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Summary: Believe week 6 looks at our Identity in Christ

Believe 5 - Identity in Christ

Ephesians 1:3-14

October 19, 2014

We’ve started our search for a college for Joshua. We’ve made a couple of college visits. Two things I’ve learned . . . I’m not sure I’m ready to let go of Joshua, and college is not cheap. Since I graduated, college costs have increased over 500%. Ouch!! But that’s not what this message is about. You see, at the ripe old age of 16-17, Joshua is trying to decide what he wants to be when he grows up. That’s not easy, is it? After all, I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up!

As Joshua, and then Zachary make their decisions, my hope is that what they do for a career, is not what defines them. Too often we see people who become what they do. They can’t separate themselves from their professions, careers and dreams. I see it all around me. I don’t want that to be the case for Joshua and Zachary.

We’re onto week 5 of Believe and we’re looking at our identity in Christ. That was the scripture memorization verse we had earlier this morning. “Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” ~ John 1:12

It’s too easy to lose our identity and to find ourselves searching all over to find out who we are. We hear stories on the news, we see it in the people we associate with and we certainly deal with it in a very private and personal way as we hear voices, voices which tell us and then are projected into the world.

We tell the world what we think about ourselves and don’t think for a minute we’re fooling the entire world. We may fool some people, but overall we aren’t fooling everyone. I made up that mask you’re looking at with positive and negative images of the way we think of ourselves and project to the world.

We hear the voices in our heart, spirit and mind telling us good and bad. We hear the good from those who really love and care for us, we hear that good from God — yet we tend to believe the bad which comes from satan and from those who really don’t care for us. We hold onto that bad stuff.

We hear things like . . . you’re ~ ~ ~

Not good enough

Not smart enough

Not attractive enough

Not skinny enough

Not rich enough

Not smart enough

Not athletic enough

Not from the right family

We’re told we’re not enough! And you can add whatever else works for you. Hear those voices long enough and your identity will be formed by it. Eventually you believe you’re not enough. The voices which shape our identity begin early in life.

Those words and thoughts stick! Don’t they? I know I’ve heard them. I was reminded I wasn’t good enough. I can’t repeat what I heard, the words aren’t for worship. And as much as we think we can overcome them, they come back and haunt you. You remind yourself, they were right, you’re no good, not good enough.

Then we embrace a relationship with Jesus Christ because we realize in our heart, spirit and mind we need Jesus to help us through life. But we sin, and the world knows it, and we think we’re worthless and unlovable. God can’t love me. I’ve committed too many terrible sins. My sins exempt me from God ever loving me. So, I think God wouldn’t die for me. I’m not good enough.

Aah! That’s where we get it wrong friends. You see, there’s nothing we’ve done which is so bad that God cannot forgive us and bring us into His family. Humanly speaking, some may never forgive you, divinely speaking, we have a God who is not human! Thank God for that!! And He can and will forgive you . . . if you ask.

So, whatever you’ve done in your life up until this very second, know that God wants to be in a relationship with you. He loves you, He died for you. In 2 Peter 3:9, as Peter wrote about the return of Christ, he said ~ 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

That’s God’s desire for us. God doesn’t want you to think you cannot be loved and embraced by Him. Peter tells us repent, turn away from your sin. Turn to God and God will embrace you in a life changing relationship. He wants you in His family. There is not a wall which is meant to keep you away, the door is always open, the lights are always on. But, we must receive Christ.

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