Identity in Focus

Maybe identity is not something that we think about consciously, but when I reflect on what identify means and how it is a part of our lives, I recognize that we are naturally identified and referred to based on the persons that we are related to or by the roles that we perform.

For example, on a personal level, we may be identified in relation to our parents, siblings, a spouse,  cousins, aunts, uncles or friends. 

Then we may be referred to based on our occupation, be it in marketing, sales, customer service, finance, law, building, professional services etc…  These titles assigned give an understanding of the skills and expertise and even experience that we possess or may need to acquire.

We can also find ourselves identifying with different types of dispositions – for example being cheerful, pleasant, fun loving, outgoing, committed, loyal, dependable etc…

All of these are different identifies that we may be familiar with.

These labels mean something; and as a picture paints a thousand words, so these labels or descriptive words also paint pictures in our minds. 

So we may ask, what is in a name, or a title, or a disposition?  They help us to understand who we are and even who we are becoming.

So recognizing this, we can start to understand how important identify is as a child of God.  This knowledge helps us to focus and helps us in our decision making in a very constructive way.

In John 1:12 we are told, ‘But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name’ (KJV).

Also in Isaiah 62:2 we read that God gave His people a new name. in Isaiah 62:3, we are told that God’s people shall ‘also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.’   

Isaiah 62:4 goes on to say, ‘Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: But thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee’ (KJV). 

We have been told that some of the greatest human needs are to feel that we belong and that we are accepted.  We tend to go where we feel welcomed.  So for us to be accepted as God’s children means that He wants us to come to Him. 

In this world there are many decisions we have to make, yet often times we may have little information or even awareness about the things that can affect our decisions.  So knowing that God calls us His children reassures us that He is interested in all the affairs of our lives.

So as children of God, we can go to the all-knowing God and ask Him to guide us and give us the wisdom to like in this present world.  God provides us with the consciousness of our purpose as His children, and directs us on the path of seeking and discovering what it really means to be a child of God and how He desires us to live.

So in awe and gratitude having been affirmed that we are God’s children, we can explore how this looks in our daily living.

Christian Life Balance has been an area of focus for me, and this involves seeking God’s guidance to live abundantly in all aspects of life having accepted the identity of being His child.

It doesn’t mean that there are no challenges or that everything will go smoothly.  No, but it means that as God’s children, we are prepared and equipped to deal with whatever comes our way in God’s power and we live out His life confidently and in total reverence to Him.

Since we never give up the title of child of God, irrespective of the varied responsibilities and roles we take on, we are conscious that these other roles are being performed in line with what God wants for us. 

When it comes to being God’s children, we are never off duty. We can continually seek, know, internalize and fulfill God’s mission and vision for our lives. That is something to be thankful for.

Remember You are precious in God’s sight and so you can live each day with this knowledge.

So on life’s journey we learn how to practically connect the knowledge of who God is, to who we are in Him (that is our Identity in Christ) to our purpose and then to what we do each day.

Our identify in Christ will also affect how we relate to the societal sentiments and expectations.

Because our worth and value is received from God and we embrace the identity we have in Him, we also embrace the assurance that we are loved and accepted by God.

We belong to and we are accepted by Christ.

In Matthew 16:13 to 17 we read of the interaction between Jesus and his disciples, when Jesus asked his disciples, ‘whom do men say that I the Son of man am?’ (Matthew 16:13, KJV).  The disciple’s response was that some people thought that Jesus was John the Baptist, some thought Jesus was Elijah, and some people thought that Jesus was Jeremiah or one of the other prophets. 

Then Jesus asked the disciples, ‘But whom say ye that I am?’ (Matthew 16:15, KJV). Simon Peter responded, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God’ (KJV).

Jesus responded to Peter in Matthew 16:17, ‘Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven’ (KJV).

After reading these Bible verses, I was assured that God also reveals to each us who we are in Him, irrespective of who the world thinks or perceives us to be.

In many ways, identity is one of the foundational principles that affect how we live our lives.

Sometimes just holding on to the knowledge of who we are in Christ provides us with the motivation to continue on; the hope to continue to press on.

Identity in Christ helps us to live with hope, with purpose.

That is something to be thankful for.  Do you agree?

