A Living Sacrifice – By George McLaughlin

Chapter 10

Why Should We Consecrate?

The first great reason given by Paul is because it is “your reasonable service.” Not because you can be more useful (although that is true) but because it is a duty that is reasonable. It is reasonable that after God has done so much for us we should be entirely his. There is nothing more unreasonable than to keep anything back from him. Since he has redeemed us from the power of the enemy, and dignified us by allowing us to be called by his name, as his children, there is no good reason or excuse for withholding any “part or parcel” of our whole being from him.

Paul makes exhortation from the mercies of God. “By the mercies of God,” he says. Mercy has so strewed our path in life with blessings. It has been as David says, a “multitude of tender mercies.” As free as the air we breathe; as abundant as the light of the sun that bathes the earth; as freely flowing as the water we drink is the continued stream of divine mercies. Mercy grieved over our youthful sins and follies; mercy rejoiced when we came to God in repentance and sought forgiveness of sins; mercy wept when we made our “crooked paths and shortcomings”; mercy hung on the cross and died for us; mercy has ascended to heaven and pleads there for us. It has been mercy, mercy every day, since we first breathed the air of heaven. Yet some of us hesitate and make excuses for not being wholly consecrated to God! We want to keep back part of the price. We act in this matter as if it were an unreasonable, ungrateful task, when God says it is a reasonable service! Is it not strange! There is nothing more ungrateful in the universe than the human heart! After God has done so much for us! He has done more for us than for the angels, and yet we make all manner of excuses to avoid consecrating ourselves entirely to him!

A good many act as if they expected to be hurt, if they let God have them entirely. They say or think, “If I give up entirely to Him, something dreadful might happen. Some one in the home might die, or I might be laid on a bed of sickness, or lose my property or have some other affliction.” How absurd! Will God punish us for being good? Is that the kind of God you worship? Can you take better care of yourself than God can? Can he not take away everything if you do not yield to him? Do you worship a God that is too wise to make any mistakes with you and too good to be unkind? or do you worship a God who is a creature of your own fashioning? Do you punish your children for being good and judge Him by yourself? The fact that you hesitate and make excuses for keeping back part of the price, refusing to yield up entirely to the care and keeping of your best friend, shows that there is something in you that needs to die. It is the carnal nature. God says it is “your reasonable service,” but by your excuses, you seek to prove that it is unreasonable. If there were no other reason why we need to be entirely sanctified, we could see it in this inward disposition that shrinks and fears it will be hurt, if we let the dear Lord that bought us have us whole. Man made in the image of God is the only creature on the face of the earth that refuses to do the will of God. And the most inconsistent of all men is the man who is trying to serve God and keeps back a part of the price.

It is a great consolation in adversity and trial to know that we are the Lord’s property — his saints. He says in Psalm 1:5, “Gather my saints together unto me those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” Those who have given themselves to Him, a living sacrifice, are his saints. And there is great consolation in knowing we are his. There will be times when every true man will be called to take a stand for righteousness and holiness when he will perhaps be in the minority, misunderstood and maligned. What a consolation then to know that we are the Lord’s property, and that he is taking care of his property; that nothing shall come to harm us except what he permits, and that he will never leave nor forsake his property. When consecration has become a reality to us then it will make no difference with us whether we live or die. If we live, we have the Lord’s presence with us in this world. If we die, we go to dwell with him in “the more excellent glory.” Living or dying we are the Lord’s. We belong to ourselves no more. The United States government has provided national homes for the old soldiers who gave themselves for the defense of the nation. There everything has been done for the comfort of the veteran. His last days are free from care. He need not worry about his food, raiment, shelter. They will never fail. The great government is behind it all, caring for him. We have something better yet. The King of heaven undertakes to take care of all who yield themselves fully to him. He says, “Take no thought for the morrow,” “I will never leave nor forsake thee.” And the resources and wisdom of the infinite are pledged to take care of us. Paul was so fully persuaded of it that he said, “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him, unto that day.”

When the billows would confound us,
Seek with foaming crest to drown us,
Tempests rage and war around us,
God is with us still

He will never, never leave us,
Though all human hopes deceive us;
And though trusted friends may grieve us,
God is with us still

For His mercy never faileth:
When the heart in anguish waileth,
Humble faith in Him availeth,
God is with us still

Soon will come the dreadful hour
When we feel death’s awful power;
Then our God shall be our tower.
God is with us still

Let us then be always trusting,
On His blessed promise resting;
Knowing sure, what’er the testing,
God is with us still

Give thy all unto His keeping!
Cease thy doubts and sinful weeping!
His watch care is never sleeping.
God is with we still