God's Possessive Ownership

"I am Yours; save me!”- Psalm 119:94.

    OUR TEXT, a jewel of truth, ex¬presses the great personal prin¬ciple in our own salvation. God’s ownership and our discipleship are bound together. These five words embody three elements: first a Statement, then a Request, in turn leading to Conviction. We shall consider them in that order.

    "I AM YOURS" - What a tremendous Statement if true in our case, for so much then follows! Dare we say to our God - "I am Yours?” How wonderful if we can because of the resulting privi¬leges and possibilities. To such a statement the Lord replies: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you are Mine" (Isaiah 43:1). How these words echo and re-echo the redemption message of our blessed Lord Jesus!

    How true is this statement of God: “You are Mine," for the pos¬session is fourfold and revealed ex¬plicitly in His Son, Jesus. First, by creation: "All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made" (John 1:3). Second, by redemption, for Jesus "gave Himself a ransom for all" (1 Timothy 2:6). Third, by regenera¬tion: "the washing of water by the Word" (Ephesians 5:26). Fourth, by our dedication in obedience to Romans 6:13: "Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead." Let us enlarge on these four constituents.

    How wonderful is our creation. "Your hands have made me and fashioned me" (Psalm 119:73). "Know that the Lord He is God: it is He that has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture" (Psalm 100:3). "I will praise You; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Your works; and that my soul knows right well" (Psalm 139:14).

    How costly is our redemption. "Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradi¬tion from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Peter 1:18, 19). "In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14).

    How amazing is our regenera¬tion. "God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ” (Eph. 2:4, 5). “After that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we had done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of re¬generation, and renewing of the Holy Spirit; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:4-7).

    How natural and becoming is our self-surrender. "Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own. For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). "You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priest¬hood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 2:5).

    Just ponder what this involves in our consecration. Henceforth you cannot write that letter, for your hand is not your own - it is His. You cannot go to that place, for your feet are not yours now - they are His. You cannot say those words, for that tongue is not yours - it is His. He sees into your heart and says, "You are Mine." You see into His heart and say, "Yes, Lord, I am Yours," and we sing:

"Take my love, my God; I pour at Thy feet its treasure-store;
Take myself - I wish to be ever, only, all for Thee."

    SAVE ME - In the second place, we have in our heading text, the request ¬"Save me." Save me from what? Simply, from a five-fold dereliction most obvious. We need salvation from our daily besetting sins. Fur¬ther, we need salvation from self, the ruina¬tion of the Christian life. Then, we need salvation from fear in all its aspects; even that of witnessing to God's goodness by "confessing with our mouths" (Rom. 10:9). We also need salvation from contentment with our own spiritual blessing, but a neglect of Christian service. We need to be saved from all that hin¬ders full discipleship.

    But it is not only a matter of "save me from,” but also a "save me to.”  "To a holy life which exemplifies that of Christ in our daily tasks; to a constant joy in the Lord; to a laying down of one's life on behalf of others." Can our request for this fullness of salvation be divinely ful¬filled in every respect? Consider Eph. 3:20: "He is able to do ex¬ceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Then rejoice with Jude's paean (vs. 24, 25 Rotherham): "Unto Him who is able to guard you from stumbling and to set you in the presence of His glory without blemish with exultation; unto God alone our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory, greatness, dominion, and author¬ity, before all the by-gone age and now and unto all the coming ages. Amen!"

O Love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe, that in Thine ocean depths, its flow
May richer, fuller be.

    CONVICTION - Our third consideration of the two clauses leads to a conviction of the factualness of these profound statements; that of a sound conclu¬sion. God's possessive ownership in¬volves obligations on His part to us. When He says I am His, it is not ir¬reverent to believe it is His respon-sibility to "save me." If I for my part, trust Him, He on His part, will save. Inasmuch as I am His, He is desirous to save to a full salvation, "to the uttermost" (Hebrews 7:25). “For He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7).

    In humbleness of mind, we may appropriate to ourselves His won¬derful expressions. Such, for in¬stance, as "My jewels (My special treasure)" (Malachi 3:17); and "Pre¬cious in My sight" (Isaiah 43:4); and "I have graven you upon the palms of My hands" (Isaiah 49:16). (Glorious words shared by natural Israel with spiritual Israel.) "What more can He say than to you He has said?"

    With glowing, hearts, let us survey anew God’s manifold provi¬sions on our behalf; the "cup that runs over." He purchased us - “You are bought with a price" (1 Cor. 7:23). He selected us - "The men whom You gave me out of the world" (John 17:6). He cleanses us - "To purify unto Himself a peculiar people" (Titus 2:14). He transforms us - "Changed into the same Image" (2 Cot. 3:18). He ex¬alted us - "Made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6).

    Truly, "Of grace divine the half was never told." “The Lord is our Shepherd" and we are "the sheep of His pasture." "By grace we are saved" (Ephesians 2:5) and now possess the ultimate gift - "the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemp¬tion of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory" (Ephesians 1:13, 14); "the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption" (Ephesians 4: 30).

"l stand all astonished with wonder, and gaze on the ocean of love;
And over its waves to my spirit comes peace, like a heavenly dove."

    In view, then, of God's matchless grace to us, outpoured in "exceeding great and precious promises,” can we be of doubtful mind     (Luke 12:29) as to his ultimate and endless care? Says St. Paul, "Being confident of this very thing, that He which has begun a good work in     you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6)…and Hebrews 10:22, 23: "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering; for He is faithful that promised." Such lavish benevolence moves our deepest emotions!

"O, how can words with equal warmth the gratitude declare
That glows within my inmost heart? But Thou can read it there."

    To the Divine exhortation, "Seek My face," our hearts have responded, "Your face, Lord, will I seek!” with the rational further reaction: "One thing have I desired of tile Lord, that I will seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple" (Psalm 27:4, 8). How else could we react but as did the Psalmist: "What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the Name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord in the presence of His people." (Psalm 116:12-14).

    Perhaps St. Paul has best expressed the fullness of' Christian dedication: "I am crucified with Christ: never¬theless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Gal. 2:20). And in Eph. 3:17-19: "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God."

"Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway! Fill with Thy spirit 'till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!"

    So, once again - "l am Yours; save me." Hear, then, once again, the wondrous response - "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine."

Union sublime! "Made perfect in one" (John 17:23). Alleluia!
 
W. J. Siekman ©CDMI
 

Verse of The Day

James 1:19
//
May 25, 2017

“[Listening and Doing] My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,”

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