Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Dedication

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  

During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place. Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]

“As Samuel grew up, the LORD was with him, and everything Samuel said was wise and helpful. All the people of Israel from one end of the lad to the other knew that Samuel was confirmed a prophet of the LORD. The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh and gave messages to Samuel there at the Tabernacle. And Samuel’s words went out to all the people of Israel.”

Beloved by the LORD but barren, Hannah, in deep anguish, crying bitterly, earnestly prays to the LORD for a son. As she prays at the Tabernacle in Shiloh, her offering is genuine, “I will give him back to You.”  Hannah dedicates this child to the LORD before conception. God remembers her prayer, Hannah gives birth to a son, and she names him ‘Samuel’ which means I asked the LORD for him. Hannah takes Samuel to the Tabernacle, dedicates him to the LORD. Growing up in the Tabernacle, Samuel matures into a prophet as God continues to reveal Himself through His word. Because of his genuine dedication to God, Samuel becomes God’s servant.

Samuel endures as the most effective and last judge for Israel, anointing their first two kings. Shaped by God even before conception, Samuel’s spiritual leadership always embraces a relationship with God. To be effective witnesses for Christ, we must dedicate ourselves to God while maintaining a genuine, growing relationship with God. God of mercy, in my darkest times I cry out to You, trusting that You want the best for me. Fill me with Your Presence in moments of doubt, despair, and unfulfilled desire. Let Your words echo in my soul in moments of conflict, confusion, and unseen change. Count me alive in Christ. Holy Spirit, work in and through me. ~dho

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Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
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“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”