“But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel,
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine! (Isaiah 43:1)
Beloved in the Lord,
One of the most important things that we need to understand is that God created us. When we really understand what this statement means, then we are truly blessed in our lives. This is a truth that Satan tries to keep hidden from us. He does everything that he can to cloud our understanding of this important truth.
Nearly all of the voices in society today tell us that our life is just that – it is ours to do as we please. It is my body so I can do with it as I please. I am Lord over my life. That is a blatant, Satanic lie! It is not your life. You did not create yourself. The truth is that your life has never been yours and you have never been lord over your life. You may think that you are lord but you are wrong. Every single person serves a Lord. Every life is subject either to Satan or to The Lordship of Jesus Christ. There are no exceptions.
When we are born we are born in a state of sin. We inherit Adam’s sin. Our natural tendency is to rebel against our Creator God. If we were baptised as infants we were dedicated to the Lord. At confirmation we made a solemn promise to live for Him so affirming our Baptism. We must understand that only faith in the shed blood of Jesus can free us from slavery to the devil and bring us into a relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ. When we confess Jesus as Lord then we are no longer subject to sin and the devil, but to God. Martin Luther said that we have to return daily to the waters of our baptism. Daily put off the old man and put on Christ Jesus. We need to remind ourselves daily of the fact that this is not my life but His. He has created us, we are subject to Him and confess Him as Lord.
Our text today is very beautiful. God says: “You are Mine.” Let us read
the whole verse again: “But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator,
And He who formed you, O Israel,
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine!”
The Apostle Paul brought out this truth in his letter to the Ephesians (2:10)
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
Whose workmanship? His workmanship! He has created us, so that we may live for Him, serving Him, loving Him, fulfilling His will for our lives. A great number of people in this world are not satisfied with life, are not happy, do not experience abiding peace and joy, they do not reach their full potential, because they do not realise that they are God’s workmanship created for His purposes.
Jesus used a vine to illustrate this truth.
We read in John 15:1-5:
“ I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
Apart from Jesus we cannot achieve anything of abiding value. Our labour is in vain, our lives are lived in vain if not lived for Him. Apart from Jesus we are like chaff which blows away in the wind. There is nothing lasting or of permanent value and significance.
Over and over Jesus says: “Abide in me.”
This is something that we all have to work at, but it is worth it. The more we remind ourselves that we are His workmanship, the more we grow in Him, and the more blessed our lives become.
When you really grasp hold of the truth that through Jesus you are God’s possession, then you are truly free. You begin to understand that you need not worry about anything because He has it all under control. God takes the responsibility for your life. Remember what we saw a few weeks ago – God is watching over His Word to perform it! “2 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it.” Jer.1:12)
This truth is also stated beautifully in Psalm 121:
“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
8 The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.”
Personally I find this Psalm very comforting. This psalm reminds us that God is always alert. He never sleeps. Nothing gets by Him. Nothing happens outside His knowledge and ultimately His permission. He is all powerful; all-knowing; everywhere all the time. He has created me, redeemed me with the blood of Jesus, saved me from sin , death and the devil and granted me eternal life in His Kingdom. He tells me that He is constantly watching over all my ways. Hallelujah!
You see God is love. He loves me, He loves you. He paid a tremendous price to buy you back.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
God had to shed the innocent blood of His Son Jesus so that you and I could have a relationship with Him. How can we doubt that He would ever let us go or that He would not provide for our needs?
Paul wrote to the Romans:
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32)
Did you get that? Do you understand what Paul is writing? He is telling us that God had to pay for us with Jesus blood, and because the price was so high we can be assured that He will look after us.
Jesus taught this in the Sermon on the Mount when He spoke of the birds of the air and the lilies of the field.
Please understand and engrave on your heart the fact that God loves you! He wants the very best for you. He invites you to confess Him as Lord. He knows exactly what you need and exactly when. He knows what delights you, He knows what makes you sad. He knows exactly how much you can bear. He knows what He wants to do in and through your life.
That is why Paul is urging us to surrender all to Him in faith:
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2
We only really properly understand and comprehend that which is good and acceptable and perfect when we surrender all to Him. When we do, our thinking is renewed, transformed. Our eyes are opened and we begin to see that all the ways of God are perfect.
As I have taught you on numerous occasions, and as I will continue to do as long as I have breath: This surrendering to God is a continual process. We need to offer ourselves to Him continuously, often more than once a day. We need to entrust all to Him. We have a powerful; enemy who works tirelessly to get us off course. It is not easy to continuously surrender all to The Lord, but oh it is worth it! A good way to do so is to confess Galatians 2:20:
“ I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
This should be our daily confession. Daily we need to remind ourselves that we belong to God, we are His workmanship and we live to fulfil His will.
May God help us.
Pastor Colvin S. MacPherson Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sydney.
All Bible quotations taken from New American Standard Bible.