Picture this; Sunday morning, people fill the seats, Waiting on the pastor’s words of happiness and peace. But, instead of a message that brings meaning to their lives, The words coming at them today are somewhat a surprise - Words that remind them of greatness; of something...
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17 You don’t need to read indy-mag.com, to be reminded of the 2007 Britney Spears very public tantrum as she exited rehab, filed for divorce and...
There is something about the identity of knowing you are a child of God that will give you more confidence than your resources and position ever will! Jesus didn't only have identity, He had purpose! There was a reason why He was here! There was a reason why He walked planet earth. In...
For you are all Children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26) The President decided Monday was a good day for a round of golf, and with that the course at Andrews Air Force base was cleared. Any other golfers who wanted to play at Andrews on Monday had...
What are some of the qualities of individuals that you believe hold power? We're all born with a certain level of resources, we're all born with certain capabilities that we have control over. Then for the rest of our lives, in order to gain power, we try to gain more and more resources!...
What we need to understand in this journey, is that we are stewards of life, not owners! All of life belongs to God! When we call life ours, we are totally re-writing reality. We are disagreeing with the simple truth that we are stewards! God is a God who has given to each according to what He...
A simple reminder that I want to offer you is this: God has a plan and a will for your life! You see, our way is death walking, but Jesus' way is coming into life evermore! When Jesus asks us to lose our life He's inviting us to be free, because we'll never be free until we are free of...
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.&rdquo...
We have to see the sacred in a world that sees nothing as sacred. We have to see the sacred in a world that measures people in terms of utility, beauty, power, strength and wealth. We gotta say "to hell with all of that" and from Heaven comes a whole new way of seeing life and seeing people!To...
As Jesus spoke during the Sermon on the Mount, the heart of God was beating on earth, and the very voice of God was speaking into the very ears of men and women and boys and girls in a way that never happened before. In Matthew 5:48 Jesus said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your...
Picture this; Sunday morning, people fill the seats,
Waiting on the pastor’s words of happiness and peace.
But, instead of a message that brings meaning to their lives,
The words coming at them today are somewhat a surprise -
Words that remind them of greatness; of something they’ve never known,
Every syllable slamming against them, painful, almost tearing at their soul.
And there I sat as well, listening, the words eating me away.
Why do words that should encourage make me feel this way?
Making me feel empty, because I know I could be more,
The shoulda, coulda, woulda’s come knocking at my door.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, the message was quite inspiring,
But what I felt behind it, if honest, was just plain tiring.
Because I knew that I had work to do, if I was to embrace this destiny;
The path that God had set me on, which I had strayed entirely.
Why do I feel this way? Why do I dread the path ahead?
Why do I look across this room of dreams, and see only nightmares instead?
Every single person that day, had hopes, and dreams, and gifts
But most of them abandoned that for lack of faith and grit.
For every person near and far is born an empty slate,
Hoping to do something in life that people consider great.
But as the years come rolling in, we accept an unkind truth,
That most in life we’ll shoot for, we’ll miss, so we settle without proof.
We never try for fear of failure, and so fail before beginning.
And on it goes throughout our lives, accepting loss, no hope in winning.
But God said..
I know the plans I have for you, the plans to give you peace,
The plans to prosper, love, and hold; my son died for your release.
From the pain and suffering and fear, from doubt and insecurity,
So that nothing in this world could cloud your clarity.
And yet, clouded vision comes, because we lose that faith,
And allow the lies of a dying world to drag us to that place
Where darkness overcomes the light, where death steals every life,
Where happiness is just a dream on a road that’s wrought with strife.
The devil wants to keep us small, to keep us living within limits,
Because he knows the greatness within threatens his very existence.
Maybe not the greatness that we had originally envisioned,
But a greatness that comes from something more - a decision.
A decision to commit our lives to higher, to a God that’s full of love,
To the idea that grace covers everything, from below and from above.
Grace changes everything, and sets us a new path.
No matter how many times we stray, we can always come right back
The simple truth is this: that God gave us gifts on purpose,
And even though it’s for his glory, it goes deeper than the surface.
For what you see outside, is not always what’s beneath.
God knows that what we do, ripples beyond our reach.
So each and every day, the choices that we make,
Spread beyond the paths we walk and show His love innate.
