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Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Child’s Hanukkah Booklet – From One Christian’s Perspective

Dedication To The Light – Booklet 3

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Attach money to the bottom of day 1-8 pages.

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page 5       page 6

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Dedication To The Light

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Hanukkah Devotions / Book 3

What Is Hanukkah – Hanukkah, also known as the Feast of Dedication or the Festival of Lights, is an annual festival celebrated on eight successive days to honor the restoration of divine (true, Holy) worship in the temple after it had been defiled by heathens (162/163 BC). The restoration occurred in 165 BC. Hanukkah occurs on the twenty-fifth day of Kislev. Kislev is the third month in the Jewish calendar.

Hanukkah Celebrations – Today people celebrate Hanukkah in many ways. Some, but not all, are:

* Having festive meals for eight days

* Lighting candles in the menorah

* A devotion is read each night of Hanukkah

* Songs are sung in remembrance of miracles and redemption

* Praises are read from Psalms 115-118

* Giving gifts and/or money to loved ones and to the needy

* Children play a game called “Spinning The Dreidel”

* Foods with a lot of oil are cooked

The Servant – The center candle on the menorah is called the servant candle. It is used to light all the other candles in the menorah. It represents Jesus. He humbled Himself and left His place in glory to come to this world. He is the Light Of This World. It is only through His light that we have light.

“Dedication To The Light”

Hanukkah Devotions / Book 3

First Night: Rededication

Second Night: Reflect On The Miracles Of Past

Third Night: Tear Down Old Altars

Fourth Night: Keep Worship Pure

Fifth Night: We Are The Temple Of God

Sixth Night: No Excuses

Seventh Night: Rely On God Alone

Eighth Night: Focal Point Of Jesus’ Ministry

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Focal Point Of Jesus’ Ministry – Eighth Night

33  I Corinthians 3:16-17  NKJV     

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”

     The temple was the focal point of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus was interested in the temple during His ministry. Today God is interested in His temple – we are the temple of God. Is the light of Jesus shining in you? Is your “temple” reflecting the holiness of God? Are you striving to live a holy life (by the power of the Holy Spirit)?  Holy is specially belonging to or devoted to God; set apart for God’s service; coming from God; set apart for religious use or observance; sacred; declared sacred by religious use and authority; like a saint; spiritually perfect, very good; pure in heart; devout; worthy of reverence.

1 Peter 1:16  NKJV   

“because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’ ”

      We are to be dedicated to God and separated from sin – we are to strive to live holy lives. Our lives should reflect Jesus in everything we do and say. Our bodies are to be used to serve God. Each one of us are to present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice unto God.

Romans 12:1  NKJV   

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

Dear Father,    

We thank You for giving us the honor to being Your temple. May the light of Jesus continually shine through us. By the power of the Holy Spirit cause us to strive to live holy lives – lives that are pleasing unto You. We choose to be devoted to You. Set us apart for Your service. Cleanse our hearts. May we truly be in the world but not of the world. May our lives reflect Jesus in everything we do and say. Let us never neglect our reasonable service.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Rely On God Alone – Seventh Night

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      In Biblical times monuments dedicated to one of the pagan gods were referred to as sacred pillars. The pagans believed that the false gods had power over their lives and nature. The sacred pillars were objects for idolatrous worship and behavior. When God was renewing the covenant with Moses, He instructed the people to break down the sacred pillars.

Exodus 34:13-14  NKJV    

“But you shall destroy their alters, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images. (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God)”

Deuteronomy 12:3  NKJV    

“And you shall destroy their alters, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wood images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place.”

     God prohibits us from setting up sacred pillars in our lives.

Deuteronomy 16:22  NKJV    

“You shall not set up as a sacred pillar, which the Lord your God hates.” 

     We are not to try to rely on, depend on, put our trust in, things for the power that only God has. Sacred pillars come in many different forms. Some may be people, money, jobs, or self. Anything that you depend on, or put your trust in, other than God is a sacred pillar that you have erected in your life.

Psalm 62:11  NKJV    

“God has spoken once,

Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God.”

Revelation 19:1  NKJV    

“After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,

‘Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God!’ ”

Dear Father,

All power truly belongs to You. Help me not to rely on, depend on, put my trust in, things for the power that only You alone have and can give. Don’t let me put my trust in people, money, jobs, self, or anything other than You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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No Excuses Sixth Night

dradle - 2I Kings 3:2  NKJV    

“Meanwhile the people sacrificed at the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the Lord until those days.”

     The Israelites used the excuse that they did not have a place to worship God in order to use the high places. These high places were defiled and therefore not an acceptable place for worship to God. God had specifically told the people that He would not accept defiled worship. The people tried to justify their sinful actions.

Justify – defend; to make right; to make something seem reasonable; to give an acceptable reason or excuse for taking a particular action; to give a reason or explanation why something was done; to give legal reason for something. 