Be Blessed

Alison

Through Which Lens Are We Seeing?

I have been reminded lately that the lens that we look through is so important.  And this is reinforced each time I reflect on the poem ‘The Touch of the Master’s Hand’ by Myra Brooks Welch in 1921.

Indeed our perspective affects everything we do or even what we don’t do.

In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we are told, ‘therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.’

This topic surrounding worth is very important because, understanding our value in Christ will affect everything we do. The reality is at times we may experience situations that make us wonder why bother, what is the point to even continue trying? 

The reminder that we matter to God, and that we are valuable to Him provides the hope and the impetus to continue trying – to hold onto hope. 

Just let that thought soak into your mind.  We do matter. 

We matter because of whose we are, irrespective of the negative things that we may hear and see in our environment.  We can be assured that God sees us through the lens that says that we are precious to Him.

So irrespective of past experiences, we can start anew in Christ and really focus on living the abundant life that He desires for each of us.

Just knowing that God accepts us can take such a heavy weight from off our shoulders.

Then we can start to really focus on the fact that life is meaningful, and we can find joy in exploring what this looks like in our daily decisions and activities.

So as we really immerse in the knowledge of who we are in Christ and the value that God has placed on each of us, we experience this knowledge going from just being intellectual knowledge to becoming an experiential knowledge.

For the conviction to deepen, we can in practical ways also think of this knowledge like organizations treat their mission statement.

Organizations make the concerted effort to put the mission and vision statement where everyone can see it, and they even may add the statements to brochures, so that it is clear why the organization exist; what purpose the organization is seeking to fulfil.   It is not left to the imagination. 

The mission is repeated until it become a part of the thinking of the entire organization and each staff member and even the customers.

So as Christians, the value that God has placed in us, becomes the compass and reference point from which everything we do and think is built and is directed.

So as God’s redeemed children, we can reference our lives to what God has revealed to us.

Let us be revived today as we embrace that we all new creations in Christ, because we have had the privilege of the Master’s touch in our lives.  Then when we have experienced God’s transforming power, and get a glimpse of what He wants for us, then everything else starts to take shape.

So as we see ourselves through God’s lens, we can see our purpose and interests through God’s lens.

With this frame of mind and reference point, the whole notion of living intentionally takes on a greater and deeper meaning.  Then how we spend our time, the plans we pursue, how we take care of ourselves and relate to others all matter, because we understand that we are precious in God’s sight.

We are new creations in Christ.  That is something to be thankful for and to celebrate.

Be Blessed

Alison

God’s Guidance

Anyone who ever got lost and can remember the amount of time that it took for them to find their way back would possibly appreciate receiving guidance from someone who knows the way.

Similarly, as Christians we recognize the value in not having to face the unknowns alone while we travel on our life journey – not having to ‘figure things out’ all on our own. In Psalm 25 verses 4 and 5 we read, ‘Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day’ (KJV). This text provides us with a wonderful assurance.

So during the day, while we are at home, on the road, at the supermarket, at work – wherever we may be – like the psalmist we too can ask God to show us the way. What ever decisions we have to make, we can depend on God to teach us, to help us to find truth amidst all the noises and all the chaos that may be happening around us. The psalmist recognized that he could not save himself but needed to depend on God to save him.

The way that God has led us in our individual lives in the past is a present testimony of God’s involvement and concern for each of us. Though our life experiences may not all be happy ones, it is comforting to know that God can take even the difficult times in our lives and make something beautiful, and can even use our situations to help someone else who may be going through something similar to what we experienced in the past.

When I think about sharing with others about God, I think of the reality that though there are so many things we may not understand about how God leads us, we can be like the man who was once blind (John 9:1-38). He was asked lots of questions regarding how he was able to see, and he recounted how he received his sight to those who questioned him. Though he was asked the question several times by those who doubted, the man did not stop from telling what he knew – he was not stopped from telling how he was led by Jesus and healed of his blindness.

In John 9:25 we are told that the man (once blind) declared, ‘… one thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see’ (KJV). This was his firm and undeniable statement, when he was asked to give an account of what had happen to him. God gives us His children the same privilege to share with others what He has done for us.

So as we are led by God each day, let us live the truth that He reveals to us, being a source of encouragement for another traveler along the journey of life.