Though still I doubt myself, I know that God believes.
And all the gifts I have, are all I’ll ever need…
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
2 Corinthians 5:17
You don’t need to read indy-mag.com, to be reminded of the 2007 Britney Spears very public tantrum as she exited rehab, filed for divorce and shaved her hair off. Ms. Spears was having an identity crisis.
Some famous people handle these kind of identity-crisis situations much more gracefully, such as first lady Michelle Obama. According to huffingtonpost.com, she admitted her controversial bangs were a midlife crisis move. Shortly after her 49th birthday Mrs. Obama said, “I couldn’t get a sports car. They won’t let me bungee jump. So instead, I cut my bangs.”
Famous or not, it seems we all struggle at times to find our identity. There was, however, one very famous man who never wavered in knowing his identity. It was declared before, at, and after his birth. It followed him to his death, becoming crystal clear after he exited the tomb.
This of course was Jesus Christ. He may have never had to “find himself,” but he did regularly find it necessary to defend his God-given place in the universe - he was and is the Son of God. And in that identity he made it clear that this made him a servant. He told this to his disciples in Matthew 20:28a, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others…”
What does that mean for us? With Jesus as a servant how does that affect or change our perspective and/or our behavior?
If you understand your identity as a child of God it will have a profound effect on everything…every day and in every way.
In Ephesians 1:5a Paul writes, “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ.” In accepting Jesus Christ, we can then stake our identity in Christ. We become sons and daughters of God. We then take our rightful place in the family of God as we inherit all the glory and responsibilities given to Christ, including servanthood here on earth.
We are just like Jesus in the following ways:
- a child of God.
- sharing the inheritance of Christ.
- here to serve others.
This is us.
This is you.
Read it again.
Say it out loud.
Post it on the refrigerator, your computer screen, above the kitchen sink, on your bicycle, your gaming device; any place you regularly hang out.
Live your identity.
And the next time you are asked, “Tell me about yourself,” instead of saying “I am a student, a manager, a mom, or _________(you fill in the blank)” you will be prepared to clearly and confidently state your true God-given identity!!
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In fact, Matthew 12:21 tells us what that reason was: "Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen. He is my Beloved, who pleases me. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not fight or shout or raise his voice in public. He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. Finally he will cause justice to be victorious. And his name will be the hope of all the world."
Isn't that amazing? He had identity and He had purpose and I can tell you that if you're a child of God, God has put a passion in your heart, He's given you something to do - you have a purpose! -Pastor John B. Smith
For you are all Children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
The President decided Monday was a good day for a round of golf, and with that the course at Andrews Air Force base was cleared. Any other golfers who wanted to play at Andrews on Monday had to scramble to make other plans.
Today, President Obama can clear a golf course. In a few short months the American President will be replaced. Then Obama will hand off his golf course clearing power, as well as an assortment of other presidential power perks, to the next president. Human power: temporary, fleeting, and most certainly unfulfilling.
We have access to an another power plan. A perfect plan that is eternal and unending. Through membership in God’s family we have Jesus power which is found in identity and purpose. Jesus power is much greater and fulfilling than anything that could ever be offered though human power. God’s power is real power.
Do you know your identity? When you looked in the mirror this morning what crossed your mind...
Oh my, is that yet another pimple?
What dreadful bags those are under my eyes!
Is that hair gray?
How could I have done that last night?
(sigh) Yet another long day to get through.
Did it occur to you that you were peering into a mirror that reflected a child of God? Jesus Power--that’s the first and only thought we need when looking at ourselves.
When we are confident in our identity as God’s children, then our purpose is easily defined. It’s not to get the to do list done, make more money, win the “#1 parent” award, or say “yes” to every request. It’s to use our passions in the Kingdom of God.
So take another look, remind yourself that God sees you through his Son, and put into action the things you love to do--while looking to glorify God, your Father in heaven!
What are some of the qualities of individuals that you believe hold power?
We're all born with a certain level of resources, we're all born with certain capabilities that we have control over. Then for the rest of our lives, in order to gain power, we try to gain more and more resources! In fact, history is ripe with examples of this, is it not?
