April 22, 2017

Sealed and Secured

Psalm 16:5-6

Lord . . . you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.

—  Psalm 16:5-6

Symbols remind us where we belong. I wear three rings: my wedding band, my Naval Academy class ring, and my Grandpa MacKinnon’s ring. Grandpa died long before I was born, but I’m named after him. His ring identifies me with him, my Scottish grandfather.

The Christian’s symbol is Jesus’ cross. It reminds us that we belong to God through Jesus’ death on the cross, and the Holy Spirit, who comes to live in our hearts, is the seal of our inheritance with God. Because I come from a “broken home,” the Lord’s claim on me has become primary. Jesus promises that all who believe in him are secure: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28).

In Psalm 16 David prays for safety and security while professing he is God’s own. Knowing he belonged to God for eternity gave him a good and pleasant life in the present.

God seals and secures us in the most pleasant place, with him in Christ. As the apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 8:31-39, “If God is for us, who can be against us? . . . Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution . . . or danger or sword? . . . No . . . [nothing can] separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”!

Faithful Father, we worship you. Your faithfulness secures and seals us so that we will never slip from your grasp. For we belong to you in Jesus Christ. Amen.

About the author — Norman F. Brown

Chaplain Norman F. Brown graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, in 1969. He served aboard destroyers during the Vietnam conflict and ashore in San Diego, Calif., as an instructor. By then God had made clear his call to work in pastoral ministry, and Norman entered Calvin Theological Seminary, graduating in 1980. Chaplain Brown pastored churches during his ministry career but spent most of his time as a navy chaplain. During one assignment he served three years at Holy Loch, Scotland, where he and his wife, Ruth, encountered the Iona Community and their emphasis on spiritual disciplines. Chaplain and Mrs. Brown have three married children and nine grandchildren.

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