Summary: God calls His people to a lifestyle of consecration and commitment
Pack Your Coffins
January 12, 2014
In 1889 The Wesleyan Methodist Church sent out a group of missionaries to begin the first mission work in the world. The team went to Sierra Leone and struggled to start the mission. When the team departed from the United States, they packed their belongings in their own coffins. Six of the team members died in the effort to establish the church and five more died shortly after returning home.
Sierra Leone now has 202 churches, 29,558 members, a hospital and a Bible college. All of this is the result of the service and sacrifice of those first missionaries who were willing to go where God called them to go.
The world has yet to see what God will do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him. – Revival speaker to Dwight Moody
Consecration is at the heart of living a holy life. Consecration is the center of Christlikeness. Consecration means to be set apart, to be fully devoted and to be completely committed. The measure of a consecrated life is the extent that our lives are set apart for God’s glory.
"Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you." Joshua 3:5
Joshua has led the people of Israel back to the Promised Land. Moses has recently died and Joshua is now moving forward into the land to prepare for conquest. Before the people can enter Canaan, they must first cross the Jordan River. Once this is completed the army of Israel will begin facing the various enemies throughout the land.
The night before the crossing, Joshua calls the people together and reminds them that God is with them. He calls them to commit to the journey ahead of them and to consecrate themselves to the LORD. He calls them to set themselves apart for the work of God.
1. God expects us to consecrate our lives
Character: Who we are internally
Commitment: How we follow through
Conduct: How we live
Change: Ways we are different
Is your life any different because you encountered Christ?
The world is watching us to see if there is something genuine about Christianity. They want to see if we really live what we say we believe. If we don’t really live it, we don’t really believe it.
God calls us to live in a different manner. He expects us to live set apart for His service. He expects us to live separated for His glory. Being set apart or separated does not mean that we don’t interact with the world around us. We cannot afford to circle the wagons and wait for people to come to us. We need to follow the example of Jesus who went out to the hurting, helpless and harassed. Jesus went out to broken people living in a sin soaked world. Living a life that is set apart means that we engage the world without becoming like the world. We are called to live differently so that the world can be changed.
We are to be different in our…
We should give our employers a higher level of work ethic than those who do not follow Christ
We should relate with people differently because we have a personal relationship with Christ.
We should use our finances in a manner that honors God as the owner of everything. We should be willing to give back to God’s work because He owns it all anyway.
We should give our everything to our spiritual life to become more like Christ.
Paul called the Corinthian church and our church to a consecrated lifestyle. Listen to his words in 1 Corinthians 6:20 -For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's (NKJV).
Paul is calling for nothing less than an absolute commitment to Christ. He is advocating an all or nothing proposal. Since we have been bought with the blood of Jesus, we need to give back to Jesus our life. God doesn’t just want your body but He wants the whole of your life dedicated to Him. He deserves nothing less than our absolute best and our whole being. We are called to glorify God in the way that we live.
Q: Is how you are living right now bringing glory to God or is it bringing glory to you? Is Jesus sitting on the throne of your life or are you?
2. God can only move in mighty ways after we consecrate
Joshua made it clear that if the people would consecrate themselves, God would do amazing things. The issue is that nothing would happen if the people would not set themselves apart for God. The reality is that God seldom moves for those who do not commit to Him. God is seeking a greater commitment from us. He wants to see more and more of our lives given to His Lordship.