This is the third post in a four-part series exploring what it means to belong to God. Read the second part here.
"'Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, "Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you."'" -Acts 27:23-24
This statement was spoken by the Apostle Paul in Acts 27 when his life was threatened by a storm as he traveled to Rome on a ship. Everyone on the ship was terrified. Knowing you are going to die will have that effect on most people.
Paul, the prisoner, has a word for the sailor and the soldiers on this sinking ship. He wants to make it clear that the reason he is so different in a terrifying situation is because of the core belief that had captured him for most of his life: that he belonged to and served God.
Somewhere in life, I must answer that question, “To whom do I belong and serve?” How I answer will determine the choices I make in life. Everyone is created to give their life to something—to find ultimate worth and meaning in our existence. This is why understanding the truth of Paul’s heart—that he not only serves God but belongs to Him—nails the primary focus of life, especially the Christian life.
Let’s make this personal. Do you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God owns you, your family, and your business? And do you know that He determines your time on Earth, your calling, and your everything else?
We can never fully serve God until the ownership crisis is settled. Paul writes something in 1 Corinthians that touches on this ownership.
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." -1 Corinthians 6:19-20
We belong to God because He has purchased us with the blood of His only begotten Son. If the “to whom I belong” is settled, God will determine the way you will glorify Him.
Paul is our model. It didn’t make any difference if he was on a ship about to sink, in a Roman prison, raising the dead in Ephesus, or declaring the glory of Christ Jesus to the ruler of the Roman Empire. He belonged to God and would serve and glorify Him in every situation.
Let’s all take inventory as we determine to follow the true Lover of our souls. He alone is not only the King of the universe but also the reigning King in each of our hearts and in all the events of life.
O Lord, let me live with this simple attitude each day: “Jesus, to whom I belong, I will serve and glorify.”
John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.