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Faithlife

07-01-14.01

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07-01-07.02              vv                           zz              07-01-14.02

06-12-17.01                                                      07-01-21.01

Title:           “When ordinary becomes extraordinary…!”

FCF:            believing we must be extraordinary

D-Theme:   God and his calling on our life is extraordinary!

M-Thrust:   consecrate yourself to God

App:           Since God and his calling on our life is extraordinary we must consecrate ourselves to Him!

Comment:  our friends who came said that they really liked the service and were glad they came. Pam said she had wanted to hear me preach and when I said I hope I didn’t disappoint you she was emphatic in saying that she was not disappointed! No real reaction from

Subject:     consecration

Date:          07-01-14.01

Text:           Numbers 6:1-21; Romans 12:1-2

1Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When either a man or woman consecrates an offering to take the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord, 3he shall separate himself from wine and similar drink; he shall drink neither vinegar made from wine nor vinegar made from similar drink; neither shall he drink any grape juice, nor eat fresh grapes or raisins. 4All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, from seed to skin.  5‘All the days of the vow of his separation no razor shall come upon his head; until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the Lord, he shall be holy. Then he shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. 6All the days that he separates himself to the Lord he shall not go near a dead body. 7He shall not make himself unclean even for his father or his mother, for his brother or his sister, when they die, because his separation to God is on his head. 8All the days of his separation he shall be holy to the Lord. 9‘And if anyone dies very suddenly beside him, and he defiles his consecrated head, then he shall shave his head on the day of his cleansing; on the seventh day he shall shave it. 10Then on the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting; 11and the priest shall offer one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, and make atonement for him, because he sinned in regard to the corpse; and he shall sanctify his head that same day. 12He shall consecrate to the Lord the days of his separation, and bring a male lamb in its first year as a trespass offering; but the former days shall be lost, because his separation was defiled. 13‘Now this is the law of the Nazirite: When the days of his separation are fulfilled, he shall be brought to the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 14And he shall present his offering to the Lord: one male lamb in its first year without blemish as a burnt offering, one ewe lamb in its first year without blemish as a sin offering, one ram without blemish as a peace offering, 15a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and their grain offering with their drink offerings. 16‘Then the priest shall bring them before the Lord and offer his sin offering and his burnt offering; 17and he shall offer the ram as a sacrifice of a peace offering to the Lord, with the basket of unleavened bread; the priest shall also offer its grain offering and its drink offering. 18Then the Nazirite shall shave his consecrated head at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and shall take the hair from his consecrated head and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offering. 19‘And the priest shall take the boiled shoulder of the ram, one unleavened cake from the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and put them upon the hands of the Nazirite after he has shaved his consecrated hair, 20and the priest shall wave them as a wave offering before the Lord; they are holy for the priest, together with the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the heave offering. After that the Nazirite may drink wine.’ 21“This is the law of the Nazirite who vows to the Lord the offering for his separation, and besides that, whatever else his hand is able to provide; according to the vow which he takes, so he must do according to the law of his separation.”

• Introduction

•  1Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When either a man or woman consecrates an offering to take the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord…

•   Captivated!

•   How many of us have been captivated by the story…

•   …of Wesley Autrey… the extraordinary New Yorker…

•   …who risked his life to save a man who fell on the tracks…

•   Wondering why on earth someone would risk it all…

•   For a complete stranger—without regard for his children…

•   Who, standing on the platform thought he was dead…

•   Or the Story of Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham

•   Another extraordinary New Yorker from Scio, NY…

•   …on his second tour in Iraq. He could have left the Marines and returned to his hometown in western New York to pursue his dream of becoming a state trooper, but he extended his tour to stay as a machine gunner with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment.

•   “We told him he was crazy for coming out here,” said Lance Cpl. Marke Dean, 22, of Owasso, Okla., who served with Dunham.

