Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 38 : Render Unto Caesar | Day 264

Render Yourself to God!

Total dedication was my father's favorite message, and he would take every opportunity to share it. After he became a believer, he experienced spiritual growth but had limited opportunities for service until he fully dedicated his life to the Lord. A week after he made this dedication, he was asked to serve on the board of Pacific Garden Mission. While he served on the board, the radio drama Unshackled was launched. Today, this program is heard in almost every nation around the world and is the longest running drama in radio history. Later, my father was appointed as the executive director of Gideons International, which has a worldwide ministry of providing Bibles free of charge, as well as placing Bibles in hotels.

My father loved to find Biblical analogies of salvation and dedication. One of his favorites was the account of Lazarus. Christ's raising of Lazarus from the dead symbolized salvation. However, Lazarus's effectiveness was greatly hindered until he was loosed from the grave clothes in which he had been wrapped. That, my father pointed out, represented putting off the deeds of the flesh and dedicating our lives to the Lord. (See John 11.)

Once we dedicate our bodies to God as living sacrifices they become set apart for the Lord, and usable for His service.

I still remember the meeting where I dedicated my body to God. I was about 12 years old and, at the speaker's invitation, I stood to tell God that I would dedicate my body and life to Him in obedience to Romans 12:1-2: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service [to render to God]. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

As I stood making this surrender to God, I expected it meant I would have to be a missionary and said, "Lord, I will serve You for the rest of my life. I will even be a missionary pilot if you clear up my eyesight." At the time, my vision was 20/80, which would have prevented me from becoming a pilot. However, the Lord honored my request, and within two weeks my eyesight was normal! Later, God used this commitment to direct me to go to Bolivia. What took place on that trip was instrumental in teaching me important truths that were later taught in the Basic Seminar.

There should be no doubt about our lives belonging to God, because He is both our Creator and Redeemer.

Whatever is given to God becomes holy, which means it is set apart for God and His kingdom. In giving our lives to God, there are two aspects of holiness. First, there is an instant holiness that occurs the moment we dedicate ourselves to God. The second aspect is progressive holiness as we are conformed to the image of Christ. In II Corinthians 7:1 we are told, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

Have you fully dedicated your life to God for His use? If not, I urge you to do so right now with a sincere and fervent prayer.

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“Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's” (Matthew 22:21).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard