Consecration: The Measure of Consecration

At the beginning of our meditations on the subject of consecration, we learned that the word indicates a filling of the hands, in terms of service to the Lord. We also discovered that it involves the thought of devotion and dedication to the Lord.

We discovered as well that there are a number of motives involved in our consecration to the Lord, or in our service to the Lord and the Lord’s people. We might ask ourselves what the measure of our consecration is, or how far we are prepared to go, or how much we are prepared to sacrifice, as far as our service to the Lord is concerned.

The psalmist asked the question, “What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?” (Psa 116:12).[1] The unjust steward called each of his lord’s debtors and asked, “How much owest thou unto my lord?” (Luk 16:5).

When Araunah offered to King David oxen for sacrifice and threshing instruments for wood, David responded, “Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing” (2Sa 24:24).

The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews challenges us, “Let us go forth therefore unto him [Christ] without the camp, bearing his reproach” (Heb 13:13). Sadly, we know so little of bearing reproach for the sake of our Lord Jesus. O, that we were like those early disciples, who, after being beaten, rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name (Act 5:40-41).

We are also exhorted in the epistle to the Hebrews to offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name (Heb 13:15). In the very next verse, the writer incites us to communicate, that is, to be prepared to use our own resources, particularly in the form of financial aid to those in need. He reminds us, “With such sacrifices God is well pleased” (v16).

In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul wrote, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service [spiritual worship]. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” (12:1-2). He is really speaking here of consecration.

The idea presented here is not that of laying down our lives in death for the sake of the Lord Jesus, although we ought to be ready to do that at any given moment, because He gave Himself for us. Paul said regarding the persecution he suffered for the sake of the Lord Jesus in the spread of the gospel, “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord” (Act 20:24). Later he confessed, “I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus” (21:13).

But in Romans 12, it is more the idea of living for Christ. The thought is that our lives would be lived in such a way so that there will be a continual ascending of devotion and service to the Lord. The law of the burnt offering was, “The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out” (Lev 6:13). The life of the Lord Jesus is the perfect example of the burnt offering, a life lived wholly for God.

The expression “present your bodies” is the same as is found in chapter 6 of the book of Romans, where Paul exhorts, “Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God” (v13). It is interesting to see this exhortation before there is a mention of the diversity and distribution of gifts. This tells us that consecration, a yielding of our lives in total surrender, is absolutely necessary before we can begin serving the Lord in any capacity.

We can all do something in service for the Lord, whether we think it large or small. David’s charge to Solomon concerning the building of the temple was, “Arise therefore, and be doing, and the LORD be with thee.” To the leaders in Israel he said, “Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise therefore, and build … ” (1Ch 22:16,19). Later, when there was a call to rebuild the temple, Nehemiah said, “The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build” (Neh 2:20).

In all that we do, it is important to do it “heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” (Col 3:23).   In the next verse of that chapter, Paul reminds us that it is from the Lord Himself that we receive any reward: “Ye serve the Lord Christ” (v24).

Dear child of God, are you prepared to yield yourself in total surrender to Christ? To think that He loved us and gave Himself for us, shed His precious blood that we might be redeemed and reconciled to God, is more than words can express. Then to think that He deigns to use us in any way ought to motivate us to serve Him wholeheartedly in true devotion.

From the moment of his conversion on the Damascus road, the attitude of the apostle Paul was, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Act 9:6). From the Roman prison he wrote, “Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Php 1:20,21).

Might you and I, by the grace of God, like the Hebrew servant whose ear was pierced to show his loyalty to his master, say, “I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free” (Exo 21:5). Let us ever seek to follow the path of the obedient Servant Son, who could say, “Mine ears hast thou opened …. I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Psa 40:6,8).

[1] Bible quotations in this article are from the KJV.