Today’s reading includes Leviticus 27:14-Numbers 1:54, Mark 11:1-26, Psalm 46:1-11, and Proverbs 10:23. As I read through the assigned reading, I asked the Lord if there was anything I needed to see in this sea of information. Specifically, I saw the “dedication” written over and over. If you dedicate a house to the Lord; If someone dedicates to the Lord a piece of his family property… The details were in relation to buying things back after the Year of Jubilee. The value of property, livestock, and land revolved around how close it was to the next Year of Jubilee. Because property and slaves were “freed” during the Year of Jubilee, the value of it changed according to how close it was to the time they had to give it up. What freedom that must have been knowing that they could not “hang on” to things.
One verse that caught my attention is found in Leviticus 27:28
“However, anything specially set apart for the Lord—whether a person, an animal, or family property—must never be sold or bought back. Anything devoted in this way has been set apart as holy, and it belongs to the Lord.”
In the previous verses the word used is dedicated, but in this passage the word is “devoted”—specially set apart for the Lord. Dedicating something is very special and meaningful. Devoting something is even deeper, more meaningful. Dedicating is like holding something up and saying I want you to have a part of this, be a part of this. Devoting something is like holding it up and saying I want you to have all of this, be in total control. Look at some verses which utilize this deep word, “devote”.
Protect me, for I am devoted to you. Save me, for I serve you and trust you. You are my God.
I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.
We can dedicate ourselves to God, but it is much better to devote ourselves to God. Being devoted to God will bring about a holiness that may falter if we are simply dedicated. The word dedicate alludes to a one-time announcement; being devoted alludes to an on-going, never ending work. To be devoted is to be set apart. Being set apart can be lonely. It is walking the extra mile, going further distance. It is seeking until you find, loving no matter what, taking up and carrying our cross, no matter how heavy. And one more thing about being devoted… we can’t take it back. We can’t change our mind or decide it’s too hard.
I want to be devoted. I want to go the extra mile, seek with all my heart, and move closer and closer to my Lord each day. Let’s not just dedicate ourselves to Him, let’s devote ourselves to Him. Today and every day.