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June 13, 2021

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An Ambassador in Chains Explains Why

4 min read

This morning before prayer, I saw myself standing in my tiny apartment. Then I saw myself as just one tiny person  – standing in that whole big building full of people. Then the building – just one in a city of buildings, and the city just one in a nation of cities, and then the entire world.

I am just one, small person in a world full of busy people – all of whom are loved by God.  He is aware of each one of us at the same time – while we are so many times aware of only ourselves and those most important to us.  We walk through the world with a bubble around us, conscience of only those things and people who enter our bubble.  Frequently self-important, even as Christians.

God is so much bigger than that.  I want out of my bubble.

Later, while I was sitting here in my friend Henry’s hospital room, closing my eyes from tired as I was up early again this morning – I also saw… why it is that our children are not ours.

This is probably old hat to you – but that DNA that we so fondly think of when we consider our children and grandchildren as being of our body and blood…. That isn’t our DNA.  In the first place, it came to us from our ancestors before us.  But further than that, every bit of DNA came from the loins of Adam – having been created and placed there by God. It is His DNA.

I know we all “know” that – but this is the first time I really realized what it meant.  It isn’t my DNA – it is His.  They aren’t my children – they are His.  As the Psalm says, He ‘wove us together in the womb’ – using those threads he had placed in Adam for this purpose, this child, so long ago.

And while I was sitting with my eyes closed, realizing this, Nettie began reading a devotional to Henry… and it made me realize that not only aren’t our children our own, but we ourselves aren’t our own. Again – a concept we are all familiar with in theory.

The next four paragraphs are what she read from the devotional “Daily with the King” by W. Glyn Evans;

“I will settle things with You, Lord, once and for all concerning my rights and responsibilities.  To accept Jesus as my Savior means I resign all rights to justify my sin before You; Jesus does that for me. But to accept Jesus as my Lord means I resign all rights to myself – my time, my talents, my future my all.

“That is where my difficulty is – resigning myself. To surrender my rights to myself means surrendering my rights to my reputation (He “made himself of no reputation, “Philippians 2:7); surrendering my rights to choose my place of service (He “set His face to go to Jerusalem,” Luke 9:51); surrendering my rights to my possessions (He had “no place to lay His head,: Luke 9:58); surrendering my rights to make demands (He “came not to be ministered unto, but to minister,” Matt 20:28); surrendering my rights to privacy and immunity from the needs of others (He said, “They need not depart; give…them to eat,” Matt 14:16).

“When I became a Christian I thought, How wonderful to be rid of the burden of sin’s responsibilities! But when I became a disciple, Jesus put another burden upon me; the burden of others. The second burden took away all my rights, and a person without rights is a slave (He “took on the nature [form] of a slave.” Philippians 2:7)

“Most of the time when I am touchy, irritable, or peevish (if it is not physical), it is because I have reclaimed what I thought I had surrendered to Jesus, for these are the feelings of one whose claim is threatened. My job then is to re-surrender as quickly as possible and quitclaim my possessions.  I rejoice that I am an “all things new” person, made so because I have become a “new creation” in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).”

Finally – when I asked Nettie for the citing again of one of the verses she had just read, she accidentally skipped to a different devotion instead – several pages ahead, skipping several devotions addressing varied issues – and gave me Isaiah 43:1.

Perfect. It fit anyway. Wow.

“But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name;

You are Mine.”

Originally published January 5, 2016