We have always used labels to define ourselves and others, but these days those labels seem to be so pervasive and all inclusive, that I can’t see how any of us can fit completely into the labels we are assigned. Even the label “Christian” has become fraught with nuances and negativity that includes ideas and beliefs spouted on television and other media that are often not scriptural and do not subscribe to what I personally believe as a “Jesus follower”.
Therefore, I find solace, growth, and confidence more and more in truly getting hold of who God says I am and defining myself (sometimes daily) by these truths.
The Bible tells me that I am chosen. For a women who grew up feeling like a poor little throw away, an outsider, never good enough, this was and remains huge. Chosen, pursued at my very lowest point. Wow!
There are many scriptures describing that we are chosen by God as followers of Jesus, Here is one of them. “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit…” John 15:16
Write down your first reaction to being chosen by God. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ If you want to know more about being chosen look up the scriptures using the word “chosen”. It is empowering.
The Lord says I am forgiven, not so I can run out and sin again, but for freedom to live a better life for Him. You must practice being kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has graciously forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 The very thought that Almighty God has truly forgiven me was life-changing when I first heard it. Now years later, I hear it, I sing it, I believe it, but I don’t always let it show in my every day living. I need to remind myself often to confess and accept that free gift of forgiveness. What an amazing motivator that because God forgives me I can do better and be better. I have the opportunity to become a clean slate.
I am His Child. “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty. 2 Corinthian 6:18 I did not have a father role-model growing up. I was confused about this role of God as my Father. See future blog on how I learned to know and appreciate God as my Father , but as the Lord gently and beautifully demonstrated to me what that meant, I have come to cherish this father-daughter relationship. Think of 3 or 4 “good father” characteristics you cherish when you embrace that you are a child of God. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
I am an Heir. Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. Galatians 4:7 This scripture speaks to me about a future. It speaks to me of hope. The thought that someday I will be part of an inheritance of joy alongside a risen Christ gives me much comfort in this tumultuous world we live in. Someday, I will inherit the ultimate in peace and joy. This hope gives me the opportunity to received a portion of God’s peace and joy in the “here and now”. What excites you about someday being an heir to the Kingdom of God? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
I am a conqueror. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37 Life can beat you up. There seems to be daily attacks to challenge what we believe, what we treasure, and who we are. There are battles to overcome, troubles, pain, and adversity of all kinds. What makes it worse? When I believed for a very long time that I had no control of what happened to me. I felt that my childhood heartache, my adult struggles, my failures and even every day challenges were because I was a victim, it was hard to get up the energy to armor up and keep fighting. What helped? Learning and believing that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13. and getting a firm grip on the truth that I am more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus. Yes, I am a warrior and yes, I am a conqueror. Please take a moment to think of the battles you are currently fighting. How does knowing you are a conqueror help change your war strategy? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
I am completely and forever loved. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a]neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 Nothing has impacted my life more than knowing and truly believing God loves me. It has been a life long journey to learn to love myself with all my faults, mistakes, sin, and selfish pride. Before knowing Christ and after accepting Him as Lord, I have been far from perfect…and yet, never have I doubted His love for me or lost the hope that the knowledge of this love brings to me and has spurred me on to live a life of many successes as well. I hope you will continue to join me as I share a life of challenge and growth, losing and learning, helpless to hope. I am thankful for every person who reads this blog. See you next week. Kristy