Isaiah 43:1-4 (NIV) “1 But now, this is what the LORD says– he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3 For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. 4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.”
(SHOW THE “YOU ARE MINE” VIDEO) God has a Valentine card for each of you today. It simply says, “Be Mine!” We see in Isaiah 43 that God tries to communicate His desire for us to belong to Him through many different displays of affection and action.
We are His because He created us.
Verse one of Isaiah 43 tells us God has created us. He has formed us. He is the Creator. “Is He not your Father, your Creator who made you and formed you?” (Deuteronomy 32:6)
You were handmade by God. Like a painter or sculptor who displays a masterpiece, God is proud of His creation. He is glad He has made you. Those of you who have submitted to Him through faith—He is still creating you. Sin has marred God’s creation, including us. By the power of the Holy Spirit, God is remaking, recreating us. And like Paul said, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.” (Phil. 1:6)
Have you ever been the recipient of a handmade gift? It didn’t matter whether it was a quilt, a photo frame, a wall hanging or some other kind of handmade craft, there was likely a unique feeling you experienced when you opened it. Handmade gifts carry hidden messages. They suggest someone thought of you. They took extra time to create something for you. They wanted you to have a piece of them when you received the gift. They wanted you to remember them by the gift. They wanted you to feel special.
I remember receiving handmade lawn chairs that had our names woven into them when we got married. They were made by an incredible woman of faith who has gone on to be with the Lord. I would venture to say she suffered more tragedy and heartache in this life than perhaps anyone in this room. Yet her faith never wavered. She was an amazing inspiration. The fact that she would do something as time consuming for us as the weaving of those chairs made them more than chairs to me. They were and are truly treasures. They are precious to me because of who made them and because of the loving care that went into doing so.
An original of any piece of artwork done by a master is so precious isn’t it? Each one of you is so precious to God because you are an original! There is no one like you.
Each of us was created in God’s image and guess what, “There is no God like our God!” That’s why, as people created in His image, there is no one like you as well! We reflect the uniqueness of our Creator! We are His first and foremost because God has created us.
How do we show God that we truly are His? He says “You are mine.” How do we say, “You are mine,” back to God? Listen to Psalm 95. 1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. 3 For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.
6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
Worshiping Him back is our way of saying, “And You are mine!”
God isn’t ashamed to say we are His. Worship is our opportunity to show Him we aren’t ashamed to receive His love and to love Him back. Imagine a boy telling a girl, “I love you, but please don’t tell anyone! Let’s just keep it as our little secret. We can even get married, but whenever we are out in public, don’t let anyone know we are married.” That’s crazy, right? Yet we can be guilty as Christians of something similar when we withhold that display of love and commitment by refusing to worship God.
My husband holds my hand in public. It’s a public demonstration that we are together. I am with him and he is with me. We want it to be known that we are a couple, that we are married, that we belong together. Worship is a public demonstration that we are with God and He is with us; that we belong to Him.
We are His because He has redeemed us. (Is. 43:1b)
I Peter 1:18-19 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
To “redeem” means to “buy someone back from bondage by the payment of a price.” From what have we been redeemed?
Look at 1 Peter 1:14-“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.” Because of God’s sacrificial love, we have been redeemed from evil desires. Unredeemed people are slaves to their impulses. They are driven by their lusts. Not so with us! Unredeemed people live in ignorance as well. They aren’t experiencing the daily revelation of God’s will and truth. Not so with us!
Then look back at verse 18 again, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers” Unredeemed people live with an emptiness in their lives that causes their dailyness to be pointless. Why would life be worth living if it was pointless? Do you wonder why the world responds often to the stresses and strains of daily life as if they have no hope? It’s because they don’t!
But God says to those who have placed their trust in Him, “You are mine!” You are no longer a slave to your own lust! You no longer live in ignorance and walk in darkness. You no longer live a pointless, worthless existence. You are free from the bondage of sin and can live a life of self-control and submission to God by the Spirit of God who lives in you. You are walking in the light of God’s love and are receiving truth by the Spirit of God who is renewing your mind. Your life is worth living because you have a destiny, a future, a hope, planned by God to make you a blessing and to bless you in the process.
“Oh, I’m redeemed! I’m redeemed!
I’m redeemed by the blood of the Lamb!
I am saved from all sin, and I’m walking in the light!
I’m redeemed by the blood of the Lamb!”
Hallelujah! We have been redeemed from so much! Let the church say, “I’ve been redeemed from a lot of stuff!” J It gets better! What have we been redeemed with? We weren’t redeemed with silver or gold. We were redeemed with the most precious thing ever! Blood!! Jesus’ blood. Through Jesus’ death, we have been redeemed. By the death of Christ on the cross, the ransom for sinners was paid. God’s wrath was satisfied and He did it Himself! Silver and gold are earthly, corruptible commodities. They wouldn’t have worked. You could say the price for sinners was “out of this world,” and it had to be. It had to be blood and it had to be the blood of a Spotless Sacrifice.
(The following is a quote from John MacCarthur in a sermon on this topic found at: http://www.gty.org/resources/print/sermons/60-13)
“It is really little wonder that the blood of Christ is here called precious or costly. Precious it is to the Father for it is the blood of His dear Son. Precious it is to the Savior Himself for it represented His life poured out and offered up through the eternal spirit. Precious it is to the saints for it is the price of their redemption and will be the theme of heavenly song. Precious it is because it is the only acceptable ransom price. Precious because it is alone able to cleanse the sinner of his sins. Precious because its mighty power and infinite value are undiminished by the passing centuries and its efficacy is still available for sinners. Precious…precious.”
