He Owns Me.

Matthew 10:33:

“Whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.”

When I was maybe 10 years old I was really shy, and really afraid of what others might think of me. One day I was skipping rope with a friend of mine and a boy quite a lot bigger than I asked me if I was a Christian. I knew that this boy wasn’t, and to be honest, he scared me a little. This memory has always plagued me. Sometimes I would reason with it, “I never said I wasn’t a Christian.” But I also never said I was. I didn’t lie with my mouth, but I dodged the truth, I’d been given an opportunity to proclaim my faith, and I basically said “What’s it to you?”

I recently read the book “Jesus Freaks” containing of story after story of men, women, and children, imprisoned, tortured, and martyred for their faith in Jesus Christ. At first it seems a little be extreme, a little radical. But aren’t we asked to do the same thing? Jesus gave his life for us as a perfect payment, but he’s still asking for all our imperfections in order to perfect us.

Peter denied Christ 3 times, Christ redeemed him 3 times. Peter was later on, martyred for his faith, he asked to be crucified upside down because he believed he should suffer more than his savior. Peter was radical. He wasn’t half way in for Jesus. Jesus owned him.

It sounds extreme, but isn’t that what Jesus asked us to do? The Church in America isn’t facing persecution from the government, I’m not going to be thrown in jail for preaching, holding a service, or talking about Jesus. Peter died for Christ on a cross. I doubt any of us will be crucified for our faith, in fact, most of us probably don’t face a whole lot of persecution for our faith. That doesn’t mean being a Christian will be easy. Jesus is asking each of us, every day to deny our own lives and to follow him.

One day a religious man approached Jesus and was talking to him. He had kept all the commandments since he was young, he was a go to church every sunday kind of guy

“Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.” -Mark 10:21-22

When we choose to follow Jesus, we’re surrendering to him. He paid our price. We cannot earn his love, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t deserve everything we have. He’s the God of the Universe, our things and our lives are not our own. The man Jesus spoke to had great wealth, and he valued it more than life with Jesus. What do we have that we value more than Jesus? What are we not willing to give him?

Maybe you’ve never denied Christ when someone asked you. But maybe like me, you never said “Christ owns me.” You never gave an answer specifically. We live like that a lot of the time, not just with our words, but with our actions. Nothing about that really sticks out, we’re not off committing bloody huge sins, our sins are much more inward, small things like pride, or valuing our money too much, or our jobs too much, or even our lives. Or maybe it’s even less than that, perhaps God is calling you to something but you don’t want to call that much attention to yourself as a Christian. You’re not telling people you don’t believe, but you’re not following into that belief.

If you were the religious man Jesus was talking to today, what would he ask you to do? Sell everything you own? Give up your job? Like Abraham, sacrifice your only son?

God sacrificed his only son for you. Not to guilt you into anything, He just loved you that much, he gave up everything for you. You’re the jewel he really wants. One of my favorite songs says, “There is a love as strong as death, with jealousy demanding as the grave.” God is so jealous when you give yourself to something that is not him. Maybe you haven’t disowned him, but you’re also not letting him own you.

Today I want to be reconciled. Today I want to say with my mouth and with my actions that Jesus Christ OWNS me.

–striving to be zealous for a jealous God (and thankful for the immense grace because he knows all I can do is try),