The question of ownership is often disputed in law and can be the source of much heartache. However hard it is to work out to whom possessions belong, it’s infinitely harder to think about ownership when we are considering people! Yet God clearly has the right to such ownership of our lives.

In the Old Testament we read about slaves who voluntarily gave themselves to serve their masters, even after they were technically free to leave. “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.“But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.” (Ex 21:1-6) That is a picture of our relationship with God. When we realise the price that has been paid for our salvation, our response should be to willingly surrender our whole lives to God.

The song below (‘Lay Me Down’) explores this theme.

I lay me down

I’m not my own

I belong to You alone

Lay me down, lay me down.

Hand on my heart, this much is true:

There’s no life apart from You.

Lay me down, lay me down.(‘Lay Me Down’, Chris Tomlin & Matt Redman)

‘Lay Me Down’, Chris Tomlin & Matt Redman

After all, if everything comes from God and belongs to God anyway, what right have we to claim ownership ourselves?! “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies.” (1 Cor 6:19-20). As Kutless sing, ‘It’s all Yours anyway/ You gave me life to give it away.’