We live in a day where few, it seems, are dedicated to much of anything. This is abundantly clear in light of the many broken marriages across our nation (Mt. 19:9). Lack of dedication is proven in the fact that many are haphazardly fulfilling their responsibilities in the work place during the week. And, sadly, lack of dedication is seen in the fact that many refuse to worship on Sunday morning, even more on Sunday and Wednesday evenings (Heb. 10:25).
In Romans 12:1-3 we are shown what is involved in truly being dedicated to the Almighty God. Dedication to God involves three important efforts: presentation, transformation, and evaluation.
Notice first the PRESENTATION. “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” (Rom. 12:1). This presentation, of course, is in response to God’s generous gift of His Son for our sins. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). This presentation is to be a “living sacrifice.” “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord…Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God…Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Rom. 6:11, 13, 18). This endeavor is to be with nothing less than a 100% of our effort, for Jesus said, “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Lk. 9:62). This presentation is to be holy and acceptable to God. Notice what Peter says, “but like as he who called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy in all manner of living” (1 Pet. 1:15; ASV). This presentation is our reasonable or spiritual (ASV) service, because the Apostles said, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
Secondly, there must be a TRANSFORMATION. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:2). This begins with the mind, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Pro. 23:7). This transformation will make us hate evil, and want to be unlike the world. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 Jn. 2:15). This transformation will help us decide to do right (Jn. 8:29).
And finally, there must be an EVALUATION. “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Rom. 12:3). We must evaluate our relationship to God, and with this evaluation we must develop the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5-8). This evaluation will keep us from being puffed up (1 Cor. 4:6-7). This evaluation will give us a lowly spirit. “A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit” (Pro. 29:23). We must also evaluate our relationship to the world. We are in the world, but we must not be of the world. “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (Jam. 1:27). We evaluate our relationship to our brethren. We are to love and honor our brethren. “He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes” (1 Jn. 2:10-11). We are to have affection for one another (Rom. 12:10).
If we are truly dedicated to God we will have humility toward Him. We should always remember who God is and who we are (Job 42:1-6), and that God will exalt the humble (Jam. 4:10). True dedication towards God will cause us to be obedient to His will, and we will do so because we love Him (Jn. 14:15).
Let us be dedicated to God!
Think About It!
Have A Great Day!
Park Heights church of Christ
P. O. Box 107
Hamilton, Texas 76531