Dr. Lynn Shmidt – “Consecration: A Step Toward Holiness”
“The rest of the people—priests, Levites, gatekeepers, musicians, temple servants and all who separated themselves from the neighboring peoples for the sake of the Law of God, together with their wives and all their sons and daughters who are able to understand— all these now join their fellow Israelites the nobles, and bind themselves with a curse and an oath to follow the Law of God given through Moses the servant of God and to obey carefully all the commands, regulations and decrees of the Lord our Lord.” -- Nehemiah 10:28-29
No, we are not made holy by the actions we do. We are made holy by the gracious act of God as He works inwardly to purify us. However, our response to God's invitation to be holy is vital.
We see through chapters nine and ten in Nehemiah that after the people heard the reading of Scripture, they were convicted of their sins and repented. Then they "separated themselves from the pagan people" (vs. 28) and made a promise to live according to the ways God instructed. That is consecration—living in a way that is devoted and pleasing to God. There were five essential promises the people made to God:
- To remain pure in marriage
- To honor the Sabbath and make it a holy day
- To provide for the needs of the temple
- To give freely to the Lord through offerings
- To not neglect worship at the Temple of God
That would not be a bad place to start if we want to renew our consecration to the Lord today. May we promise to remain faithful to God in the purity of our lifestyle, in our service to the church, and in our worship of Him.
- Dr. Lynn Shmidt, Professor of Christian Studies & Philosophy