Sincerity – honesty and genuineness; honesty in the expression of true or deep feelings; freedom from pretense or deceit. 

Obedience – act of obeying; the act or practice of following instructions; complying with rules or regulations; submitting to authority; doing what one is told.

     God tells us that obedience is better than sacrifice. Sincerity and obedience are the prerequisites for worship that pleases God. Disobedience in our worship is idolatry because we are putting our will before God’s will.

1 Samuel 15:22  NKJV    

“So Samuel said: ‘Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,

As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,

And to heed than the fat of rams.’ ”

     Today people still try to justify their sin. As long as we dabble with high places, mix the things of the world with our worship to God, we will set ourselves up for pain, trouble and eventually judgment. Denying God’s authority, even concerning worship, always has consequences.

 

Dear Father,

Help me to remember that obedience is better than sacrifice. I desire to offer unto You worship that pleases You. Holy Spirit help me not to put my will before God’s will. Don’t allow me to make excuses for my sin or to try to justify them. Help me to see my sin as You do and ask for forgiveness. Help me to live a life of obedience and sincerity.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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We Are The Temple Of God – Fifth Night

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     This time of the year the thoughts of many are upon Jesus as a baby. But, we must recognize that Jesus did not stay a little baby. He grew up, was obedient to the Father, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins, rose again, and is now in the presence of the Father. We too, must grow up spiritually, be obedient to the Father, turn away from sin, and draw close to the Father.

During His ministry Jesus was interested in the temple and it’s spiritual cleanliness. Twice Jesus driven to anger when He saw the defilement of the temple. God is still interested in the temple today – us. We are the temple of God.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20  NKJV    

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God‘s.”

  As a Christian we have the Holy Spirit living within us and we are the temple of God. With this great privilege comes a great responsibility. We must not defile the temple of God.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NKJV    

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God. God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”

     Defile means to corrupt something or ruin something: to damage reputation; to damage somebody’s reputation or good name; to destroy sanctity of something; to make a holy or sacred thing or place no longer fit for ceremonial use; to pollute something dirty or polluted.

2 Chronicles 34:7  NKJV    

“When he had broken down the altars and the wooden images, had beaten the carved images into powder, and cut down all the incense altars throughout the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem.”

        We must seek God, remove all the idols/altar/images from our lives and return to Jerusalem- a place of true worship. We must be faithful and loyal to God. Our intimate relationship with the Lord must not be defiled by idolatry or any other sin. When we defile the temple of God we make it unfit for the presence of God, and we grieve the Holy Spirit. God has given us the power that we need to be able to be a pure and holy temple for Him. That power is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will help us not to defile the temple of God and to be all that God intended for us to be.

Is your temple reflecting the holiness of God?

Does your life reflect that the Holy Spirit is living in you?

Father,

I thank You for the Holy Spirit, who lives in me. It truly is a great privilege. Help me not to forget the responsibility that comes along with it. Holy Spirit, help me not defile my temple or to grieve You. Help me to seek You, O Lord, with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength. Remove everything from my life that tries to turn me from You, and give me a greater desire for  true worship. Help me to be faithful and loyal to You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

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Keep Worship Pure – Fourth Night

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2 Kings 18:4  NKJV    

“He removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke to pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan.”

      Hezekiah removed the high places in order to restore pure worship. Like Hezekiah, we must remove all the ‘high places’ in our lives.

A high place was a place of worship on a hill or on a platform in a temple. The Canaanites usually built their places of worship on a hill. They considered the high places a gateway between them and heaven. It was their ‘way’ to their god. Some Israelites began to use these same places to worship God. The people used the high places to worship God, Baal and Asherah all at the same time. Trying to mix the two types of worship (true and false) together eventually led to idolatry.

The kings before Hezekiah had failed to destroy the high places. The high places had been allowed to remain.

 

2 Kings 15:34-35  NKJV    

“And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord; he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done. However the high places were not removed; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.”

     When you know that God is calling you to turn toward Him and worship Him and you refuse to get rid of  the things that He is telling you to, you are allowing “high places” to stay in your life. You are defiling yourself. Defile means to make something filthy or dirty, to destroy the purity or cleanness of it, to stain or dishonor it or to violate it.

 

Ezekiel 20:30  NKJV    

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: ‘Are you defiling yourselves in the manner of your fathers, and committing harlotry according to their abominations?’ ”

     God does not desire for you to defile your worship to Him. You cannot minister to the Lord (or serve Him) and dabble with sin at the same time. You cannot serve two masters.

 

Matthew 6:24  NKJV    

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

     When we began to mix the things of the world with our worship to God it can lead to idolatry in our lives. God has called us to be separate and to destroy all the ‘high places’ in our lives. We are not to compromise our worship with sinful values or practices. We must maintain integrity in all parts of our lives, including our worship.

