“He made us and we are His. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture” Ps 100:3b
Verse three goes on to give some of the causes or the “why” we should SHOUT, SERVE, WORSHIP, COME, SING and “what” we need to KNOW: “He made us and we are His”. How beautiful?! We are His creation and we belong to Him! We are the people of the great God and the sheep of the Good Shepherd! The idea of belonging to someone - being a possession - may at first reading seem like a loss of personal freedom but the truth is, before we know Jesus, we are already slaves to sin and the only outcome of that is death (Romans 6:20-21). The only way to be truly FREE is to belong to God. Being His gives us security, comfort, purpose and hope.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German church pastor who helped many Jews escape to Switzerland during the Second World War and was eventually caught and taken to a Nazi prison camp. A few weeks before his execution, he wrote the poem, “Who am I?”. In it, he speculated who people might say he is; what his friends and captors would say and finally, what he believed about himself. He concludes:
“Am I then really all that which other men tell of?
Or am I only what I know of myself?
Who am I? This or the other?
One person today and tomorrow another?
Who ever I am, Thou knowest, O God
I am Thine.”
Even in the face of death, Bonhoeffer found comfort and freedom in the knowledge that he belonged to God and that his identity was not found in what others said or even what he himself thought or felt; his identity was found in being His.
Remember the beautiful promises we find in Isaiah 43, that when we walk through waters, or pass through flames, He is always with us and God reminds us, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you and called you by name. You are mine”. Isaiah 43:1
God made us and then He paid the ultimate price – giving His one and only son to die for us, to purchase us back (redeem us) from the kingdom of darkness and bring us into the kingdom of light (1 Peter 2:9).
No wonder we can shout and sing and worship and serve with gladness. How beautiful to have our identity in Christ – to belong to Him and to be the “sheep of His pasture”.
• Learn verse three and see if you can recite the first three verses of this psalm
• Are there areas of your life that you are reluctant to allow God to take possession of? Why not lay them down today at the foot of the cross? You can have it all Lord, I am yours.
What hope and comfort does it give you to “belong to Him”?