Hello friends! Hope you had a chance to visit all my girlfriends who wrote for our So Great A Salvation: What to Say When You Preach the Gospel to Yourself series. There was some meaty stuff offered by these women.
One of those dear women, Kimberly Henderson, is stepping away from blogging in obedience to God’s instruction to her. However, we did not want to lose her wonderful post on the gospel word, consecration. So, I am posting it here for your reading enjoyment and spiritual growth.
Once again, let me remind you of all the parts of this series, in case you didn’t get a chance to visit all the links:
Justification by Arabah
Sanctification by Jen
Redemption by Rebekah
Reconciliation by Kathy
Regeneration by Marci
Atonement by Leah
Adoption by Kerry
Now, here is Kimberly’s post:
My Gospel Word: Consecration
I’m not going to lie to you.
Consecration isn’t a word I’ve ever tossed around a lot – out loud or in my heart. But as I have been digging into the Word these past few weeks, preparing for this series, I am seeing how much I really do need to keep it at the forefront – of my heart, my mind, and my tongue.
First off, here is what it means to consecrate someone or something. I like Webster’s definition:
consecrate – 1. to set apart as holy; make or declare sacred for religious use 2. to devote entirely; dedicate
In the Old Testament, we see Aaron and his sons being consecrated as priests (Exodus 28,29). There’s washing, there’s slaughtering of animals for sacrifice, there’s sprinkling of blood, there’s burning of offerings, there’s anointing with oil. It’s detailed. It’s messy. And it was required. All so that Aaron could be set apart as holy to be the High Priest and so that his sons could be set apart as priests.
Their lives and the lives of the descendants of Aaron were to be devoted entirely to ministering to the Lord. Lives wholly set apart – to worship Him, to serve Him, to make sacrifices unto Him. And it was this holiness, this “set apart”-ness that allowed Aaron to go behind the inner curtain within the tabernacle into the Holy of Holies to approach the ark of the covenant (where God’s presence rested) and make atonement for the sins of the people of Israel. Something he could only do once a year. And if anyone else had tried to go behind that curtain, anyone NOT set apart as the High Priest? Well, they would have died.
Pretty serious and weighty stuff, huh?
Jump ahead to the New Testament where Jesus humbly and powerfully leaves heaven and joins us here on earth. Jesus who becomes our High Priest. Jesus who offers himself up as the perfect sacrifice, spilling His blood for the cleansing of our sins, so that we ourselves can be made holy. Consecrating (setting apart) a new and living way for us to approach the throne of God (see Hebrews 10:19-22) AND consecrating (setting apart) us (see 2 Corinthians 5:21 and Hebrews 10:10-12).
But what does all of this consecration talk really mean for us today?
A Consecrated Way
Because Jesus died on the cross and paid the full price for our sin once and for all, we now have anytime access to God. Any time. Which is HUGE when you consider that the High Priest was allowed direct access to His presence ONE time a year. Now, according to Hebrews 4:14-16 (see below) and Hebrews 10:19-22, we can approach Him not only any time, but we can also approach Him with full confidence that He will receive us and respond to us.
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrew 4:14-16 (NKJV)
And what this means to my heart is this:
Jesus paid too high a price and it is too precious a gift for me to miss out on time in God’s presence.
No cheating myself by making excuses about how busy I am. No listening to whispers from the enemy that I am not good enough to approach God. Jesus has consecrated a way for me to approach God’s throne and I need to run, run, run daily into His presence.
A Consecrated Me (and You)
And then there is this amazing truth that Jesus consecrated us. We have been set apart – by Him and for Him. 1 Peter 2:9 goes so far as to say that we ourselves are now priests. Royal priests (see also Revelation 1:4-6).
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV)
By the blood of Jesus, we are set apart as holy to be priests.
Now we can’t let that word “priest” trip us up. It sounds a little formal to me, and I’m just a blue jean wearin’, minivan drivin’ mom of three. So me, a priest? I don’t even own a bathrobe, let alone a priestly robe. But being a part of a royal priesthood today isn’t about what we wear (other than the fact we are robed in the righteousness of Christ – Isaiah 61:10). It’s about how we live because of the position we have been given by Christ.
Priests worshiped God, they served God, they offered sacrifices to God. We, too, are called to worship Him. To serve Him. And the sacrifices that we offer as “priests” today? They don’t have anything to do with spilling blood like in the Old Testament. Jesus took care of the blood by spilling His own. The sacrifices we offer up to Him are the sacrifices of our praise (Hebrews 13:15), the sacrifices of our loving service to others (Philippians 2:17, Hebrews 13:16), the sacrifices of our everyday walking around lives – as in, every area of our lives, all day long (Romans 12:1,2).
How different would our days be if we lived like we really are part of a royal priesthood? If we believed we have been set apart by Him and made choices to live a life set apart for Him? We have to spend some time asking ourselves – how does a “set apart” tongue speak? What does a “set apart” woman do with her time? How does a “set apart” woman respond – to her husband, her children, her neighbors, the world around her? What does a “set apart” woman fill her heart and her mind with?
And how different would our lives be if we took full advantage of our access to His presence? Approaching Him not only for all that we need, but also to simply enjoy Him. And really, we don’t just have access to His presence – we carry His presence. The priests were the only ones who could move the ark of the covenant – that holy “box” where God’s presence rested. Us? Once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we carry the deposit of His Holy Spirit inside of us – every. single. day. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22, Ephesians 1:13-14) What an incredible gift!
Consecrated you and consecrated me carrying around holy Him.
So what do we do with all of this? When would I even want/need to preach the gospel truth of consecration to my heart?
Here are a few times that come to mind:
• When it’s been way too long since I have spent time in the Lord’s presence.
• When I feel unworthy to approach God – forgetting Jesus opened that door of permanent access for me.
• When I am struggling on my own with discouragement, defeat, and plain ol’ sin – forgetting all that I am offered at God’s throne.
• When I am tempted to make choices I know deep down inside won’t be pleasing to God – forgetting I have been set apart by Him and for Him.
• When my words, attitudes and actions do not line up with a set apart life – a life filled with worship and praise and love and sacrifice.
• When I feel like I am powerless and have nothing to offer this world – forgetting I carry His very presence inside of me.
• When I just need to fix my mind on solid Rock truth before I head out into my day – reminding myself who I am in Him.
Preaching the Consecrated Life to My Heart
So on any given day, it may sound something a little like this:
Listen, Kimberly, Jesus made a way for you to boldly approach the throne of God. You have full access. Run to Him, not from Him. He is waiting for you with love and help and hope. With all that you need and so much more. You don’t have to live this life empty or defeated.
And remember who you are – you are part of a royal priesthood, set apart by Him and for Him. You can live today in worship, in praise, in service, in love and surrender. And by the power of His presence inside of you, you can make wise and good choices that will both honor Him and bless others.
Key verses: Hebrew 4:14-16 (above in post), 1 Peter 2:9 (above in post), Hebrews 10:19-22
In short –
Kimberly, you are SET APART, and you are part of a royal priesthood. You have access by His blood, you have worth in His eyes, and you carry His very presence with you everywhere you go.
And then I can let those sweet truths guide me, all throughout my day, helping me choose how I will live this life. This consecrated life.
I know I shared a whole lot of information in one post. I pray you found some powerful truths to grab onto and to preach to your own heart. And I hope you will stop by all of the other ladies’ blogs, finding more Word-based encouragement. As I heard a precious lady at my church say recently, “You can’t overdose on the Word of God!”
Your Set Apart Sister in Christ,