Summary: D. Why should we consecrate and devote our whole life to God? Because it is God Himself who chose and called us to consecrated service,the grace of God that changed us. and because to be like Christ is a gain beyond compare.
Theme: Consecration to God
Text: 1 Chron.29: 5
A. Last week we celebrated the crucifixion and the resurrection of our Lord. We thank God for these important events that secured our redemption. We thank God for the commitment of the Lord Jesus Christ to give Himself that we may have salvation for our souls. Now we know that we have received forgiveness and justification, setting us free from the power, penalty and condemnation of sin. Through the cross of Jesus Christ, we are brought near to God, to have fellowship with Him both now and eternity. Indeed His grace is so amazing. In view of this I asked myself, what shall I offer back to God in response to His amazing love? Of course not just a tenth of my being; not just a tenth of what I have, not a half-hearted commitment and a lip service, but my whole life, my whole being, my everything.
B. Now going back to our series on commitment, in our last message King David talked to the entire assembly of Israel that they should help prepare the materials needed for the building of the temple of God. In his challenge, he sets the principles of right giving. First that giving must be in the right purpose. He said that the temple to be built is not for man, but for God. Giving must be done with the purpose of bringing glory and honor to God alone. Second that giving must be in the right degree. Giving must be done willingly. And third that giving must be in the right direction of affection. One must put his emotion, his love on his giving. It must not be done with half-hearted commitment and love.
C. Then we concluded that message with David’s challenge: “Who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the LORD?” Amazingly, everyone in Israel responded with great willingness and generosity. They gave willingly and gladly. But, was it because of that simple challenge given by their king? Was it because they were ashamed with David’s words and example? Was it because they were to honor the words of their king? I think not. David and the people consecrated their service to God for a rational reason.
Now to get a clearer picture on this, I’d like to connect this story to the testimony of a person in the New Testament who consecrated and devoted his whole life in the service of God –the man was Paul. I believe everyone knows about this man. He is Saul of Tarsus, the ardent persecutor of the Church. But one day when he was on his way to Damascus to track down the believers, he encountered the living Christ. Everything was changed of this man, and from that very day, his life was devoted and consecrated in the service of the living God. He gives us the reasons of his consecration:
I. THE GOD WHO CALLED HIM
Twice in the book of Acts (chapters 22 & 26), Paul was tried because of his teaching about the Savior. For each trial he faced, he never missed the opportunity to give the testimony of his conversion. Why did he tell the story of his conversion? To testify that it was because of the living Lord who called him that he became the person he was. His consecration and devotion to serving Christ was the result of that fateful day when he met and was called by the Lord Himself.
So notice that he mentioned the mission and the commission given by the Lord to him. Jesus said: “And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”
Well, this means that the apostle understood that his encounter with Christ was not the end of itself, but that it was the beginning of a lifetime consecration and devotion to God who chose and called him. So in Rom.8: 30 he says, “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” This verse tells us three things:
First, salvation is not the end of itself. When God calls us unto salvation, it’s just the beginning of our lifetime consecration and devotion to God. He calls you to justify you, and to glorify you. Glorification will not come without consecration.