Another year has passed; a new year has begun. With the change of the seasons, many people like to make all sorts of resolutions in an effort to make themselves better people. Although it has crossed my mind “to kiss dating ‘goodbye’”, there is only one thing which I am determined to do this year.
Well, actually, there are two things that I am determined to do! The first is to actually read the entire Bible again. Last year, I only managed to read Jeremiah, Lamentations, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, the Samuels, the Kings, and I Chronicles. I thought that I would never finish I Chronicles! Too many men “begat” too many sons! (If they had “kissed dating ‘goodbye’”, we would not have so much to read today.)
This year, however, I plan on balancing my reading by studying a couple of chapters from the Old Testament and a couple from the New Testament each day. I started with Genesis and the Gospel of John. So far, I like this plan.
The second thing which I am bound and determined to do is inspired by a question which King David asked when he gave his crown and Temple construction plans to his son, Solomon: “And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the LORD?” (I Chronicles 29:5)
It seems like a simple question when taken out its original context; however, I relish expounding on context! King David had fought many a bloody battle, which prevented him from being able to build a house of prayer to his holy God. (I Chronicles 22:8). He had a passion, prayer, and vision for this Temple. (I Chronicles 28:2 ; Psalm 5:7 ; Psalm 27:4) At the end of David’s life, he gave Solomon the blueprints and gold needed to construct the Temple, which would become known as Solomon’s Temple.
The main lesson which I derive from this is as simple as David’s question. We, like Solomon, stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. (I Corinthians 3:7) The old generations of faithful men and women possess an enormous reservoir of faith, anointing, vision, and determination which they desire to relinquish to us as they, like Paul, finish their course on this earth. (II Timothy 4:7) Who of us is willing to take up the mantles of our own old prophets, missionaries, pastors, Sunday school teachers, and bake sale managers? Which one of us is now willing to consecrate our service to God?
Consecrating service is much more than singing on the platform or spending time with the youth group. Consecrating service is sacrificing your time and pleasurable activities to God. Consecration is dedicating yourself to a specific cause. To us ladies, that means consecrating the time which might be spent perfecting our appearance to the works of God-to prayer, to fasting, to Bible study! Peter wrote specifically to us,
“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
“But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament if a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
“For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands.” (I Peter 3: 2-5)
I am tired of going to church and hearing incessant talk of shopping, shopping, shopping! My Facebook newsfeed is filled with single ladies and young mothers whose obsession is either their appearance, their boyfriends/husbands, or their children. I am not claiming to be guiltless of vanity by any means, and I am not saying it is wrong to shop. If, however, shopping is an activity to which we have dedicated the majority of our time, I will say that I am disgusted with all of us. Ladies, it is time that we place our thoughts on God! Who is willing to consecrate her service to the Lord?
Jesus asked the Pharisees in Luke 18:8, “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
Where are the faithful? Where are those who are willing to consecrate their service to the Lord? Are we willing to sweat, cry, and hunger for the furtherance of the work of God? Will any of us sacrifice our vanity? Girls, if your nails are keeping you from scrubbing the floor of the church’s bathroom, cut them! If your elegantly coiffured hair is keeping you from praising God, wear your hair down! Where are the women who are willing to stand and be true women of God?
Where are the Deborahs, Esthers, Marys, Loretta Bernards, and Vesta Manguns of this generation? Where are the women who will declare, “There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.” (I Samuel 2:2) Where are those mothers like Hannah who will dedicate their sons to the service of God rather than to the softball league?
Where are the prophetesses like Miriam and Huldah? Where are the women who will skip the manicure for extra time in the presence of God? Where are the women who will save their shopping money for missions’ trips? It is time to choose whom you will serve. (Joshua 24:15)
“And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the LORD?”
Young men should consecrate their time spent pursuing girls to the pursuit of God! Pursue Him and He will lead you to the right one in the right time. If your eyes are distracting you during a church service, cover them.
Paul wrote to Timothy, “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (II Timothy 2: 21, 22)
To the church at Ephesus, Paul wrote, “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.
“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
“Nether filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.” (Ephesians 5:2-5)
It is time for us all, young men and women, to reevaluate ourselves. Are we truly serving a holy God or are we simply enjoying the blessings wrought by the prayers of others? Are there any among us who have the fire shut in their bones? (Lamentations 1:13)
Where are the Moseses, Joshuas, Isaiahs, Elishas, Nathaniel Urshans, and T.W. Barneses? Where are the men who spend more time in prayer than in keeping up with society? Where are the men who are willing to sacrifice their pride and vanity to follow a humble Savior? Where are the men who are willing to be servants? (Mark 9:35) Where are the men who are willing to visit the elderly, to clean the church, to ignore the sins of this world? (James 1:27)
Jesus said to His disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 16: 24, 25)
It is simple, really. If we will only give everything to God, He will give us a life more abundant than we could ever imagine. (John 10:10) So, which of you, reading this now, is ready to consecrate your life to the work of Jesus Christ?
“He which testifieth these things saith, Surely, I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:20)