This week’s theme is all about our identity in Christ. In our modern society, we associate our identity with things like our name, age, what we look like and our personality. But in reality, our identity is not who WE say we are or even how the world perceives us. Rather, our identity is not WHO we are but WHOSE we are. Our identity is who God says we are. We’ll get into that in a little bit, but I first wanted to share a summary of why this topic resonates with me so much. So, let’s go on a little journey.
My biological parents got divorced when I was a toddler, so I was too young to remember any of that process. However, this granted my mom physical custody and my biological father weekend visitations. From my early childhood up until my pre-teen years, he was mostly in my life, but the consistency tapered off as I got older. When I did have visits with him, they were traumatic because of the choices he made. There were consistent patterns of irresponsible and violent behavior that resulted in me no longer having contact with him.
Through these experiences, I learned a lot about identity, even though I didn’t recognize that at the time. But in retrospect, I subconsciously sought out validation from other people and I placed my worth and my identity on the perceptions of others. I felt the need to prove something to this world and I got so exhausted trying to be liked and understood for who I thought I was. I didn’t understand until much later that my identity came from God, and that I could rest in Him knowing that I didn’t have to seek anything out from my peers or the World.
So, let’s go back to who God says we are. What is our true identity? Throughout the week, we will look at specific attributes of who God says we are, focusing on a unique one each day.
Today, we will concentrate on attribute number 1: We are made in God’s image. That means we reflect and display who He is. We’re not perfect like Him, of course, but we resemble and reflect Him because he made us with intention. But how do we go about bearing God’s image in our daily lives?
1) We are to reflect the fruits of the spirit, which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
2) We are to bring glory and honor to Him through our actions and genuine worship. (1 Corinthians 6:20, 10:31)
3) Jesus spoke and acted with the authority of his Father (Matthew 28:18) and therefore we are to reflect Jesus’ examples of love, ministry, compassion, obedience and sacrifice.
4) We should see people for how God sees them and love them as He does. Loving God and loving people is exactly how we achieve our Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) of making disciples of all nations.
5) Being in fellowship with other believers (Acts 2:42).
6) We rest in Him in order to lay our burdens at His feet and regain His strength so that we can fulfill our purpose (which will talk about tomorrow!).