Ephesians 1:7 helps us understand that redemption was necessary if we were ever going to have forgiveness for our sins: “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”
Ephesians 2:13 tells us that though we had been formerly far off, we have been brought near to God through the blood! When God signed His Valentine and said, “You are Mine,” He did it in blood! We have up close and personal access to God through the blood of Jesus Christ! What an embrace!
He says in Isaiah 43 that you are “precious” and “honored” in His sight! God the Father has gone to great lengths to be redeem you because He considers you to be precious!!
And how about Titus 2:14 which says, “(Jesus) gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
We respond to the love of the Creator through worship, and We respond to the love of the Redeemer through holiness and right living! We are “eager to do what is good!” Why? Because we have been redeemed from SO much! Why? Because the blood of Jesus is SO precious. Why? Because we have been forgiven. We tell God, “And You are mine,” when we are eager to do the good He has purposed for us to do.
We are His because He has adopted us. Isaiah 43 tells us God summons us or calls us by name. That speaks to a covenant relationship God has with His people and that New Covenant is expressed in the doctrine of adoption that is made possible as we have become sons and daughters of God through faith in Christ. He doesn’t just summon us by name as a form of greeting like I expressed when I saw many of you this morning and called you by your name. No. He summons us because we ARE HIS.
We are a chosen people, a royal nation a people belong to God! (I Peter 2:9) He wants to know where we are, what we’re doing, and what we need just like any good earthly father would. I John 3:1 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”” (Rom 8:15)
Yes, God is the King of the Universe. Yes, we are subjects in His Kingdom, but there is an intimate relationship we have with God that is different than the kind of relationship a subject has with a king in an earthly kingdom. We have a love relationship with this King who is also our Heavenly Father!
I love that when Jesus was asked by the disciples to show them how to pray, He started with, “Our Father who art in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9) He could have said, “Our Master who art in heaven,” or “Our King who art in heaven,” but He didn’t. He said, “Our Father!”
Even in the Old Testament, God revealed Himself as a Father. “Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8, NIV)
Yes, He’s calling the shots. Yes, He’s in charge. Yes, we are to obey Him. Yes, He is molding and making us into something He purposes and desires, but He is doing it AS A FATHER and not simply as a designer or sculptor. There is a special relationship we have with the God who is making us into something glorious! There is a good reason behind every push, pull and pinch of us as clay. There is purpose in the “kiln” of fire because God is our Father!
You see, He’s not just a Father in that He has given us new life by making a new spiritual birth possible, but He’s our “Abba Father.” “Abba” is an Aramaic Word which we could translate as “Daddy.” It really developed out of a form of baby talk as babies and young children would use it to call for their daddies. It represents vulnerability, a willingness to be completely dependent upon God, and a desire to be as close to Him as possible, just as a little child who would crawl up in His father’s lap desires to feel the warmth and comfort of his daddy’s embrace.
Even Jesus called the Father, “Abba.” Mark 14:36 – “Abba, Father,” he said, “Everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” When faced with the deepest sorrow and most difficult task of His life, the crucifixion, Jesus didn’t call God, “Master” or “Lord” or “Sovereign” or “Almighty,” but He called Him “Daddy.” When you are faced with deep pain and sorrow, you need the comfort of an “Abba.” God says in Isaiah 43, “You can get that close. You can crawl right up in My lap. You can come to Me. When the waters rise and the fire gets hot, I am here for you. I have summoned you by name” which means we are in a relationship that gives you access to My heart, My embrace, My comfort and My provision.
“Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.'” (Galatians 4:6)
He says we are His and we say “You are mine” when we approach Him as our Abba Father.
We are His because He has created us. We are His because He has redeemed us. We are His because He has adopted us, and we are His because He rescues us.
There is nothing more heroic than a water or fire rescue. Our Isaiah passage says God is with us in the high water. He is with us in the fire blaze. He isn’t afraid of anything, and nothing can overtake Him! He is our Rescuer.
Daniel was in the lion’s den, but God was there to shut the lions’ mouths. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were in the fiery furnace, but God was there to protect them from even being singed. The whole reason Jesus came was because He was on a search and rescue mission from the Father. “For the Son of man has come to seek and save that which is lost.” (Matthew 18:11)
It doesn’t matter what you are going through. God can bring rescue to you! Psalm 124 is as good as it gets on this issue. 1 If the LORD had not been on our side– let Israel say– 2 if the LORD had not been on our side when men attacked us, 3 when their anger flared against us, they would have swallowed us alive; 4 the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, 5 the raging waters would have swept us away. 6 Praise be to the LORD, who has not let us be torn by their teeth. 7 We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. 8 Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Some of you here this morning know what I’m talking about! You were in over your head, but God! You were chained to sin, but God! You were down and out and couldn’t look up, but God! You were a slave to your desires, but God! Your relationships were a mess, but God! You were in financial bondage, but God! You were going through the motions without hope, but God! If you don’t know what I’m talking about and you want to, let Him rescue you! You won’t know God as your Rescuer if you are kicking and screaming the whole time He is trying to save you! Surrender!
There is a moment where you can either be overwhelmed and drowned or consumed by the heat of the flames and wither or you can choose to let God carry you.
I often say to Josh, “You’re my favorite boy,” and to Hannah, “You’re my favorite girl.” I want them to know how special they are, how much I love them and how glad I am that I am their mom. I guess you could say it’s my way of saying to them, “You are mine.” God wants you to hear a Valentine message that is so compelling that it will prompt you to respond in some way with some action or demonstration that says back to Him, “And I am yours.”
God has unashamedly declared that He wants you. He has chosen you to belong to Him. Will you reciprocate His love? Worship Him. Be eager to do good. Climb up in to His lap and let Him know how much you need His embrace. Let Him carry you.