Union Conference Record, vol. 6

Union Conference Record, Vol. 6

1903

May 15, 1903

“Consecration of Our Means to Service” Union Conference Record 6, 10, pp. 5-7.

ATJ

Reading for Monday, June 8

CONSECRATION is the devoting or setting apart of a person or
thing to only holy uses.
UCR May 15, 1903, page 5.1

The process of consecration, the way in which it is accomplished, is simply the constant recognition of God’s ownership. UCR May 15, 1903, page 5.2

Personal consecration is the constant recognition of the truth and the fact that we are not our own, but God’s. UCR May 15, 1903, page 5.3

This ownership of us, of all men, by the Lord, is absolute and eternal. This is true whether men recognise it or not; for we were totally lost, and God put everything in the balance, He risked all, and so gave all, to redeem us. The loss of us was total; the price paid for us was infinite; therefore His ownership of us is absolute. UCR May 15, 1903, page 5.4

And it is eternal: for the price paid—the emptying of Himself, the gift of Himself to humanity—is an eternal fact. It is never to be undone, it is never to be reversed, but is eternally to remain the all-embracing gift eternally given, the infinite price eternally paid. UCR May 15, 1903, page 5.5

The recognition of this stupendous truth can never be anything else than consecration; because the very consequence of such recognition is that the truth takes hold upon the very soul, and binds the whole being—heart, soul, mind, and strength—in a pure, free, and glad devotion to God. And this is not only because of the virtue of that mighty truth in itself, but also because that that which we had lost and to which we have been redeemed, is not great simply because of the great price that was paid; but the great price was paid because that which we had lost is worth to us all the infinite price that it cost to redeem us to it. The wealth of this truth we can not now comprehend, but the truth itself we can believe and enjoy. And this truth recognised and by faith realised, separates the soul from the earthly, the sensual, and the devilish; and binds it in sincere devotion to the heavenly, the holy, and the divine. And that is consecration—personal consecration. UCR May 15, 1903, page 5.6

And it is impossible,—the word is used advisedly, and must be repeated,—impossible that there can be a consecration of the person, of the heart and life, without the consecration of whatever means are incident to the life. UCR May 15, 1903, page 6.1

It is impossible that there can be a consecration of the person, without an equal consecration of whatever attaches to the person. It is impossible to love God with all the heart, without loving Him with all the issues of the heart, which are the issues of life; and it is impossible to love Him with all the life, without loving Him with all the fruits of the life. UCR May 15, 1903, page 6.2

It is impossible to love God with all the soul without loving Him with all the faculties of the soul. UCR May 15, 1903, page 6.3

It is impossible to love God with all the mind, without loving Him with all the functions, with all the products, and with all the capabilities of the mind. UCR May 15, 1903, page 6.4

It is impossible to love God with all the strength, without loving Him with all the applications, all the products of the applications, and all the possibilities, of the strength. UCR May 15, 1903, page 6.5

And this is simply what “the first of all the commandments” calls for: “Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” The one chief thing in that commandment is that it calls for the devotion, by each one, of absolutely “all.” And that is consecration—consecration of person and means. UCR May 15, 1903, page 6.6

And that is Christianity, too, simple Christianity. For is it not written: “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchantman seeking goodly pearls; who, when he found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it”? Matthew 13:45, 46. The pearl was worth “all that he had.” It took “all that he had” to buy the pearl. And he sold “all that he had,” and bought the pearl. He parted with “all that he had” and invested it in the pearl. And that is consecration. And when he had sold “all that he had” and invested it in the pearl, then he owned the pearl. And that is “the kingdom of heaven.” And he did not own anything else; he did not want to own anything else. This forsaking “all that he hath” is the consecration of his means to the service. UCR May 15, 1903, page 6.7

Again, it is written: “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” Matthew 13:44. The field is worth all that anybody has. It takes all that any one has to buy the field. Whoever wants the treasure in the field will sell all that he has, and will invest it in the field. And that is consecration,—the consecration of person and means. And when he has so done, he owns the field. And that is “the kingdom of heaven.” And he does not own anything else; he does not want to own anything else, for he knows that this is well worth “all that he hath.” And that is simple Christianity. This consecration of “all that he hath,” is only the consecration of his means to service. UCR May 15, 1903, page 6.8

Does any one doubt it? Is it put too sweepingly? Then read again: “If any man come to Me and hate not [does not love less, Deuteronomy 21:15] his father and mother, and wife and children, and brethren and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26. UCR May 15, 1903, page 6.9

NOTE: Jesus does not say that he shall not be my disciple; as though it were a prohibition, or a penalty, for not hating all these. No; it is the plain statement of the simple truth that such a one “cannot be” His disciple: he may try to be a disciple, but there is that about him that in a crisis inevitably binds him to self, to the things of this life and of this world, and he simply cannotbe Christ’s disciple. UCR May 15, 1903, page 6.10

He continues: “Which of you intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first and counteth the cost [the cost “all that he hath”], whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying. This man began to build, and was not able to finish.” Luke 14:28-30. UCR May 15, 1903, page 6.11