•   “I want to make sure everyone makes it home alive,” Dean said Dunham told him. “I want to be sure you go home to your wife alive.”

•   On the day he was wounded, Dunham was in charge of a traffic checkpoint set up after the ambush of a convoy. A man leaped out of a vehicle Dunham was searching and grabbed him by the throat. Dunham kneed the man in the chest to break the grip and tackled him as he tried to flee, according to Marine dispatches.

•   Three other Marines rushed to help but Dunham shouted, “No! No! No! Watch his hand!” A grenade fell from the man’s hand to the ground.

•   Dunham ripped off his Kevlar helmet and slammed it on top of the grenade and then dropped facedown on top of the helmet to smother the blast with his body and chest armor.

•   “If it was not for him, none of us would be here. He took the impact of the explosion,” said Pfc. Kelly Miller, 21.

•   Dunham died 10 days later at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

•   At a White House ceremony this week, his parents, Dan and Debra Dunham, received the Congressional Medal of Honor for their son, awarded for gallantry in the face of enemy attack that is beyond the call of duty.

•   President Bush praised his heroism saying “By his selflessness, Dunham saved the lives of two of his men…”

•   When we stop to think of what we might have done…

•   Can we imagine doing what Jason Dunham did…

•   Sacrificing ourselves for the sake of others…?

•   Why not flee or try to throw the grenade away…?

•   These were extraordinary acts of courage

•   From extraordinary men—right…?

•   Mr. Autrey made the morning talk shows rounds this week…

•   And to listen to him tell his story and talk of his family…

•   You quickly realize that this is an ordinary man…

•   Who did something extraordinary…

•   And I suspect Cpl. Dunham was an ordinary man…

•   …his mother a home-economics teacher…

•   …his father a factory worker…

•   Who did something extraordinary…

•   I wonder how many live believing we must be extraordinary…

•   When it comes to the things of God…?

•   How many of us live with the notion that ordinariness…

•   …is a curse we must break out of…

•   …if we are ever to see God use us in extraordinary ways…

•   How many live thinking God can never use us as we are…

•   Because we live believing we must be extraordinary…

•   Thinking that the greats of the faith were extraordinary…

•   Why Numbers 6?

•   Perhaps you’re wondering why we’re studying Numbers 6…

•   How it might relate to last Sunday’s message…

•   Or to our series and study from the book of Judges…

•   What is this vow of the Nazirite anyway…?

•   And what does it have to do with me…?

•   Well, perhaps you recall the sermon from Dec. 17…

•   The story of Manoah’s wife and the message of the angel…

•  …behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel…

•   Samson is a Nazirite from birth…

•   And that fact is a central part of his story…

•   What we learn is that those we think to be great…

•   Really were not… Samson was a pretty ordinary guy…

•   One whom God used in extraordinary ways…

•   He came into the world under extraordinary circumstances…

•   But lived with ordinary human attitudes…

•   Perhaps the one thing that made him extraordinary…

•   Was the fact of his Nazirite status from birth…

•   He is the most famous Nazirite in the Bible…

•   The only one named by name…

•   And the story is told with some sadness…

•   …how he squandered his special God-given status [1]

•   We can read his story believing we must be extraordinary…

•   When the extraordinary thing is God’s calling on our life!

•   One thing about the Nazirite vow that stands out…

•   Is the fact that it was for everyone—men and women…

•  When either a man or woman consecrates an offering to take the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord…

•   This wasn’t the domain of the prophet or priest…

•   It wasn’t reserved for the elite… even for men…

•   This was something an ordinary person on the street could do…

•   In response to God’s calling to express their devotion…

•   “When ordinary becomes extraordinary…!”

•   It was their opportunity in response to God’s call…

•   …to rise above the crowd and do something that was…

•   …extraordinary…

•   The route in their day was consecration and separation…

•   The fact is the route in our day is the same…

•   If you want to be extraordinary consecrate yourself to God…

•   Because it is God who is extraordinary…

•   Because it is His call on our lives that is extraordinary…

•   Since God and his calling on our life is extraordinary we must consecrate ourselves to Him!

