Recently, when I was asked to conduct a funeral for a lady, the LORD called home, I felt so led by the Holy Spirit to speak on the subject of “Our Identity.” Several asked that I share it in our Weekly.
I addressed two very important questions:
1. “Who Am I” and 2. “Where Am I Going?”
We live in a time of world history when many people are “Trying to Find Themselves” or “Figure Out Who They Are.” Many people today are suffering from an identity crisis. What a confusing day we live in. We can’t even determine a person’s gender at birth.
Note: I am not sure we will ever figure out who we are or where we are going apart form a personal faith relationship with Jesus Christ, God’s Son.
In Genesis 1:26-27, we read, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness …’ so God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” God doesn’t seem to have any trouble discerning gender.
Listen to what God the Creator said to the prophet Jeremiah. (1:4-5)
“Now, the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations’.”
In these and many other pages, we find our identity and our value tied directly to our relationship with God our Creator.
In this meditation, I want to share with you who God says we are or can be, as we establish a faith relationship with Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 3:5-6 were the favorite verses of the lady who had just died. We read, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”
In these verses, I see that you and I can —
1. Know who we are.
2. Know what is really important.
3. Know where we are going when this life is over.
Let me take you now to what God says about you and me, if we have welcomed Jesus Christ into our lives as Savior and LORD.
1. If we have welcomed Christ into our lives, God wants us to know that we are forgiven.
Peter, in Acts 10:43 declared, “All the prophets testify about Him (Christ) that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.”
I love that part of our identity. We are forgiven by trusting in Christ.
2. God wants us to know that He accepts us as we trust in His Son. In Ephesians 1:6, the Apostle Paul says, “We are accepted in the Beloved.” Jesus is the Beloved Son of God. We are accepted by the Father as we receive the Son.
No one likes rejection. We much prefer to be accepted and the same is true spiritually. God longs to have us become a part of His family and He accepts us as we turn to and receive His Son as our Savior. His arms are open to you and He gives you this invitation — “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
3. God wants you to know you can be reconciled to Him. The word, “reconciled” means to restore to a harmonious relationship. Sin separates us from God. Sin causes discord and sour notes in our lives.
In 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 we read, “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, that is in Christ. God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”
Isn’t it wonderful when a relationship is restored and harmony is flowing once again!
4. God’s love and amazing grace transforms our lives. The Apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 5:17, wrote, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come.”
Folks, I have a hard time understanding why Christians aren’t doing cartwheels over this piece of news. Listen to this news flash —
“And you were dead in trespasses and sins ….” (Ephesians 2:1a)
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved …” (Ephesians 2:4-5)
Before Christ came into our lives, we were spiritually dead. Then we invite Him in and He quickens us and makes us alive! That is awesome. God wants you to know that.
5. God also wants us to know that He has included us in His will and we have become heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:16-17, “The Holy spirit Himself, bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God, and fellow-heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may be glorified with Him.”
We have an inheritance waiting for us in heaven. Listen to the Apostle Peter expand on this —“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to His great mercy. He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)
6. God wants us to know that through Christ, He has adopted us to be His very own children.
Galatians 4:4-7, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were born under the law, that we might receive adoption as sons. And, because you are sons, God had sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying ‘Abba Father’. So, you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
“Abba” is the Aramaic for ‘Father’. It is a term of endearment and intimacy God wants us to know He love us and cherishes us.
7. God has commissioned us to be His witnesses and ambassadors. Matthew 28:19-20, 2 Corinthians 5:20
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”
In Ezekiel 18:23, we read, “Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked”, declares the LORD God, “and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?”
God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Rather He loves them, and wants to save them. He will accept them and adopt them. He wants to make His appeal to those who are not saved, through us who are. The Psalmist declares, “O, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.”
8. God has some good news for us. We are destined to be like Jesus. In Romans 8:28, the Apostle Paul wrote, “For those whom He foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
In Romans 12:2, we are told, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good, and acceptable and perfect.”
The word ‘conformed’ has the idea of being “pressed into a mold.” So, we are not to be pressed into the mold of the world, but we are to be “pressed into the likeness of Jesus Christ”. That is what the Holy Spirit is seeking to do with us everyday … press us into the likeness of Jesus Christ.
9. There is at least one more thing God wants us to know. By trusting in Jesus Christ, we can be assured that when we die, we will go to be with Him in the Father’s house.
In John 14:1-3, Jesus said to His disciples —
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that? And, If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also … I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me.” John 14:1-3, 6
In 2 Corinthians 5:6-8, the Apostle Paul wrote —
“So, we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the LORD, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the LORD.”
In Philippians 1:21-23, he wrote:
“For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. For if I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet, which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is better by far.”
Are you ready to go to be with Jesus in the Father’s house?
The only way you can go there is by trusting in Jesus Christ to be your Savior and Lord.
If you have never received Jesus into your heart and life, I encourage you to do so right now.
Prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that you are the Son of God and that you took the penalty for my sins on the cross. Today, I ask you to come in and forgive me my sin and You take over. I receive you right now. Thank you for answering this prayer. Amen.”