And now He Himself makes the sweeping application: “So whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” Verse 33. Mark: He does not say forsaketh all that he was or all that he is; but “all that he hath.” The forsaking of all that he is, the forsaking of self, is wrapped up in the forsaking of all that he hath. UCR May 15, 1903, page 6.12

To say nothing just now of forsaking all for the great thing that is given, it is but the sober truth to state that our people are not making a fair return to the Lord of the means that is actually saved to them in this world by the truth that we have received. In the truth’s saving us from the evils of tea, coffee, tobacco, strong drinks, shows, theatres, it saves to us—to the people who compose this denomination—600,000 pounds a year. Now that money ought to be sacredly devoted to the service of God as heartfelt thank-offerings. Some of it is; but not nearly the sum that is saved to us. Is it fair to consume upon ourselves the means that is directly saved to us by the mercy and truth of God? UCR May 15, 1903, page 6.13

To do only that would be far more of a consecration of means than is yet seen among us; but that is not all: and “whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” UCR May 15, 1903, page 6.14

To forsake all that you have is not to throw it away; it is not
to treat it carelessly, and let everything go at loose ends. It is to devote it with yourself to the service of God. It is to hold it as not at all your own, but wholly the Lord’s, subject to His call to His service. Even that which we spend upon ourselves and our families will be in His service. Nothing else can be the consecration of our means to His service.
UCR May 15, 1903, page 6.15

Now, is your means—all that you have—held that way? Is it consecrated to God’s service? UCR May 15, 1903, page 6.16

Even though you have not actually given it away to His service, even though it is still subject to your control, is it in His service, or
is it in the service of the world? And if it is still subject to your control, and it is in the service of the world, then is that part of your heart, soul, mind, and strength in the service of the Lord, or is it in the service of the world? And if that part of your heart, soul, mind, and strength that is represented in that means, is in the service of the world, when the first of all the commandments requires that all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength shall be in the service of the Lord; and when to fail in one point is to be guilty of all; then how much of that first of all the commandments are you keeping? And if you are not keeping the very first one of all, then how many of the rest of them are you likely to be keeping?
UCR May 15, 1903, page 6.17

To make this perfectly plain, let us present a tangible illustration that is an every-day truth with many Seventh-day Adventists. There are to-day many—the correct word is many—of our people who, collectively, from smallest sums to largest, have thousands of pounds deposited in banks or loaned to worldly men to be used in only worldly business, and thus wholly used in the service of the world; not an item of it in the service of the Lord. Thousands of pounds of this have been directly refused to the service of the Lord, because of one single per cent. more that could be had for it in the service of the world than in the service of the Lord. UCR May 15, 1903, page 6.18

Now the money that is in the world, and wholly used in the service of the world, is that consecrated to God, and to His service?—Impossible. Then what of the consecration of the mind and strength of those whose thought and care and painstaking and labor this money represents? What of the consecration of the persons whose this means is, and who are represented in it? UCR May 15, 1903, page 6.19

Dear brethren and sisters, consecration—consecration of person and means—means something. It alone means discipleship; for “whosoever of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, cannot be My disciple.” It alone means the kingdom of heaven; for it takes “all that he hath,” invested in the field, to possess the treasure. It alone means the keeping of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus; for it takes the love of all the heart, and all the soul, and all the mind, and all the strength, to keep the very first of all the commandments. UCR May 15, 1903, page 6.20

Please let not any one think that “all that he hath” is too much; for what is the “all” that any one has, compared with the “all” that has been given for each person in the world? What is the little all that we can possibly give, to the abundant all that is already given to us: and that awaits only our letting loose of the little that seems to us so much, and our receiving the abundance that will make altogether little what seems to us so much? What is there of the “all” that we can possibly consecrate, even when it is all truly consecrated, as compared with “all the fullness of God” that every consecrated soul receives? What is the little life we have as compared with the life of God? What is our life, which is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away,” as compared with that life which is eternal? What is a moment to all eternity? Oh! to-day, even while it is called To-day, please yield all, devote all that you have; and to-day receive all that God has—even all the fullness of God. UCR May 15, 1903, page 6.21

Please let not any one say that the Lord’s call for “all that he “hath,” is a hard saying. If there could be degrees of comparison in the gifts and calling of God, then this call for all that we have, would be one of the greatest and most blessed things in the Bible. For this is the only way in which we can possibly receive and appreciate “all the fullness of God” that is so freely and so fully given to each soul. The reason that we do not know more of God is that we do not surrender more, devote more, to God. He who would know all of God, must constantly forsake all of self and the world. He who would know “all the fullness of God” must constantly be emptied of self and the world. And O the depths of the riches of the knowledge of God! To know God, and Christ whom He hath sent, this is even life eternal. UCR May 15, 1903, page 7.1

“Who then is willing to consecrate his service,” and “all that he hath” to service “this day unto the Lord”? UCR May 15, 1903, page 7.2

A. T. JONES.