Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
“Before I formed you in your mother’s womb I chose you. Before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1.5
How awe-inspiring is the formation of a baby in the womb! When our first child was born, the nurse brought him to our room. He was crying and was not very happy at all. However, upon hearing his father’s voice, he calmed down immediately and quit crying. He recognized his father’s voice from when he was in the womb.
In Jeremiah 1.5, God is speaking to Jeremiah. He was set apart before birth to be a prophet to the nations. It was his identity.
What is our identity today? If you are a Christian, your identity is in Jesus Christ. Just as Jeremiah’s identity gave him a purpose, our identity has a purpose. We are to proclaim the virtues of the one who called us out of darkness into light, 1 Peter 2.9. We are to go to all the world to share the good news about salvation, Matthew 28.19-20. Are you fulfilling your purpose?
#risingjoy #Jeremiah #identity #purpose
“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone, revealing that you are a letter of Christ, delivered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on stone tablets but on tablets of human hearts.”
2 Corinthians 3.2-3
How did Paul recommend himself to the Corinthians? By the converts made. His credentials consisted of the gospel in the hearts of saved men and women.
People like to have their names on university or hospital buildings. They love diplomas hanging on walls. The true measure of a servant of Christ is work done among people for salvation.
#votd #2-Corinthians #identity
I have been getting a lot of friend requests lately on Facebook from people whose names do not ring a bell. When this happens, one of the first things I do is click on the “About Me” portion of their profile. It is interesting to see what people will say about themselves when given the chance.
Most teenagers, when asked, “Who are you?” will answer with some sport they play or hobby they do. Common answers are, “I am a football player,” “I am a cheerleader” or “I like to draw.” The truth is, we are more than the sum of what we do or are involved in.
Adults do not do any better answering that question. Most identify themselves with their job. They would answer the question with something like “I am lawyer,” “I am a teacher” or “I work at a bank.”
Trying to answer the question is very difficult. Think about it. How would you answer the question, “Who are you?”
Most of us try to identify ourselves with a job or something we’re involved in, but that really does not say all that much about who we are. If that is the only place you look for identity, you will end up disappointed; because, in the long run, our jobs and our hobbies do not matter or last.
In the Bible, God has a lot to say about who we are. In Romans 8 we are told we are God’s children, bought by the blood of Jesus Christ, given the Spirit, and loved so much that nothing can separate us from His love. When we find our identity in those truths, our true identity matters and will last forever.
—Luke Bower, Baker Heights church bulletin, Abilene TX
I was the victim of a spam attack that emanated from my email. Many of you may have fallen victim to this nefarious scheme to lure unsuspecting people into the spammer’s web of deceit. Likewise, identity theft is a scourge in our land.
The comforting thing is that our Savior knows His own sheep. The Savior said, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own” (John 10:14). Gladly, no one can deceive Jesus (Colossians 2:3). When He returns to take His own to heaven, no one will be left behind or travel as someone else (John 14:1-6).
Everyone will be judged by their one works (Revelation 20:13; Ezekiel 18:19-20). No one will be able to slip through in disguise because God cannot be mocked (Galatians 6:7).
We can relax and realize that no matter what man does to us, God will always be there (Hebrews 13:5). In our age, we can include thieves, criminals and spammers in the promise of God:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39).
What can man do to us? We have the Almighty God on our side! Praise be to God!
My long-term effectiveness depends on my not being recognized for who I really am.