Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Practical Guidelines

My Scripture today came from Matthew 5: 38-48.  We looked at some Practical Guidelines for Consecration

Ok, so in order to be consecrated we have to first understand the word.  Consecration means to dedicate yourself completely to God’s purpose, priorities, processes, power and person. Learning to wholly trust in Jesus Christ for all aspects of life. To set oneself apart from the worries, riches, and pleasures of this life for the purpose of serving, loving and glorifying God with all one’s heart, soul, strength, and mind. We consecrate ourselves to the Lord with our mind, emotions, will, attitude, behavior, resources, time, talents, relationships, vocation, skills, family, culture, finances, plans, priorities, service and lifestyle. Consecration is a moment by moment process of yielding all of our rights to the Lord. The daily renewal of our consecration is not by the flesh, but by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit as an act of worship.

The sad part about that is that there are many hindrances to consecration -

1. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life is not of the Father, but is from the world.

2. It is not what is on the outside of a man that defiles him, but what comes out of his heart, hate, envy, jealousy, lust, deceit, and evil desires.

3. Some seed fell among the thorns and because of the worries, riches and pleasures of this life the seed was choked out. Failure to continually present ourselves completely to the Lord in yielding our principle rights to Him for all aspects of our life and ministries.

4. Our consecration cannot be sustained by anything except love and obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ. It is through His all sufficient grace that we are able to continue with a whole-hearted lifetime of service in the will of God. We cannot manufacture a human strategy because of our old sinful nature that wars against the Spirit that lives within Christians.

So if your wheels are turning like mine were as I worked on my sermon for today I wanted to see  some examples of Consecration -

1. Although He was God and possessing the fullness of the attributes of God, Jesus did not make this equality with God a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained. He stripped Himself or emptied Himself of all privileges and rightful dignity, so as to the form of servant in that He became like men. He humbled Himself and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even death on the cross.

2. Abraham consecrated Himself and his only Son to the Lord when he said, "I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you." (Gen. 22:5) Abraham placed on the altar the most valuable thing in the world to God - his only son Isaac.  Could you?  I thought long and hard about this and wondered all week could I take my only child, Kat….and do this???? 

We don’t just wake up one morning and think….yep…today I am going to be consecrated.  It does not work that way….but….there are a number of Motivators.

1. As we commit ourselves completely to Christ, His church and His great commission we are able to experience the fullness of His power, His processes, and His productivity. It was hard for Jesus to bear the cross, but He endured the cross despising the shame and successfully finished the work that God gave Him to do.

2. It was hard for Abraham to offer up Isaac on the altar, but forever he is referred to as the ’father of our faith’. It was hard for Moses to leave the comforts of Pharoah’s palace, but he chose to endure affliction than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.

We all have areas in our lives to Consecrate to God -
1. Learn to yield your body, your attitudes, your actions, your responses to difficult circumstances, your eyes, your tongue, your ears, your time, your talents, your gifts, your future, your past, your friends, your family, your speech, your vocation, your prayers, your schedule, your health, your wealth, your interpersonal relationships, your right to comfort, your troubles, your fears, your worries, your pleasures, your problems, your uncertainties, your challenges, your opportunities, your rights to success, your rights to promotion, the leadership that God places over you, the organization of your life, your internal and external cleanliness, your image, your reputation, your followers, your assignments, your responsibilities, your possessions, your life, your love, and everything should be dedicated 100% to the Lord. Paul wrote, "May the God of peace sanctify you through and through and be wholly consecrated to God. May your spirit, soul and body be preserved sound and complete and found blameless at the coming of our Lord.   And if we do these things….there we will see the results of Consecration -

1. A life that is dedicated completely to the Lord is blessed with a transformed mind to understand greater spiritual perspectives that are unknown to the non-Christians or to the immature believers.

2. A consecrated life is filled with fruits of the Holy Spirit that include, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control of which there is no legal sanctions. A consecrated believer enjoys a victorious life over the pressures, problems, and opposition that so often defeats weaker Christians.

3. A consecrated person is able to accomplish even greater works than Jesus because of His promise. Jesus said in John 14:12, "He who believes in me the works that I do will he do also and greater works than these will he do because I go to intercede for him to the Father."

4. One who is consecrated enjoys the purity, holiness, and blameless guilt free heart that is free from feelings of inadequacy, unrealized potential or discontent. A consecrated lifestyle realizes the fullness of God’s power as the Spirit facilitates one to accomplish all that the Lord wants to realize in and through you.

5. A consecrated Christian has many great rewards, responsibilities, and joys for eternity to look forward to in heaven. Jesus said, "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:44)

There is nothing in this world like loving God with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength. There is nothing that compares to being made holy and blameless.  Amen?

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