DONE: You Have Been Identified as God’s Own

[God] has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us (2 Corinthians 1:22).

One of my first experiences with an installment plan came back in the mid-90s when I purchased my first car: a pistachio-green 1976 AMC Pacer.

Oh man it was a thing of beauty.

Actually, it was probably one of the more hideous cars on the road at the time. But I didn’t care. I had a vision for what it could be.

I had saved up some money from my paper route, but not enough to fully cover the $1500 it would take to make it mine. So, like many kids, I took out a loan from my parents.

We agreed that I would pay them back in installments until the loan was fully satisfied. The cool thing though, was they let me put my name on the title. If I’d taken out a loan from a bank, the bank would have kept the title until it was paid in full. My parents, however, gave me full rights as the owner of my car even though I still owed them money on it.

From the very first installment, the Pacer was legally mine.

Knowing the car belonged to me, regardless of whatever condition it was in, made me love it unconditionally. I invested countless hours into sanding and repainting it, reupholstering the interior, and fixing the myriad of mechanical issues that were inevitable with a 20-year-old engine. If the car had belonged to someone else, there’s no way I would have put the time, money, or effort into transforming it into everything I’d pictured it to be.

In the same way, the moment you trusted Christ, God signed His name on the title of your soul by giving you the Holy Spirit. Your heart is in His name now, and no one will ever repossess it.

Furthermore, because you belong to God, you can be sure that He will fulfill everything He has promised to do in you. You may still feel like an old beater at times—peeling paint, broken transmission, flat tires—but God sees your full potential. He can’t wait to get you into His shop to restore you into the classic car that you are.

Yes, it will take time, and the job will never be fully complete this side of Heaven. But that doesn’t mean God will love you any less in the meantime.

I loved my Pacer when it was pistachio-green just as much as I loved it the day I drove it home from the shop with a fresh coat of gun-metal grey Mercedes paint and shiny new chrome rims.

Why? Because the Pacer was mine.

And you, my friend, are God’s.

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