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You belong to God

February 27th, 2009 Posted in encouragement, family, Pastor's corner, sermons, stella

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 NLT)

I pointed out in my last post 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).

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” (NLT).

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!”

This Sunday at Harvest

I will finally complete my messages from the Book of Acts this Sunday morning.

Sunday’s message is titled “The Beginning,” because the Book of Acts is a record of all that “Jesus began to do” (Acts 1:1).

You might say, in a sense, that new chapters are being written to this great book as the Church marches on.

Thursdays in Orange County

Don’t forget, our new Thursday night Bible study is launching soon in the O.C. For more info, click here.

7 Responses to “You belong to God”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Dear Pastor Greg,

    I like this message and I just thought that would be very encouraging for me and my husband so we all belong to God.

    God Bless You,
    Elizabeth

  2. Miranda Family says:

    I love this passage in your message, Pastor Greg, as it really ministered to me.

    “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.”‘”

    Thank you again for your ministry. It’s been a blessing to me. Becky

  3. Brian says:

    Pastor, I’ve always wanted to tell you how much your ministry means to me. I’ve learned so much when the radio station where I used to hear you carried you. I even got up at 2:30 a.m. to hear you when they moved your program. I too have been struggling to get more involved with my church, due to the mental and verbal bashings from others when my wife and I divorced three years ago (she cheated on me, but many think I am in the wrong). I will grow with time, I am sure. Meanwhile, I will stay firm. Thanks again for you and your ministry!

  4. Solomon says:

    Pastor Greg,

    I just wanted to thank you for your encouragement. It has helped me to identify just who I really am and has also allowed me to focus more clearly on God. I know that it is only through Him that we can become truly complete. I have been trying to pray more throughout the day, and to have been seeking a more personal relationship with the Lord. It has been difficult because of my busy schedule and just being worn out by the end of the day. I hope you can pray for me that the Lord would grant me a desire and passion for His name. I want my desires to reflect His and I want to become who He made me to be instead of having a divided heart. Please pray for me, that I may also not be ashamed of the gospel, and that I would be filled with His love for others. Thank you and may the Lord continue to shine his light upon you and your family.

    In His Mighty Name,

    Solomon Kim.

  5. Larissa says:

    Hi, Pastor Greg. The highlight of our week is to come to the second service and listen to you speak. I wanted to write you today because you often mention from the pulpit people who “text” or “e-mail” during the sermon. I feel bad because I always sit in the front and I do have my iPhone with me, but it’s because I have my Bible on there and I also take notes on it while you preach. I don’t text or play around. I needed to get that off my chest! :) Thank you for being such an awesome servant of God.


    Greg Responds

    Larissa,
    That is a very good point!
    I had not considered that.
    Thanks!
    Greg

  6. Jeff says:

    I never fully understood the peace that passes all understanding until recently. There was a trial in my life and in the midst of all the conflict and pain, there was a peacefulness that was almost serene, like being hugged on the inside. Anyway, I would never have been able to withstand such circumstances without Jesus being with me through it all. He never left and is still here. As I have heard said, we walk away, the Lord doesn’t.

  7. RJ says:

    Pastor Greg,

    Your study sounds like it will be very insightful on how we need to be living “upside-down” as Christians in today’s world and culture. I was blessed by the message you shared with us at Ralph’s memorial. Heaven is truly closer to all of us believers, and especially to all of us at Harvest who have endured this last year and a few months with our two beloved servants are now in heaven.

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