I Am Yours and You Are Mine

            Anyone who knows me knows I have an interesting sense of humor. It’s part cynic, part self deprecating, and part based in reality. Attending the Hillsong Conference 2013 changed my life and has added the dimension of writer. Go figure. I left the conference with a burning desire to write about what I experienced. As I talked to a friend, I related the experience and she asked me to send her a copy of the work. Honestly, I’m not even sure what to call it. I guess we could call it an article. As I slept the Sunday after the conference, the conference was October 18th and 19th, 2013. I became aware there might be a wider audience for my article. I posted to Facebook offering anyone who wanted to read the article a copy of it. I was surprised by the number of requests. I also began praying and asking if God wanted me to write more. I received my answer on my way to work.

            I began thinking about this line from the song “Oceans” by Hillsong. I was struck by the words “I am Yours and You are mine. My first reaction was to look at that statement and think. God sure got the short end of that deal. I know who and what I am. I believe I know very little of who and what God is. I know my knowledge of God barely scratches the surface of the truth of who God is.

            I began to examine that simple sentence. I stopped laughing and thought, Okay, Lord. I know you want me to keep writing.  I am yours and You are mine. What does God get by receiving me? The God of the universe doesn’t need anything I have. I don’t have anything. He would even want. He owns everything. “This is what the Lord says: Heaven Is my throne and the earth is my footstool.”, Isaiah 66:1 (New Living Translation). The most beautiful scenes we see on earth, whether we look at mountains, beaches or anything else, is God’s footstool. God rests His feet on the earth. What do I possibly own that God could want. Ultimately, the answer is nothing. I am just a man, and a very flawed one at that. I have nothing to offer God that would make Him want me in and of myself.

            How do we get from fallen, broken, flawed, and sinful humanity to something God would want. If we look at this from a purely earthly, human point of view, this becomes really amazing. The God who created the universe wanted a part of His creation to worship him. There was and continues to be one problem. The problem is sin. We are fallen humanity. A holy God cannot look upon sin.

            Somebody had to bridge the gap. Humanity couldn’t. Religion has been defined as “Man’s attempt to reach God.” Religion tells us. If we do certain things, pray, do good works, conduct our lives in a certain way, we will obtain an eternal reward. “Religions have almost as many “don’ts” as “do’s”. Some will have more of one or the other. There is one commonality of religion. All require human effort. It takes effort to obey the list of do’s and don’ts.

            If “I am yours” is all there was to this relationship, it would be enough. It is enough to know we are accepted by God. We belong to God. Whether people want to acknowledge God’s ownership is irrelevant. The God of the universe already owns everything. The claim of self ownership is the height of arrogance. It is the source of original sin. Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden and rebelled against the ownership of God.

            However, there is an “and” in the sentence. “I am yours” is not the end of the sentence. There’s more to it. Both sides of the sentence, “I am yours” and “You are mine”, reveal the gain of humanity. Humanity, who has nothing to give, gains a share of the inheritance of God. We become sons and daughters of God by adoption. We gain the privilege of approaching the throne of the God of the universe and talking to Him directly.

            While humanity gains everything from this arrangement there is one who sacrifices a great deal. Jesus loses the most of this arrangement. What does Jesus lose? Jesus laid aside his Glory and place in heaven. He comes to earth. He is born in a minor town of Bethlehem. He lives with an earthly father and mother. He had to grow up, go to school, do chores, and work with his earthly father Joseph. Jesus has to wait thirty years before starting his ministry. At twelve years old, on a trip to the temple, Jesus is found by his parents at the temple asking questions of the teachers. When Mary and Joseph approached him after searching for him three days, he asks them, “But why did you need to search? Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49 NLT) This is one of the few incidents we have of Jesus’ childhood. Jesus had to wait another eighteen years to begin his ministry.

            “He is mine”. It’s a small sentence. It shows our absolute gain in this relationship. Humanity gains everything. We gain forgiveness of sins. We become adopted into the family of God. Jesus, who is the only Son of God, now willingly shares his inheritance with humanity. Most will not accept his gift. Make no mistake, it is a gift. Humanity has nothing to offer in exchange. “When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags”.(Isaiah 64:6 NLT). The best humanity offers is garbage to God. This demonstrates the equality adoption gives humanity.

            Jesus did something no earthly prince could or would ever do. He left his seat at the right hand of God, came to earth, and died for our sins. When an earthly prince abdicates, the only people affected are other princes. When a prince abdicates he leaves the throne to another. Most never return to the throne. Jesus did. After His ascension, Jesus resumed his seat at the right hand of the Father. Each prince moves up in succession. A prince abdicating does not affect the commoners. When Jesus left his throne, He was doing it for people who couldn’t do anything for him. His death and resurrection could elevate all of humanity to equality with him. The only way we achieve this equality is accepting Jesus as our personal savior. Achieving this equality is impossible otherwise.