“And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God” (1 Cor. 8:5). These are the words the apostle Paul wrote about the churches in Macedonia. They gave to Paul but first gave themselves to God.
These Christians serve as an example to all Christians today as they served God with the willingness to give to God. This attitude was one that needs to be emulated by all who seek to please God. It is important to learn just what has to be given to God. Some think only in terms of monetary giving but true giving comes from within and includes more than just giving of monetary means.
This attitude can be seen in the lives of true disciples throughout the Bible. Going back to the Old Testament, it is seen in the lives of such ones as Job, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and many others. How were they able to endure the many trials and tribulations that came to their lives. Now they were not perfect individuals, they made mistakes. Job questioned God, Noah became intoxicated, Moses was prideful, David committed adultery, murder and was also prideful. Yet when they realized their mistakes, they came back to the one in whom they placed their entire trust. These servants of God showed their human faults, but they also showed their great faith in Jehovah. This attitude of giving oneself to God does not come over night. It comes by developing one’s faith. It is a growing process that takes place gradually. When one first obeys the gospel, this is faith in the infant state. Some might argue about this point, but keep in mind what Peter wrote by inspiration. “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (II Peter 1:5-ff). By these words we can see a growing process. This is a process that must occur if we are ever to realize the idea of giving ourselves “heart and soul” to God.
Peter also told the ones to whom he wrote, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18). If one seeks to grow in Christ, they must obey the gospel of Christ and then strive to live for the Lord every day.
When we are able to give ourselves to God, the happenings in this life will not have so great an effect on our being. Our focus and goals will have a higher target than the things of this present world. They will be focused on “things above and not things upon the earth” (Col. 1:2). Some try and fool themselves and God by giving a part of their life to God while having their heart tied to earthly things. Jesus himself said that such an arrangement couldn’t be successful. “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24)”. This saying of Jesus should be followed by all who seek to please God. The Christian who works to only serve God will find life much easier than the one who tries to please God and Satan. That is just simply not possible just as Jesus said.