Leviticus 27:28 – “But no devoted thing that a man devotes to the Lord, of anything that he has, whether man or beast, or of his inherited field, shall be sold or redeemed; every devoted thing is most holy to the Lord.
THEME OF THE DAY. DEVOTED TO THE LORD. Are we devoted to the Lord? I know that may seem like a silly question for readers of the nugget. I would boldly assume all of us would answer “Of course. I love the Lord. I am devoted to Him.” I would say that too, but then again, I had to stop and do some real soul-searching with the words “Am I?” and just because I am a pastor doesn’t mean I am devoted or have arrived to the point of absolute surrender to the Lordship of Jesus. My vocation is what I do; my identity as a Christian is what I am. And devotion to God is to define that identity for you and me. Today, let’s look at devotion in two ways; first from God to us, then us back to Him.
First, God is devoted to His children. This truth of God is rooted in who He is; the God of covenant, the God of steadfast love, the God who never changes. When it comes to His devotion to us, it was established before the foundation of the world and He will never go back on His unwavering declaration of devotion to us. He cannot or would not (Psalm 136; Jeremiah 31:33-34; Ephesians 1:3-14). As we ponder His devotion to us, a life of worship unfolds as well as a life of conformity to the image of Christ. But there is a flipside of devotion.
The second application of devotion is us to God. When God saved us, we were called to a life of devotion to the Lord who saved us. And it is a devotion marked by two things. The first is in today’s scripture – “most holy to the Lord.” Pay attention to what Moses says about devoted things to the Lord; they are to be “most holy.” That doesn’t mean in conduct, but in purpose. The word “holy” means “to be separate.” And when it comes to things and people devoted to the Lord, they are to be separated from all other things and exclusively reserved for His purposes. What that means for us as Christians is our devotion to the Lord is a call to a permanent separation from sin and the world. I simply cannot say, “I am devoted to the Lord” if my life reflects selfishness, worldliness and tolerated sin. For me to proclaim, “I am devoted to the Lord” means I am detached from sin and the world in the sense I don’t delight or pursue either. The other thing defining our devotion to the Lord is the entirety of our devotion. Friends, devotion to the Lord is complete. We don’t share our lives with Christ. He is our lives. I cannot keep some area of my life to myself for my use to fulfill my desires while claiming devotion to Christ. It is total. Our Lord Jesus purchased all of us on the cross. He takes full possession of His blood-bought children. A good reason why so many Christians lack joy, peace, and contentment in their walks with the Lord may well be the attempt to be devoted to the Lord on their terms (partial devotion) and not His terms (full devotion). And should that be us, no wonder we lack joy, peace, and contentment. The loving Hand of our Father is upon us with the rod of correction preventing His joy and peace in order to show us devotion to Him is all, and that all the time. But be encouraged. Full devotion leads to joy, full joy, abundant joy. Full devotion is the healthy soil from which the Fruit of the Spirit will sprout.
So back to the original question – “Are we devoted to the Lord?” I hope so but it is always a healthy spiritual exercise to ask “Am I”?
PRAYER: “Lord, help me to live like I am – set apart, devoted to You.”
QUOTE: “God set us apart to live set apart from the world and ourselves. Devotion to Him is whole.”