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"Who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the Lord?" (1 Chronicles 29.5)

R Dawes, Pamber Heath

We all have some regrets about the past and we try to forget things said, situations mishandled, omissions, commissions etc. However, no matter how much we regret some of the past, nothing can be changed! But we can learn from yesterday's mistakes and make a better tomorrow. Failure is never final if we begin again with God. In fact, failure can result in success - Peter is a prime example, John Mark also (Acts 13.13; 15.38). Paul was not amused, but Barnabas encouraged him (Acts 15.39) and Mark recovered: "he is profitable for the ministry" (2 Tim 4.11). Let us therefore, as Hebrews 12.12-13 exhorts us, lift up the hands that hang down, strengthen the feeble knees, make straight paths for our feet and go on challenged, chastened, and changed.

In our passage David is in the closing days of his reign. He wanted to build the Temple but God forbade this. Solomon was given the task, but this did not stop David preparing "with all my might" (v.2). He gathered gold, silver, and precious stones in abundance. What a zeal and passion for the House of God - he laboured mightily because he loved much. He then confronts the people with this searching question.

Challenge

"Who then?" This is a very personal appeal, open to all the people of God and a necessary one, for not all saints are consecrated (1 Cor 10.5). The world with its pleasures and treasures, education and entertainment, claims and aims, anxieties and ambitions has impeded progress. Listen again to the words of the Lord Jesus: "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself…and follow me" (Mt 16.24).

Choice

"Who then is willing?" Such a challenge demands a response. Will it be positive? "Wilt thou go with this man?" (Gen 24.58).God appeals to the will; a conscious decision has to be taken, a choice must be made. Discipleship and true Christian living is the result of a voluntary choice. Moses chose "rather to suffer affliction with the people of God" (Heb 11.25); Joseph "hearkened not…and fled, and got him out" (Gen 39.10-12); Ruth decided, "whither thou goest, I will go" (Ruth 1.16); Daniel "purposed in his heart" (Dan 1.8). Are you willing? The Lord does not want conscripts or enforced labourers, but willing servants, like Him, who ever delight in the Father's will. Our offerings are to be ungrudging and wholehearted.

Change

"To consecrate his service." We may be active and attend to meetings but are we totally consecrated in life and service? "Consecrate" means to "fill the hands". Are our hands full of service for the Master? Are we fully engaged in the worship, work, witness, welfare of the assembly? Will we spend more time with the Word, and "be changed into the same image" (2 Cor 3.18)? The challenge demands a choice which effects a change.

"Who then is willing to consecrate his service this day?" Today is a day of opportunity to recover ground and go on to possess more ground. Let us set out, this day, new priorities - "choose you this day whom ye will serve" (Josh 24.15). If we change, we can change things and other people too. David had his faults, but God never gave him up and here he leads by example inspiring the people who respond generously by offering gold, silver, and precious stones for the holy House. This suggests 1 Corinthians 3.12-13. We are all builders in the local assembly, the house of God, but are we contributing gold, silver, precious stones, or wood, hay, and stubble? If our service is consecrated unto the Lord it will be obedient and humble service, which will earn His "Well done, good and faithful servant".

Charge

"Unto the Lord." Nothing could be more solemn than this. Personal consecration is unto the Lord - in His presence, in His sight, for His glory. Motives must be pure and sincere, with a perfect heart of love, not pleasing men but offering all to our God. Thus we become responsive to the divine charge given to Timothy: "I charge thee before God…that thou observe these things…doing nothing by partiality" (1 Tim 5.21); and again, "I charge thee…Preach the word" (2 Tim 4.1-2). There will be discouragement in service, disappointment with some saints, you will be misunderstood, misrepresented, even maligned; but if we serve as "unto the Lord" (see Eph 5.10) we need not fear. The assembly needs our time, talents, toil, and tears.

The result of such consecration was "great joy" (1 Chr 29.9), which was followed by the enthronement and exaltation of Solomon, a type of our exalted Saviour.

Concluded.

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