•   Since God’s calling is extraordinary we must…

• Consecrate our flesh.................................... v. 3-4

•  3he shall separate himself from wine and similar drink; he shall drink neither vinegar made from wine nor vinegar made from similar drink; neither shall he drink any grape juice, nor eat fresh grapes or raisins. 4All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, from seed to skin.

•   How often it is—how often it is…

•   That it seems our difficulty in rising above the ordinary…

•   To do something extraordinary for God…

•   Is hog-tied by our flesh with its passions and desires…? [2]

•   How often it is—how often it is…

•   That love for the world and the things of the world…

•   Stands in our way of ‘doing’ (great things) for God…

•   God’s Spirit through the apostle John spoke about that…

1st John 2:15-16

15Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

•   And so this abstinece would not only ensure…

•   …full clarity of mind …in the service of the Lord.

•   But partaking of anything connected with the vine indicates these symbolized all sensual enjoyments… [3]

•   The enjoyment of which could impair a person’s holiness…

•   It is not that consumption of any kind is condemned…

•   But consumption is acknowledged as having the ability…

•   To soften our sensibilities and weaken our resolve…

•   So that when the call to extraordinary service comes…

•   We wouldn’t have the stomach for it…

•   The message (of the Nazirite vow) is one of consecration and separation… from anything that panders to the senses and desires of the flesh. [4]

•   So then we must consecrate our flesh…

•   That is—set it apart for service to the Lord…

•   Through self-denial and self-discipline…

•   God’s and his calling on our lives is just too extraordinary…

•   For us to miss it because our flesh is demanding its due…

•   …our Spirit unable to hear God’s call over all the noise…

•   Since God and his calling is extraordinary we must…

• Consecrate our gifts........................................ v. 5

•  5‘All the days of the vow of his separation no razor shall come upon his head; until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the Lord, he shall be holy. Then he shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.

1st Corinthians 11:14

14Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?

•   The very nature of things is for a man not to have long hair…

•   So for a period of time the Nazirite sets aside nature…

•   Willing to endure disgrace for the sake of the calling…

•   Willing to bring shame upon themselves…

•   For the sake of their extraordinary God…

•   But the message is one of consecration and separation—not only hair as such, but all natural gifts and energies must be baptized into Christ—sanctified for His service. [5]

•   What is it in the natural that we look to…?

•   Anything that we by nature have… natural gifting…

•   Perhaps it is appearance or natural strength—beauty…

•   Perhaps it is native ability or intelligence…

•   Perhaps it is a gift with speech or leadership…

•   It is whatever we are naturally gifted to be or do…

•   Things which often will get the glory…

•   When God does or wants to do something extraordinary…

•   Because in our minds—the minds of those who observe…

•   The thought is “How clever that chap is…!” or

•   My what eloquence—what strength—what beauty…

•   When the reality is that it is God who is @ work…

•   And it is God who demands the glory…

•   If our natural gifts are not consecrated…

•   That is—set it apart for service to the Lord…

•   Then the line between God and gift will be blurred…

•   And the accolades might God to man and not God…

•   So we must consecrate our gifts…

•   That the extraordinary God we serve be exalted…

•   Since God and his calling is extraordinary we must…

• Consecrate our works................................ v. 6-12

•   Verses six through twelve speak of contact with a corpse…

•   And more verses are spent here than with the first two…

•   And it seems that the recourse for even accidental contact…

•   Is severe… you have to start again—from the beginning…

•   If your vow was for thirty days…

•   …and you come in contact with a corpse on day 29…

•  the former days [are] lost, because his separation was defiled.

•   This can be difficult to understand—“why so hard Lord…?”