If you think about most wars that have been fought, most wars from a historical perspective in some way shape or form, have been fought over resources. Whether it's water, diamonds, land, gold, it doesn't matter what it is, often times, most wars are fought over resources, because if we want to "gain power," and let's face it, we're human beings, then we've got to acquire more and more resources.
In fact, I think of one of the worst examples in American history is slavery. Slavery was about resources wasn't it? It was about control and it was about the worst form of resources: it was about the control of other human beings actually becoming individuals property. The worst part is that we have more people that are in slavery today than have ever been in slavery before in all of world history because we as human beings think that we can own each other!
The government is always about resources isn't it? Communism was about resources, it's about gathering all of the resources for the people. Imperialism is about gaining all of the resources for the crown. Capitalism is about raising all of the resources and then letting each person own their own resources and then he who gets the most resources wins! No matter how you cut it, the human experience and the first part of the equation of power is about resources.
We always want to get more, we always want to gain more! Our lives are also ripe with examples of that too aren't they? In this thing called life, we're all on this quest to gain more and more resources: the car that we drive, the clothes that we wear, the neighborhoods we live in, they are all about status symbols. Look at me, I've acquired the right type of resources to be able to have the right type of power! We will always find a way to gain power with our resources. We will always find a way to say we're better than you because of what we have.
Once you gather enough resources, you then need to add to that "position." Once you have the resources + the position, then you have this thing called power.
From a young age we have the desire to achieve the next step of power don't we? Then in all of this trying to constantly get to the next step of power, we look back and we say "Oh look, life is gone, now what?" Life has passed you by because there are no more positions to get to. And as a result of always wanting the next position, we come to miss out because positions to hold run out don't they?
This equation of power: Resources + Position = Human Power
This is what we constantly watch everyone try to achieve around us. The problem with gaining power this way is that resources always run out. Resources are unsustainable because we always need more. Resources leak out of our bucket of life. And the problem with gaining power via position, is that every position is temporary.
The problem with human power is that it runs out, and ladies and gentlemen can I just tell you this is why I Iove the life of Jesus! That's why being on the road with Jesus matters so much because as we've walked through the book of Matthew this year, what we've been able to see is that Jesus' life is about what "real power" is supposed to be!
Jesus' life is the ultimate example, in fact, as we've journeyed through Matthew together, we've seen him heal the blind, cure the lame, walk on water. We've seen Him do lots and lots of amazing things, but these are not the things He does that make Him powerful at all -and Jesus understands that.
Matthew 12:15 says, "But Jesus knew what they were planning, so he left that area and many followed Him and He healed all the sick that was among them but he warned them not to reveal who He was." Does that sound like anyone you know running for office right now? It doesn't matter the party and it doesn't matter the person, achieving human power is all about "Look at me!"
If anyone had the right to stand up and say He was incredible, it certainly was Jesus Christ! This humbleness of spirit in Jesus, fulfilled the prophesy of Isaiah 42:1 concerning Him, "Look at my servant who I have chosen." God is speaking of Jesus in this way. "He is my beloved who pleases me, I will put my spirit upon Him and He will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not fight or shout or raise His voice in public. He will not crush the weakest reed, or put out the flickering candle, He will cause justice to be victorious and His name will be the hope of all the world."
After everything you've seen Jesus do, think about this deeply - this is Jesus power!
When you think about Jesus power, what are the words that come to your mind after reading these passages? Would you believe there is a formula for Jesus power? It starts with "Identity" and it looks a whole lot different than the formula for human power!
Human power is Resources + Position. But the formula for Jesus Power starts with "Identity." Jesus starts with the fact that He is the son of God and once you are a child of God, you don't need any resources do you? Every person was created in the image of God but just because that is the case, that does not mean you are the child of God! The first level in the equation of Jesus power is identity! When we have identity as a child of God, we don't need any more resources do we? He's the creator of everything!
There is something about the identity of knowing you are a child of God that will give you more confidence than your resources and position ever will! Jesus didn't only have identity, He had purpose! There was a reason why He was here! There was a reason why He walked planet earth, in fact it tells us what that reason was "I will put my spirit on Him and He will proclaim justice to the nations and His name will be the hope of all the world." (Isaiah 42:1)
He had identity and He had purpose and I can tell you that if you're a child of God, God has put a passion in your heart, He's given you something to do - you have a purpose! -Pastor John B. Smith