 

2 Corinthians 6:17 NKJV    

“Therefore

Come out from among them

And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you. I will be a Father to you,

And you shall be My sons and daughters,

Says the Lord Almighty.”

Father,

Your Word tells me that Jesus is the only way to You. Help me to remember that, and to keep my worship unto You pure and undefiled. When the Holy Spirit convicts me of sin or bad habits, help me to be quick to repent and to turn from it. Help me to maintain integrity in all parts of my life, including my worship.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Tear Down Old Altars – Third Night

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Exodus 20:1-6 NKJV    

“And God spoke all these words, saying: ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image- any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.’ ”

     We serve a jealous God. This means that God demands complete and exclusive loyalty or faithfulness. He will not share you with anyone or anything. He requires that you are loyal to Him and that you are faithful to Him.

In order to draw close to God, and be intimate with Him, you must remove the idols and old altars in your life. You must be faithful and loyal to God and to Him alone.

In the physical realm, an altar is a raised ceremonial religious structure; a raised, typically flat-topped structure or area where religious ceremonies are performed. It can also be described as a table, stand, or similar raised structure in the most sacred part of a church, synagogue, or temple, always thought of as the central point of worship; a block of stone, mound of dirt, etc., on which to place sacrifices or burn offerings to a god.

 

2 Kings 18:4  NKJV    

“He removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke to pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan.” 

     Hezekiah called for the people to remove all the idols and altars that they corporately and individually had erected. He called for them to remove the high places, to break the scared pillars, to cut down the wooden images, and break and utterly destroy the bronze serpent.

In the spiritual realm an altar can be something that you offer to God. Sometimes people will offer unto God something that is not their best. Or they may offer Him only part of them or something left over. These people are neither faithful or loyal to God.

We must examine our lives and ask ourselves are we loyal and faithful to God? What are we offering to God?

 

Romans 12:1  NKJV    

“I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God.”

     We should use our bodies to serve and obey God. When we do we are setting ourselves apart for God’s use which pleases God very much.

 

Dear Father,    

Speak to my heart and convict me of any altars or idols that I may have erected in my life. Help me to be quick to repent and to turn from them. By the power of the Holy Spirit cause me to lay my “all” on the altar. Cause me to be loyal and faithful to You, O Lord. I desire to offer You my best. Help me to present my body to You as a living sacrifice. I desire to use my body to serve and obey You.

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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Reflect On The Miracles Of The Past – Second Night

30Reflect On The Miracles Of The Past – Second Night

     During the Feast of Dedication Jesus spoke of His miracles. Hanukkah reminds us that God is a God of miracles.

John 10:37-38  NKJV     “ If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”

     When being questioned again by the Jewish leaders about who He was, Jesus told them to consider the miracles that He had done. A miracle is described as an event that appears to be contrary to the laws of nature and is regarded as an act of God; an event or action that is amazing, extraordinary, or unexpected. The Jewish leaders should have been able to look at the miracles that Jesus did to know that He was truly the Son of God.

1 Chronicles 16:12  NKJV     “Remember His marvelous works which He has done,

His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth.”

     Remember means to recall something to mind or become aware of something that had been forgotten; to keep something in memory. We are instructed to recall the things that God has done for us.  By recalling and reflecting on past miracles you will see God working in your life. It will also build your faith for the miracles you are waiting on.

Dear Father,

Thank You for all the miracles that You have performed in my life and in the lives of my family members. You truly are a God of miracles. Holy Spirit, help me to never forget the miracles of the past. Keep them fresh in my memory. I thank You that as I reflect on past miracles my faith will be strengthened.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Rededication – First Night

 

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John 10:22  NKJV    

“Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch.” 

Many years after the rededication of the temple, Jesus went to the temple to celebrate the Feast of Dedication. As Jesus stood in the temple looking at the lamp and at the oil in it, what was He thinking? The oil represented the first pressing of the olives. It was clean, pure and a golden color. In essence, the oil represented Him – He was pure, deity, and He would be pressed. Jesus knew that He was set apart for a specific purpose and that God had a plan for Him and for all mankind.

Just as Jesus stood gazing into the light of the menorah reflecting upon His life, we too must gaze into the Word of God as we reflect upon our lives. Also, just like Jesus, God has a specific plan and purpose for our lives.

When we are dedicated to God we will devote our attention to Him, spend time and energy pursuing Him, commit ourselves and everything about our lives to Him, set ourselves apart for His purpose, and strive for holiness.

In our Christian walk we sometimes allow things to creep into our lives that hinder God’s purpose and plan for our lives. May each of us gaze into the Word of God for a time of self-examination, and dedicate ourselves fresh and anew to God.

Dear Father,

Thank You that You have a plan and a purpose for me and for my life. I desire to devote my attention to You, spend time and energy pursuing You. I commit myself and everything about my life to You, and I willingly set myself apart for Your purpose. Holy Spirit help me to strive for holiness in everything I do, say and think.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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