Friday, August 03, 2007

Luke #24 - Giving Back What We've Never Owned

Luke #24 – Giving Back What We’ve Never Owned

“And Joseph and His mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of Him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary His mother, ‘Behold, this Child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed’” (Luke 2:33-35 – King James Version).

The day my daughter was born was a serious day of revelation for me. Intellectually I knew that God gave His Son for my sins, but that day it hit my heart like never before. I looked at my beautiful little girl and thought Wow, I could never give her life for anyone. I realized how much God wanted to redeem mankind and reconcile us to Himself. For the first time I truly thought of how Mary must have felt knowing that her Son would be sacrificed for the world. I remember looking into Katie’s little blue eyes and thinking that I wouldn’t give her for a good person; God gave Jesus for rotten sinners. What could Mary do? She never owned Jesus. What could Jesus do? His choice was to either follow the will of His Father or rebel. If Christ would have done that, where would we be? Christ Himself gave back what He never really owned; His earthly life was given to Him by the Father and Jesus simply gave it back.

Rachel was born three years and twenty-seven days later; I went through it all over again. Every day I look at these two little gifts from God and wonder what awesome plans He has for them. What will I do, think or feel if God calls them to the mission field in a dangerous place? I know my choices; I can rebel or I can give my girls back to God. I don’t own them; God simply made me steward of their precious lives. I live everyday in thankfulness of that and in broken surrender to His plan for them.

What about our own lives? We do not really belong to us. We are God’s. We must decide moment to moment if we will give Him what we have never really owned. Not only did God create us and breathe life into us, but He bought us back; He redeemed us. Elect saint of God, know this, we were bought with a dear price; we are not our own.

I cannot imagine the range of emotions Mary must have felt at Simeon’s words. She had to hurt, knowing Jesus would die. She had to feel privileged, knowing that she was chosen to bear the God-man. She had to feel pride; her Son would save even her own soul. She had to feel fear; her Son would suffer. Simeon warned “a sword shall pierce through thy own soul” and indeed it must have when Jesus was beaten and nailed to that cross. What choice did she have? She was simply steward over this Baby. I bet she spent a lot of time on her knees in prayer.

Simeon said “this Child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel” and by that he meant that Christ would cause some jubilation and others would hate Him. How did that make Mary feel? She might have understood that the Messiah would be perfect, yet this man said He would cause some to stumble.

That’s what Jesus did and is doing today. He is the rock on which some stand and the stone by which others are crushed. Why did He do it? It was for the joy that was set before Him (Hebrews 12:2). You must know Jesus hated the shame of that cross, but He looked beyond it and counted the joy. That joy was you and me and the salvation that He knew He would purchase for us.

That’s the challenge for any and all who would let Christ live in them today. Romans 12:1 tells us to be living sacrifices; we are simply to give back to God what we do not own…that is our lives. Sure, it is a fearful thing, but I believe that the privilege outweighs the fear. I think that giving God glory with our lives outweighs whatever temporary things we may gain by keeping it.

Mary and Joseph “marvelled” at the things Simeon said, and rightly they should. We may be freaked out at the call for self sacrifice that God has issued toward every believer, but our fear does not negate that call. We must spend a lot of time broken and on our knees in prayer that we may be able to surrender to God’s plan. What are our choices? We can rebel; we may experience God’s wrath, we will experience His judgment. We can surrender, give back to God the very lives that He has given us not once but twice and enjoy the wonderful privileges of knowing Him and being used by Him.

No one says it will be easy to do, but it is easy to understand. Every moment must be measured and surrendered. What will we do? Rebel? Surrender? The choices are few but they are clear.


Telmeimrong said...

His yolk is easy, his burden is light.

twbowes said...

Thanks for reading and responding!