Do You Belong to Jesus?
The Lord Jesus has a people peculiarly his own. He claims them. They are his, for his Father gave them to him. They are his, for he bought them with his own blood. They are his, for he called them by his own Spirit. They are his, and he visits them, cares for them, leads them, protects them, is now preparing a glorious inheritance for them, and will soon come and receive them unto himself, that where he is, there they may be also. Happy are the people who belong to Jesus. Precious Savior, I value this distinction above any, above all that earth can bestow! May I belong to Jesus—and I ask no more!
Friend, do you belong to Jesus? Do you truly know him? What are your views of him? Have you had any personal dealings with him? If you belong to Jesus, you do know him, for he says, "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep—and my sheep know me." You know his name—and trust in it. You know his blood—and rely on it. You know his promise—and believe in it. You know his will—and endeavor to do it. You know his fellowship—and seek to enjoy it. You know his person—and love it.
If you belong to Jesus, you have Scriptural views of him. To you, he is the chief among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely one. You view him as more necessary to your soul—than light, air, food, or clothing is for your body. You feel as if you could never prize him enough, praise him enough, or enjoy him enough. "To you who believe—he is precious." Incomparably precious! Inconceivably precious!
If you belong to Jesus, you have had personal dealings with him. You have gone to him as a poor guilty sinner seeking a Savior. You have cast yourself at his feet. You have ventured your soul on his blood, obedience, and word. You have found peace in believing on him. If you have once had personal dealings with Jesus, you have often done so. Hence Peter writes, "Unto whom coming, as unto a living stone." Having once come to him—we continue coming. We bring . . .
our sins to him—to be pardoned,
our needs him—to be supplied,
our grievances him—to be redressed,
our sorrow him—to be sanctified, and
our souls him—to be comforted and completely saved.
If you belong to Jesus, you have found peace in his blood, comfort in his love, and liberty in doing his will. Jesus is your all. Your faith centers in him. Your hope is built on him. Your love ascends to him. Your brightest prospect is to be forever with him.
Do you belong to Jesus—and yet keep aloof from his people? You ought to be united to them, to walk with them, and to prize their fellowship. Sheep love to be in flocks. Saints love to be in fellowship with each other.
Do you belong to Jesus, and never speak of him? You should speak of him to his foes, and try to win them; to his friends to cheer and delight them.
Do you belong to Jesus, and not work for him? He has given to every man his work. He expects all that belong to him to be employed for him. He meets those who work righteousness, and rejoice in his ways. Meeting them, he renders them happy, successful, and honorable. He wrought for us once—and we are to work for him now.
Do you belong to Jesus—and yet neglect to meet him at his throne of grace? He invites you to come. To come boldly; to come often. He loves to see you there. He loves to hear your voice. No music is so sweet to him—as the voices of his people offering prayer and praise.
Do you belong to Jesus—and yet neglect his ordinances? You ought to profess faith in his name by baptism, and to commemorate his love at his own table. He points to the breaking of bread, and says, "Do this in remembrance of me." He is always at the table himself, and he wishes us to be there. Little things should never keep us away. Differences with our fellow believers should not keep us away. Jesus does not say, "If all is comfortable, if every one is agreeable, if there is nothing whatever amiss—then meet and remember me." No—but he simply says, "Do it in remembrance of me," and we ought to be quite sure that he will justify our absence before staying away.
Do you belong to Jesus, and still mix up with the world? Has he not said, "Come out from among them—and be separate?" Is not the world peopled with his enemies? Does not his Apostle eay, "If any man will be the friend of the world—he is the enemy of God?" Surely, if you are one of Christ's sheep, he will set his mark upon you, and that mark will distinguish you from the world around you. The mark that Jesus puts on his people is holiness. Holiness, which appears in hatred to sin, imitation of Jesus, and consecration to the service of God. If we are holy—it will appear in our spirit and temper, in our conduct and conversation, in our separation from the world and dedication to the service of God. If we are holy, the Bible will be our guide, the Holy Spirit our teacher, and the exaltation of the Lord Jesus the great object of our life.
Do you belong to Jesus, and encourage a sectarian spirit? Does not Jesus love all his people? Does he not love them all alike? Does he not wish them to walk together as brethren, as fellow heirs of the grace of life. Suppose one uses a form of worship, and another worships without. Suppose one is an episcopalian, and another a congregationalist. Should these points alienate our affections? Will such matters justify our indulging in a sour, bitter, censorious, proud, or selfish spirit? Is not separation for such matters—a proof that we are very carnal, and have but little of the spirit?
Jesus has but one body, of which he is the head; but one flock, of which he is the shepherd; but one bride, of which he is the bridegroom. The parts may be scattered abroad at present—but they will be collected and brought together by and bye.
If we really belong to Jesus, let us prove it by doing as Jesus commands us. "A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another." This command of Jesus is sacred: it is binding on us all. It should, if possible, be carried out to the very letter.
Do you belong to Jesus? Is it doubtful? Are you of those who call him, "Lord, Lord—but do not the things which he has commanded?" Have you faith in Jesus? Have you committed your soul to his keeping? Is he your daily bread? Is he the only ground of your hope?
Do you doubt whether you belong to Jesus? If you do, let me ask—do you belong to Satan? Do you own him as your master? Do you obey him? Or, do you belong to the world? Is the world your master? Do you follow its customs, its maxims, its fashions? Do you breathe its spirit, enjoy the company of its citizens, and prize its empty pleasures?
Whose are you? This ought to be decided. Do you wish to belong to Jesus? Are you willing to make a full surrender of yourself to Jesus? Will you look away from everything within you, and everything done by you—to Jesus alone, and expect a full salvation by simply looking to him? If so, you belong to Jesus. But if you cannot trust him to save you, without money and without cost; if you must join something you feel, or something you do—with the work of Jesus, to assure you of salvation, there is reason to fear that you do not belong to Jesus.
Let me entreat you to venture your naked soul on him, look simply and alone to him, trust wholly and altogether to him, and then you are saved. Then you belong to Jesus, and Jesus with all he has belongs to you. You are his beloved child, and he is your Father. You are his much prized sheep, and he is your shepherd. You are a branch, and he is the living vine that quickens, supports, supplies, and nourishes you up to everlasting life. Oh to be one of those who belong to Jesus, when he comes "to be glorified in his saints, and admired in all those who believe!"