joy (John 17:3). Most parents, if asked what they truly want for their children, will say that happiness and health are the things that really matter and God also has good plans for us (Jer 29:11). There are times when He has to discipline us, but even that is for our good and to protect us (just as parents have to discipline their children for their own good.)
In Psalm 16, we see David’s confidence in God’s goodness. Psalm 16:5 says, ‘Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; You make my lot secure.’ God provides for us and satisfies us. He gives us hope and a future: ‘The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.’ (Ps 16:6) He helps us to face difficulties and troubles with confidence: ‘With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.’ (Ps 16:8) Moreover, His help goes beyond this life, since God gives us the hope of eternity: ‘You will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will You let Your faithful one see decay.’ (Ps 16:10)
All of us need God to make known to us the path of life, for ‘there is a way that appears to be right, but in the end, it leads to death.’ (Prov 14:12) Jesus spoke of the narrow road that leads to life and the wide road that leads to destruction. (Matt 7:13-14) A dedication service does not make anyone a Christian, but our prayer is for Isla and all of us to find the path of life in Jesus that leads to God. (John 14:6) We also pray for joy to be our portion and for us to know eternal pleasures in God (see Ps 16:11). That way, we will live in the blessing of God.