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"For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen" (Rom. 11:36).
This verse cuts the cords of self-sufficiency, and takes away any ground for self-consciousness, or sense of superiority. We have nothing that we have not received. How easy it is for us to carry our selfishness along with us, even in our Christian life. We are converted and saved from our worldly selfishness, we see the folly and vanity of earthly things, and we turn from them to the higher things of God and the spiritual life, but often we carry selfishness along on a higher plane, seeking to gratify ourselves.
The Hebrew word for consecration means to "fill the hand." In Exodus 29:22-24, we have a striking picture of consecration. The high priest was to stand before the Lord, and the offerings were to be placed in his empty hands, and he waved them before the Lord. He thus carried out the idea of consecration. He received the offering from the Lord, and then gave it back to the Lord. This was the thought of David in the prayer which he made relative to the offerings gathered for the temple--"All things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we but given Thee" (1 Chron. 29:14).
Our very salvation is of Him. Every holy desire we have ever had is of Him, and shall we not fulfill what He has implanted? "Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures" (Jas. 1:18).
Again, all things are through Him as well as of Him. We come into the world coiled around ourselves as thoroughly as a watchspring around its center. When we are converted we are saved from the grosser forms of selfishness, but still we carry the selfish spirit into our Christian life.
It is said that the honeysuckle grows, according to the law of its being, always in one direction. Its spirals twine one way, and there is no force that can coil them another way. So it is difficult to decentralize the human heart. Even our beautiful hymns and our very devotions are often mixed with a sort of spiritual and emotional selfishness. How different from the songs of heaven, where all the hallelujahs are unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb. All seems to be lost in the glory of God.
Again, all things are unto Him. If all things are of Him and through Him, it is only right that they should return to Him. He should be the supreme object of all our affections and service. Let us not seek for religious pleasure, for emotional feeling, and the gratification of our sensibilities, but let us seek Him, glorify Him, and live for Him. The yielded life is expressed in the words--dying unto self and living unto God.