James Smith, 1860
"Consecrate yourselves today to the Lord!" Exodus 32:29
Thus spoke Moses unto the children of Israel on a very trying occasion, and thus he speaks to us. The Lord has a right to us. He takes an interest in us. He wishes us to be dedicated to himself, and devoted to his service. Let us therefore attend to the exhortation.
WHAT IS REQUIRED?
That we consecrate our persons to the Lord's service and praise.
That we offer him the cheerful service of the heart and life.
That we surrender, not only the person — but the property, and write upon the whole, "It is the Lord's!"
That we profess faith in his Son, and take his name upon us.
That we consult his will, as revealed in his word, in reference to every object and subject.
That we endeavor to please him, always, everywhere, and in all we do.
That we prefer him, and his will, to all and everything besides, even our nearest and dearest relations.
ITS DESIGN. Consecrate yourself to the Lord . . .
to be his servant,
to do his work,
to maintain his cause,
to fight his battles,
to vindicate his honor,
to be his wholly, his entirely, and his forever!
This is what the Lord requires, to this he is entitled, and this we should render him. We have never answered the Lord's design in our election, redemption, or conversion, until this is the case.
THE REASONS. Consecrate yourself to the Lord, because you have received a pardon. You were a criminal. You were condemned to die. You appeared to be left for execution. But the Lord had mercy on you, he pitied you, he pardoned you; therefore dedicate yourself to him.
Consecrate yourself to the Lord, because you have enjoyed his presence, for he has manifested himself unto you, as he does not unto the world.
Consecrate yourself to the Lord, because you have felt his love, it has been shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Spirit.
THE PERIOD. Consecrate yourself today to the Lord. Why should you delay? Have you not delayed long enough? Can you render God too much service, or do too much good in a world like this?
Consecrate yourself therefore at once, and . . .
do it from conviction, as your duty,
do it cheerfully, as a privilege,
do it publicly, with holy boldness,
do it fearlessly, with manly courage,
do it thoroughly, consecrate your whole person, without the least reserve,
and do it forever.
Every believer should profess Christ. In his profession, he should consecrate himself to Christ. After his profession, he should ever consider himself a consecrated person, and act accordingly. Every professor should expect to be treated as a consecrated person, and therefore expect . . .
contempt from the world,
love and esteem from the Lord's people,
and the constant approval of his God.
If we are not consecrated to God, then we are devoted to Satan. If not for the Lord, we are against him. If not consecrated to the Lord, we take part with Satan.
Reader, in which state are you? In which would you wish to be found at the hour of death, and the day of judgment? Decide this point, and act accordingly. If you decide to consecrate yourself to the Lord, do it thoroughly — you cannot be holy otherwise, nor will you be happy. Be hearty for Christ, wholly for God, and he will crown you with honor, and clothe you with glory. Holy Spirit, consecrate both writer and reader, wholly and forever to the Lord Jesus!