Minden Press-Herald

Tuesday
Sep 30th

Now I belong to Jesus

crider-1This was Paul's theme song after his 'Damascus Road Conversion'. It became obvious to everyone around him too. No doubt he composed a song or two about the One who was the object of everything that engaged Paul's attention. (What an example for you and me?)

Every time Paul had an opportunity, he shared what Jesus had done for him, what Jesus meant to him, and what the blood of Jesus can do for all sinners. It was Paul who was led away from Jerusalem to share the gospel to the "Gentiles". This led him through Asia Minor, Southern Europe, Crete, and then on to Rome. His message never changed: "I belong to Jesus; He is the source of my life; Salvation comes through faith in this resurrected Lord; Salvation is free to all who will believe, etc". (What challenge did he lay out for us to follow in our daily lives?).

As we study through the New Testament (especially Paul's writings and actions in Acts), we become more convinced that our lifestyles must be measured by the plumb-line Paul used to gauge his commitment and dedication to the teachings of Jesus Christ. In his letters to Timothy and Titus (two young pastors), Paul outlines so many principles for godly living, teaching, leading and serving. Each disciple must be encircled by these concepts to grow us into the 'saints' we were meant to be. (Since we, now, belong to Jesus, we become clay in the hands of the Master Potter. Remember, we belong to Him)!

A dynamic parallel to today's cultural pull is found in Acts 17 when Paul confronts the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers with the "new religion about Jesus' death and resurrection". So he addressed them and preached about the "Unknown God", preceeding to tell them about this God who sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

Paul, then (V 24-34) points why he had committed his life to his Lord. His main point, of course, was to turn their attention away from their gods to the True God. Though He is not ever far from us, Paul points out that we must respond to the invitation to embrace His forgiving Spirit. He had learned first-handed by God overshadowing him, bringing him face-to-face with Jesus. He wanted to share the same 'living faith' with everyone he met, especially the Gentiles.

Although Norman Clayton is credited with writing these lyrics, it is possible Paul composed such songs as this as he made his way across his world, singing "Now I Belong to Jesus".

Jesus, my Lord, will love me forever; From Him no pow'r of evil an sever.

He gave His life to ransom my soul; Now I belong to Him.

Once I was lost in sin's degradation; Jesus came down to bring me salvation,

Lifted me up from sorrow and shame; Now I belong to Him.

Joy floods my soul, for Jesus has saved me;

Freed me from sin that long had enslaved me.

His precious blood He gave to redeem; Now I belong to Him.

Now I belong to Jesus; Jesus belongs to me;

Not for the years of time alone, But for eternity.

 

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