Half-way through my summer, I was sitting in a crowded dining hall of Skyview Ranch in Millersburg, Ohio; listening to teenager after teenager get up and share what God had been doing in their lives and give Him the glory. It was a beautiful thing to watch. Students showing their heart for their Savior and proclaiming their love for Him; but one testimony captured a spot in my mind that night and it is one that I will not soon forget. Near the end of the night, a boy around the age of 15 walked up to the stage and faced the crowd.
The boy was an average height for his age, quite thin, and wearing a Cleveland Cavaliers jersey that didn’t quite fit him. He was the kind of teen that didn’t really stand out from the rest. Not really one of the cool kids, nor very athletic, and he wasn’t known for his humor. In fact, he had gone through much of the week blending in. The counselor in charge of the event, Brennan, asked him the same words he had asked every other student that evening: “what do you want to give God the glory for tonight?” This boy’s voice soon filled the room as he shared that for the first time he had accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior that week! There was a round of applause and shouts of celebration across the room as we waited for him to step down. Many kids had accepted Christ that evening, and their testimony time often ended as soon as these words were spoken. However, this boy stayed… He looked out at us and begin to speak of how incredible God’s love would be to die on a cross for him even though he could never earn this and didn’t deserve it. But then, he said something that spoke of wisdom far beyond his years or anyone else’s in the room. “My life is not my own. Jesus died for me, and I would be willing to die for Him. I’ll do anything to serve my King.” He then beat his chest a few times times, and spoke three words that have rung in my ears since he first said them: “Jesus. Owns. Me.”
Jesus owns me. WOW.
We say we believe that sure, but do we live it?
If you have grown up in a situation anything like mine you heard the Sunday school lessons a thousand times, but that doesn’t mean the truth has translated over into your way of thinking. Surrounding the church is a culture that puts individuals and the elevation of self before anything else! It’s about our opinions, our plans, our future. Our feelings. Our desires. And we as believers often fall into the trap of forgetting that we are not our own. This life is not, never was, and never will be about us. This life is not about us and our desires. For “we are not our own, having been bought with a price.” My life is no longer meant to fulfill my desires, but to live for Christ. In the words of Paul “For I have been crucified with Christ. And it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Because no man can serve 2 masters! It is impossible for us to be “living for Christ” yet still focused on our own selves. They are mutually exclusive states. One cannot be true when the other is. It is either a life for Christ and Him crucified, or a life for ourselves and our desires.
Me, the old me, the individual, was put to death alongside of Christ at the cross. What lives now? Christ, in me. His will, His desires, and His glory. And it is all you or I can do to get our huge egos and consuming pride out of the way and point everything to the One who has paid the price. To live our lives recklessly abandoned for the purpose and glory of our Lord and Savior.
Let us have this mind among ourselves: overcome by his love and the majesty of our gracious God, comprehending the Truth. “Jesus Owns Me.”