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MY . . . (Part 2)
by Philip Owen

         One of the fundamental rights recognized under Constitutional jurisprudence is the sacredness of personal property. The ownership of real estate, financial holdings, and personal property is strenuously guarded. The foundation for this belief does not come from human government but from God. When He gave the land of Israel to His people, a specified tract of land was prescribed for each of eleven of the twelve tribes (the tribe of Levi and its priesthood were provided for by the other eleven tribes) and those tracts were further divided to each individual family within the tribes in perpetuity. It is especially blessed, then, to realize that God, who truly owns everything, freely shares what is His alone with those He has redeemed. Consider the following examples.

            My Grace. When Paul prayed to be delivered from “a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment” him (2 Cor. 12:7), God responded, “My grace is sufficient for you” (v. 9). Grace is the blessing that God pours out to save a lost sinner and to provide him with everything he needs for life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). God bestows it freely on the undeserving, but it comes at the infinite expense of the suffering and death of His Son. No man or group of men, no government, no human organization or institution possesses this grace. It is “My grace,” God declares, secured at the cost of pouring His wrath and judgment for our sins upon His holy, perfect, and innocent Son. It is both the gift of all gifts in itself and the means by which God loads all His other blessings on redeemed sinners.

            My Peace. Just prior to His crucifixion, the Lord gave a promise to His disciples, a promise that belongs to every New Testament saint as well. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27). The best measure of peace that the world offers is what is evident when circumstances are pleasant. When situations turn sour, they must resort to platitudes or even overt deception in order to provide some sort of “peace.” But God floods believers with His peace, that calm, restful certainty that, whether circumstances are pleasant or unpleasant, a sovereign, omnipotent, loving, and gracious God is on the throne working all things together for the ultimate good of His own (see: Rom. 8:28).

            My Joy. Shortly after the Lord had spoken the words recorded in the preceding paragraph, He offered further encouragement: “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” (John 15:11). If God’s peace affords us with profound rest, God’s joy motivates and empowers us. As Nehemiah told the Israelites, “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh. 8:10). God’s peace makes the life of the believer pleasant; His joy makes it exuberant. It is the holy experience of the marital chamber, the profound manifestation of the presence of God, a sweet fellowship shared with Jesus Christ. His joy invigorates the believer as nothing else can. It may be the most wonderful expression of His love for us, filling the heart with holy cheerfulness and the lips with bubbling praise. To borrow from the hymn writer, God’s joy is “a foretaste of glory divine.”

            My Reward. The last chapter in the Bible reveals another possession belonging exclusively to God that He freely confers on saints. “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done” (Rev. 22:12). He explains no further in that place what the reward is. And although we find hints of its nature elsewhere, His reward is never fully defined or explained. But God is not a miser, and what He gives, we can be certain, will be more precious than anything that all the gold and silver the earth contains could purchase. After all, the reward belongs to Him: who can fathom the infinite value of what He possesses, and so graciously bestows on His own? “What then shall we say to these things?” (Rom. 8:31). How about: “May I be faithful, and may God be praised”?

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