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The family from Mississippi had three sons who were ministers of the Gospel. Someone asked the mother how this came about. She said when they were young, as she tucked them into bed at night, she would ask God to let them grow up to be ministers. God answered her nightly prayers. This mother loved the Lord so much that she wanted her sons to serve God voluntarily. God delights to see His children serve Him this way. In ancient Israel, God gave instructions to Nazirites who volunteered to dedicate themselves to the Lord. They were to abstain from drinking wine or any fermented beverage. This was perhaps to keep the mind alert to serve God. They were to let their hair grow long, perhaps to show their total submission to God. And they were to avoid touching a dead body, even bodies of close relatives. Perhaps this was to show their total dedication to God. But all such rigorous discipline was voluntary. This practice could foster the development of self-giving leaders. Samuel and John the Baptist were Nazirites. That ancient Nazirite vow can remind us that God wants us to dedicate ourselves to Him voluntarily. God has shown His love to us in ways that far exceed what He did for Nazirites. Not only has Christ died for us; He daily bestows His blessings upon us. Such love should inspire us to love and serve God voluntarily.

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