When last have you stopped and asked yourself the question: “Who am I?” True, you have a name. You are registered with Home Affairs as a citizen of your country. You have an Identification Number and a birth date. You might be married or single or perhaps widowed or divorced. You may have children. Perhaps you work or school. You might have little or lots of education. All these things tell you that you are somebody. But you guessed it already … I am not talking about that sort of … “Who are you?” Read the following again:
Ac 27:23 “Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me 24 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.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”
Paul could answer the question … “Who am I” very easily! Look at what Paul says about God …
(1) The God whose I am. He says he belongs to God … he is owned by God! That is who he is. We know that God is the Creator of all things and that every pregnancy is permitted by God. We know that all our faculties are of God. Yet there is something far more … and this something more applies to every Christian. Paul, under inspiration writes like this …
Ro 1:6 And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
Ro 14:8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
Gal 3:29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
The terms … “belong to the Lord”, “belong to Jesus Christ” or “belong to Christ” … places the Lord (Jesus Christ, God the Son) as the sovereign, prince, chief and master in control over the person that belongs to Him. Through Jesus’ substitutional death and resurrection, He acquired special ownership over the person and now holds divine administration over that soul. You will remember that before salvation you belong to the “prince of this world” (Ephesians 2:2), but Jesus Blood purchased you … He redeemed you through His Blood payment. He bought you from the slave market of satan and you now belong to Him if you are indeed born again. Peter says:
1 Pet 1:18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect
Your soul is the “pearl of great price” and it is with His “Precious Blood”, the most costly payment available throughout all creation and in heaven itself. Further on Peter writes about believers as a collective, saying:
1Pe 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Paul writes to the Church at Ephesus saying:
Eph 1:4 In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will … 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding … 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
This beloved is whom you are! He chose you for salvation in eternity past and in real time He applied the meritorious salvific achievements of Jesus to your account. You now belong to God! As you go through the joys and sadness of life, remember whom you are. In the midst of a coming shipwreck Paul could say He is God’s. Hold this dear to your heart. May it encourage you in despair, depression and despondency … and may it motivate you to greater heights of love and commitment … and above all, may you bring pleasure to your God and Father in glory.
(2) The God whom I serve. The word Paul uses for “serve” is not the normal one he would use meaning bond slave. Here it means “to render religious service” and “to worship”. We could then put it like this … Paul is saying … “God … whom I worship with my whole heart.” This is not a strange interpretation because “worship” is not just singing, praying and the use of Scripture (heard or read) as many think in Church. Worship is an act of life … meaning that everything one does from the start of the day to the next start of the day is an act of worship … a religious service to God … out of love and thanksgiving for His grace in salvation. The central focus of worship (religious service) must be the glory of God. It is our privilege to render pleasure to God. He is after all our God, Lord, King, Savior and Master!
1Co 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Did you get that? “… or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” This is God’s Word saying to you that all of life is an act or worship! You are God’s. You belong to Him exclusively … therefore … worship him through everything you do, all the time. This is extremely challenging, yet it is also very encouraging. It is challenging because we need to review the motive for doing what we do. An example is sleep. Do we sleep to the glory of God? If we do we shall be refreshed and ready each day to offer all of our awake time to bring glory to God! It is encouraging in that our lives serve a purpose. Never ever are you able to say that you are bored or that life is meaningless. You see beloved … all of your life as a Christian … the good and hard times are, the lovely and bad times, the easy and difficult times are all part of the worship of God. How you use these times and respond to these times will be up to you, but if your life is to be one of worship, dedicated to the King of Glory, you will be wise to consider how you use your time. This is true for me too. All this is said for a specific purpose. Because God sent an angel to speak to Paul the previous night, he was reminded of his mission to stand trial before Caesar and added to this is that God “gave” him the life of each soul on board for safe keeping. Their duty however was to be courageous, but Paul responsibility was to exercise faith, trusting God to do what He promised. However the consequences for refusal to listen to Paul’s wisdom at Phoenix harbor would result in shipwreck.
Thank You precious Lord for saving us with a purpose … that of loving You and worshipping You in all of our lives. Help us to bring You pleasure through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.