Thursday, March 12, 2009
We Belong to God
For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you”
So there was Paul in the midst of a tempest. Yet somehow, he had an amazing calm in the midst of this storm.
We too have our storms in life, and we wonder how to get through them.
Here are some of Paul’s secrets to surviving life’s challenges.
In Acts 27, Paul said, “For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you” (Acts 27:23-24)
Yesterday, I pointed out that Paul realized God was with him. That gave him great confidence.
Now, here’s the second reason Paul could be strong in his storm.
He belonged to God
Again, Paul said, “Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me.”
Do you belong to Jesus? It can make all the difference.
Only the follower of Jesus Christ has this confidence. In the Song of Solomon, we read, “My beloved is mine and I am his” (Song of Solomon 2:16 nkjv).
Over and over in Scripture, we are given the analogy of being in a relationship with God like that of a bride to a husband to whom she is deeply in love with. This reminds us of His affection and love toward us.
But we are also given the analogy of a sheep belonging to a shepherd. In John 10, Jesus told us that He is “the good Shepherd and we are his sheep.” This reminds us of His constant care and awareness of our whereabouts.
It’s hard to be proud about being compared to a sheep. They are basically defenseless, vulnerable, dim-witted creatures. But when under the care of a loving shepherd, they are safe and content.
We are also given the analogy of a child to his father. Romans 8:15 reminds us, “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out,’ Abba Father’” (nkjv). This reminds us of His tenderness and protection over each one of us.
My children have always had special access to me, as well as my total, unconditional love. That, of course, extends to my grandchildren as well.
When my granddaughter Stella sees me, she does not ask for permission to approach. She just says “Papa!” and I stop what I’m doing and pick her up and hug her.
We are also told in Scripture that we are his very property. We read in 1 Corinthians 6:19, “You are not your own” (nkjv). In the Greek, it is “You are not your own property. You are bought with a price.”
If something belonged to a king, it carried his seal. In the same way, 2 Corinthians 1:22 says, “He has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment of everything he will give us.”
I read a story about an old gentlemen who known for his godly life. One day, someone asked him, “What do you do when you are tempted, old man?”
He replied, “I just look up to heaven and say, ‘Lord, your property is in danger.’ “
Yes, we are His bride, children, sheep, and property. And when the Devil sees that “I.D. tag,” he respects it.
And just like Paul, we too can say, “I belong to God!”
Copyright © 2009 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
For more relevant and biblical teaching from Pastor Greg Laurie, go to www.harvest.org.
Finding Hope in the Last Words of Jesus
"For me one of the most intriguing and fascinating elements of the Easter story are the words that Jesus said as he was hanging on the cross for our sins. These seven profound statements are His last words . . . and contain some of the deepest theology and most meaningful statements in the Bible."
Finding Hope in the Last Words of Jesus, Greg Laurie’s latest book, examines each of Jesus’ seven statements from the cross, and reveals Christ’s humanity, His sovereignty, and why we can trust God with our lives.