A great skyscraper requires massive foundations. The builders dig deep, find bedrock and establish a base so thick and strong that it will not bend or shift. It must hold up under millions of tons of steel and concrete. It must easily embrace the force of compression caused by the unbelievable weight, bearing down on it. When the foundation is right, a mega structure is built until it rises so high it can be seen 20 miles away. Thousands of people can make it their base of operations. The greatness of the building is limited to the strength of its foundation. We can learn the secret of a great building, but can we learn the secret of a great person? The secret is found in three words: dedicate, consecrate, commit.
The greatness of a disciple is related to the strength of their foundation. A disciple’s future depends on it. The Lord is the builder. When a disciple yields to the builder, they find greatness. I love great people and regardless of one’s history or baggage, God desires to make every person great.
It is time to secure a good foundation and establish a proper base. One can go to heaven by believing, but to be great in God’s throne room, one must become a disciple. This journey is not complicated, but beware, it leads to bedrock. It is for the courageous and not the fainthearted. After a disciple humbles himself, God lays a good foundation and begins to lift them up on high. Here are the three steps that prepare the way for a good foundation:
1. dedicate – the process of decision,
2. consecrate – the process of training,
3. commit – the process of action.
Here is the first step. The disciple makes a decision to dedicate his life to Jesus. He chooses to give everything to follow Christ. The disciple dedicates, assigns or designates himself to the Lord. He presents his body as a sacrifice before the Lord (Romans 1:1-2).
Dedicate or dedication is mentioned 41 times in the Bible. It is always in reference to assigning an object, such as a piece of temple furniture, to the use and purpose of the Lord. Here is an example:
“And King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand head of cattle and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep and goats. So the king and all the people dedicated the temple of God.” 2Chr. 7:5
The amount of sacrifice was amazing even though Solomon was dedicating a building – the temple. The sacrifice of dedication involved one hundred and forty-two thousand animals. A disciple starts off by dedicating his or her body to the Lord. He dedicates it like an incense burner, a lampstand or a temple. The disciple is not to kill himself, but a sacrifice must be involved. He presents his body, his home, his silver and gold, his family and all his material goods and he dedicates them for the use and purpose of the Lord. Jesus then becomes Lord of all he has.
Here is a good prayer. ‘Jesus, today I ask you to forgive me of all of my sin. I turn away from it. I give my life, all that I am, and all that I have, to you.
I receive your grace and I dedicate myself and all that I own for your use and purpose. Amen.’
If it comes from the heart, the person who prays this prayer dedicates themselves to God.
In the Bible, dedication is the presentation of one’s body and things unto the Lord. Consecration is giving one’s heart and ministry unto the Lord. This involves one’s love and zeal. Disciples love God with all their hearts, minds and souls. They consecrate themselves unto him. They set themselves apart for study, prayer and intimate fellowship with God. They live in his presence 24/7. Though they are in the world and have responsibilities, they stay connected to God in the Spirit. They are always growing to be more like Jesus. They are in the school of preparation for service. They abide in Christ. Their days belong to the Lord. Their service and ministry is set apart unto him. Here are examples of consecration in the Bible. It is more than a dedication of things; these are assignments for holy service.
“Then Moses said, ‘Consecrate yourselves today to the Lord, that he may bless you.’” Ex.32:29 NKJ
“The priesthood shall be theirs for a perpetual statute. So you shall consecrate Aaron and his sons.” Ex.29:9 NKJ
Like dedication, consecrate or consecration is mentioned 41 times in the Bible. It is setting ourselves apart for the ministry. This does not necessitate being a pastor but it does necessitate living a life totally responsive to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit.
Here is a good prayer. ‘Lord, today I consecrate my life to you. I set myself apart to walk in the Spirit, to be trained and released for service. I will study and abide in fellowship with you. I am ready to follow your lead. I consecrate my life, my ministry and my service to you. Amen’
The foundation for discipleship also needs commitment. That is burning all bridges behind us. It is going so far that we cannot turn back. It is a launch, a leap, a total giving over. When a person is jumping from a plane with a parachute, once he leaves the plane, he is committed. It is too late to turn back. An ignited rocket that separates from the launch pad is committed. These are ‘all or nothing’ attitudes and actions.
A disciple should be like that.
Jesus spoke the word commitment to those who would be disciples. He said to Peter, ‘leave your net and
follow me.’ He told of a man who sold all he had to buy a treasure. While commenting on giving, he said, ‘these gave of their abundance but this widow gave all she had.’ He said to the rich man, ‘Sell all you have, and follow me.’ He said, ‘Whoever does not lose his life and take up his cross is not worthy to be my disciple.’ Jesus laid out the cost of discipleship. It involves the leaping, launching type of commitment.
Commitment is dedication and consecration, but it is also action. It is a daily demonstration of faith. It is doing God’s will all the time.
Commit or committed is used 189 times in the Bible. It always involves a decisive action and the Lord is committed to guard the things that we commit to him.
Paul said, “I am persuaded that he is able to keep what I have committed to him.” 2Ti. 1:12
Here is a good prayer. ‘Lord, I cross the line of no return. My life is yours. I commit myself to be your obedient servant. I will do your will, give what you want me to give and go where you want me to go. I listen for your orders to obey them. Amen’
Heaven is free but discipleship costs everything. It is the required price to become God’s friend.
1. Dedication: starts us on the journey to being a great disciple.
2. Consecration: focuses our hearts for training and spiritual growth.
3. Commitment: makes us great disciples. We will be entrusted with the treasures of heaven and become friends of God. Then we can partner with him and change the world.