The first repost was about murmuring. One of the other very important things God has shown me within a year is that I’m not my own.
I intended to go through the New City Catechism because I had never gone through one before and feel I really missed out by not going through this as a kid, as some had the opportunity to do. But the first week was so important to me, I never got past that. I memorized the question and answer, as they suggest, and meditated on the Scripture provided. With these there are added bonuses of quotes from theologians throughout history and a short video by a contemporary one. (It would be rather difficult to make one using a dead theologian, but that would be pretty cool–if they could be brought to life in this world that is.) I meditated on this for weeks, and still think about it regularly, even a year later.
As with the first repost, I know that when God speaks to us or teaches us something, we can’t expect it to have the same impact on others, because God may be doing something differently with them. But if this is something you’re interested in, I would encourage you to at least just do the first week, and then see if you’d like to go on.
I Am Not My Own
Question 1 of the New City Catechism is worth it even if I don’t go through the rest of it. It starts out with a bang. Thinking about it this whole last week has been very good for me.
Q1: What is our only hope in life and death?
A: That we are not our own, but belong, body and soul, in life and death, to God and to our Savior Jesus Christ.
I know I belong to God but often forget that I’m not my own. That’s the tough part for me.
Recently I’ve been having a hard time dealing with my long standing chronic conditions. I’ve been having a hard time dealing with living like this, and that this is where God has me.
As I’ve written before, one of my main spiritual gauges is A.W. Tozer’s The Pursuit of God. This little book is so challenging, I had to admit I couldn’t quite fully ‘get with the program’ the first time I read it. But when I read it again years later, I was so broken and low, I was willing to give it all up, which is often what it takes for us to surrender to God to that degree.
But as time goes on, I want a little more control, I want to own more, feel like I shouldn’t have to have it this bad, etc. It creeps up, being almost unnoticeable. It comes down to knowing that I’m not my own and God has planned everything for good (Gen 50:20). Realizing this through the Holy Spirit’s conviction is the first step.
Whether we are well or broken, we are not our own, which isn’t something we read and hear much of these days. Maybe that’s why Q1 is where it is in the catechism. Why not? See Calvin’s quote for that day (c:).
For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
Romans 14:7–8 Keller (?)
You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:3 GW
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own?
1 Corinthians 6:19
The LORD said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD?
Exodus 4:11 NIV
“Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.”
John 9:3 NLT
Lamentations 3:37-38 Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?
Lamentations 3:37-38 NIV
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:13-16 NIV
“The cross does not give us a minor shift or two with regard to a few of our ethical and moral and religious values. The cross radically disrupts the very center and citadel of your life from self to Christ. And if the cross has not done that, you’re not a Christian!”
–Albert Martin, Sermon: Warning to Professing Christians
New City Catechism – Introduction