Summary: Ask the core question of who a Christian really is. Examines the story of Job and other stories to find the answer.
I remember the first time someone called me "uncle". It was Clayton Koh. I still remember where we were. He was walking out of this very fellowship hall with two hands full of stuff. I held the door open for him and he said: "Thank you uncle Sam." He probably didn't think of it. But I was shocked and didn't know how to react. My mind raced thinking that I'm not that old. How can it be that people are calling me uncle. I'm not even 30 yet. It was traumatic.
From then on more and more people started calling me "uncle."
What do people call you?
How do people introduce you? Have you analyze that?
Here are some of the ways I'm introduced:
- Dr. Young or Pastor Young's eldest son.
- 4everYoung brother's father
- Head elder at Loma Linda Chinese Church
- Helen's husband.
- He is Peter's brother.
But is that who I really am? We often introduce others through associations. We associate people with other people like this is my cousin. Or she is my wife. Or this is my friend's friend. Our relationships are very important because it establish points of reference.
When you are introduced to someone based on your relationship, it doesn't really tell them who you really are. Yes, we know generally who you are by your associations. We can even guess your background, your culture, and even the way you probably think. But that is not really essence of you?
There is another way we are often known. We are known by our careers. We often say:
- He is a doctor.
- She is a teacher.
- He is a pastor.
- She is an engineer.
We present our resume's when we apply for a job. These pieces of paper summarizes who we are. But we are not only our careers. We are much more than our careers. So companies are starting to ask their perspective employees take ethics and personality tests to find out who they are really hiring.
The results of these tests tell the employer whether this person is hard working, whether they are ethical, what will they do in certain situations, etc. Other tests tell the employer find out the prospects' personalities:
• Are they systematic or innovative?
• Who would they handle difficult situations?
• What is their leadership style?
• How well do they follow orders?
• How do they handle conflicts?
• What are their motivating factors?
• And many other personality traits.
But that still may not be who we are. We are certainly getting closer to who you are but what is your core?
So let me ask you - who are you? When you peel off all the layers of identity, what do you finally get?
Today, we will explore a person that was forced to address this issue.
This person was the richest person in the land. He owned 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 500 teams of oxe, and 500 female donkeys. His land stretched from one end of the horizon to the other. As far as you can see was all his land.
He had it all. He was rich and respected. He sat with the elders of the community. They asked for his advice whenever there was an issue they could not resolve.
His employees loved him. He treated them well. As a result, he had very loyal employees.
On the home front, he had a beautiful family. He had a beautiful wife. His children were successful in their own right. They learned from their father and was creating their own empires.
He was a religious man. He love God and was obedient to everything God asked him to do. He was a priest of his family and everyone knew God blessed him because he honored God.
Life was wonderful.
But there was disturbance in the heavenly realm.
You see, there was a conference in heaven. God had invited all the leaders of all the worlds to come. Satan went to represent earth. When Satan presented himself, God asked why he was there. Satan answered: "I am representing earth."
God said: "Have you noticed my servant Job? He is blameless and honorable."
Satan replied: "Off course he is faithful. You give him everything. If you take away everything, he will curse you."
God agreed to take Satan's challenge: "You can do anything to him except hurt him physically."
God introduced Job as a God fearing, blameless and honorable man. What an introduction. Can you imagine God introducing you that way?
But then Satan countered. He introduced Job as a weak man that only follows those that provide for him. His loyalty only is in himself.
The argument is in a simple introduction. But this introduction challenges the honor and reputation of God.