What does it mean to "dedicate" oneself to something? When applied to an individual it means to devote to a particular subject or purpose. In a religious sense, it means to devote to the worship of a divine being, specifically to God. It can also be defined as setting apart for specific, sacred uses with solemn rites. There are many instances of dedication found in the Old Testament story. The mother of Samson was instructed by the Angel to dedicate the boy to God’s service with the "Nazarite" vow. The vow, as described in Numbers 6, laid specific rites to abstain from strong drink, not to cut the hair and refrain from touching the dead (Numbers 6:1-21). Though the original vow was intended to be a temporary dedication, Samson, along with Samuel and John the Baptist were to keep the vow for their lifetimes. (1 Samuel 1:10-11; Luke 1:13-15) As we consider these three examples, we may very well see the foresight of inspiration for Christian dedication.

When we obey the Gospel, we make a commitment to the Lord and are to dedicate ourselves to His service. "I 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." (Romans 12:1) This personal sacrifice and dedication to the cause of Christ is now a lifestyle rather than something we apply only for an hour on Sunday morning. We’ve all known people who wholeheartedly dedicate their lives to a cause that they are passionate about. We need to be just as passionate about our Christianity and live it to the fullest every day. Unlike the original Nazarite vow which lasted for only a specific time and then expired, our Christian service will have only one expiration date as described by Revelation 2:10, "Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life."

Jay Launius
Maud church of Christ
Maud, Texas