•   And sometimes it is good to rely on the wisdom of others…

•   The great reformer, John Calvin …concluded that “because by death is represented God’s curse, the wages of sin, the Israelites were thus admonished to beware of dead works.” [6]

•   And the Preacher’s Commentary says…

•   The message is one of consecration and separation—not only separation from dead bodies as such, but from all that partakes of the life of sin, so that we may live unto God. [7]

•   The scriptures tell us that…

Isaiah 64:6

6But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

•   That there is nothing we can do in the flesh…

•   That is pleasing and acceptable to God…

•   If we attempt righteousness in the strength of our own effort…

•   In God’s eyes it is filthy and unclean… it is a dead work…

•   So for the Jew, the reminder through the Nazirite vow…

•   Is that sin and iniquity is represented by death…

•   And that the Nazirite is to have no contact with death…

•   Rising above sin and iniquity in their lives…

•   We therefore consecrate our works to God…

•   That is—we set them apart for service to the Lord…

Hebrews 6:1

…we go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works…

•   So what we do in God’s name is not for righteousness sake…

•   But it is for the sake of Christ and his coming kingdom…

•   It is for the sake of the Father and his glory…

•   It is to be pleasing to him in all that we do…

•   If we get some sense of satisfaction from the work we do…

•   Then that is just icing on the cake—a fringe benefit…

Luke 17:10

10So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ”

•   That is what it means to consecrate our works to the Lord…

• Application for the believer..................... v. 13-21

•   So why then is it necessary for the Nazirite…

•   After the days of his separation are fulfilled…

•   To offer so many offerings in the temple to the Lord…?

•   Why isn’t the time of separation a sufficient offering…?

•   Again I quote Calvin…

•   “Here we clearly perceive, that however cheerfully and earnestly men endeavor to offer themselves altogether to God, yet they never attain to the goal of perfection nor arrive at what they desire, but are always exposed to God’s judgment, unless He should pardon their sins.” [8]

•   So that, even as we consecrate ourselves to God…

•   The point is not to attaining to the goal of perfection…

•   …believing we must be extraordinary for God to save us…

•   …or for God to use us…

•   The point is to put ourselves in the place where God…

•   Can do in us what he desires to do…

•   And that is transformation…

Romans 12:1-2

1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

•   The Nazirite vow is a time of separation unto God…

•   Kind of like a period of prayer and fasting…

•   Where the ordinary person meets with God…

•   And God begins to do extraordinary things in their life…

•   For us the message is the same—one of…

•   consecration and separation so that we may live unto God [9]

•   …coming into the presence of the Lord…

•   …and remainig in the presence of the Lord…

•   …through consecration and separation…

2nd Corinthians 3:18b

…beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord… being transformed into the same image from glory to glory

•   Because it is God—his calling on our life that is extraordinary!

•   Since God and his calling on our life is extraordinary we must consecrate ourselves to Him!

• Conclusion .................. Wesley’s Covenant Prayer

•   I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt,
rank me with whom thou wilt.

•   Put me to doing, put me to suffering.

•   Let me be employed by thee
or laid aside for thee,

•   exalted for thee
or brought low by thee.

•   Let me be full,
let me be empty.

•   Let me have all things,
let me have nothing.

•   I freely and heartily yield all things
to thy pleasure and disposal.

•   And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.

•   And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.


----

[1]      Achtemeier, P. J., Harper & Row, P., & Society of Biblical Literature. (1985). Harper's Bible dictionary. Includes index. (1st ed.) (690). San Francisco: Harper & Row.

[2]      Galatians 5:24

[3]      Philip, J., & Ogilvie, L. J. (1987). Vol. 4: The Preacher's Commentary Series, Volume 4 : Numbers. Formerly The Communicator's Commentary. The Preacher's Commentary series (74). Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Inc.

[4]      Ibid. (76).

[5]      Ibid. (76)

[6]      Ibid. (75)

[7]      Ibid. (76)

[8]      Ibid. (75)

[9]      Ibid. (76)

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