In Acts 27:23, Paul says, "...the God whose I am and whom I serve". He was a love-slave of his God. He retained no right to his own life. He had given everything to his Master. The only proper basis for our consecration is recognizing the fact that we belong wholly to God in the first place. Giving ourselves to God out of gratitude for what He has done for us, though good in itself, is not the true basis for Christian consecration. Love for Christ can be the impelling motive in our service for the Lord. But the basis on which we should dedicate our lives to God, is the fact that He has purchased us on the cross. We are therefore now God's own property, and have no right to ourselves.
When slaves served their masters in olden times, it was not primarily because they loved their masters, but because they were their master's property! And so, when a person gives his entire life to God, he is not doing God a great favor. No! He is only returning to God what he had stolen from Him. If I were to steal a man's money and later, convicted of my sin, were to return it to him, I would certainly not be doing that man a favor. I would go to him as a repentant thief. And that is the only proper attitude in which we can approach God when we come to give our lives to Him. God has purchased us.
When we recognize that, we arrive at the only proper basis for consecration. Paul was a love-slave of the Lord. Like the Hebrew slave, who could go free in the seventh year of his service, but chose to continue in that service because he loved his master (Exod. 21:1-6), Paul served his Lord. He was not a hired servant who worked for wages, but one who served without any rights of his own. The service of a love- slave has been beautifully summed up by someone in the following poem:
"I'm but a slave! I have no freedom of my own;
I cannot choose the smallest thing
Nor e'en my way. I'm a slave!
Kept to do the bidding of my Master
He can call me night or day.
Were I a servant, I could claim wages
Freedom sometimes, anyway.
But I was bought -
Blood was the price my Master paid for me,
And I am now His slave
And evermore will be.
He takes here, He takes me there,
He tells me what to do;
I just obey, that's all I trust Him too!"
This is what it means to be a love-slave. God is looking for those who are so yielded to Him, that they will look to Him always to see what He wants them to do - and not busy doing what they feel they should do for God. A slave does not go around doing whatever he feels like. No. The slave asks his master, "Master, what do you want me to do?" And he does what he is told. The Bible says, "The most important thing about a servant is that he does just what his master tells him to" (1 Cor. 4:2-LB).