BELIEVE: week five: Identity In Christ

Believe: Devos: Week Five: Identity In Christ

“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

The words “It’s a boy!” at the birth of our second child brought Roxanne and me tremendous joy. We already had a girl; now we had a boy. Life was perfect—until we noticed that our baby boy was missing his left hand and forearm. Immediately questions flashed through our minds. Sports? How would the kindergarteners treat him? Where would his wedding ring go? Never mind marriage; what girl would love him with so many men out there with two hands? And the most alarming question: Would we love him?

Nurses swaddled our little David and laid him in our arms. And in that moment our greatest fear evaporated. We loved him; there was nothing he had to do to earn our love. He was our son.

Our actions sometimes make us feel that God could never love us, as if there were anything we could do to earn God’s love. God loves us not because of anything we have done, but because of what he did. He loves us because of who we are, his children.

Today David is a successful attorney and has a beautiful wife who loves him dearly. He played sports better than most kids with two hands! While that brings us great joy, it isn’t why we love hi. We love him because he’s our son.

God feels the same about you!

“I believe I am significant because of my position as a child of God.”

[Excerpt from Believe: 31-Day Devotional by Randy & Rozanne Frazee, pgs. 13-14.]

Clothed in Christ...


Today's thought:

Colossians 3:9-11, "Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all."

You probably know Ted Giannoulas even if you've never heard his name. He has been the San Diego Chicken for 30 years. But Ted is getting older. At age 50, being the Chicken has been his life and his whole identity. His face is never photographed unless he is in costume. No one knows the real Ted. He has no family.

At first, he loved his alter ego. "I discovered an untapped personality in that suit," he said. "It was like, now I have freedom. Now I'm no longer Ted."

But there is a price to pay. Dave Raymond, who for years wore the costume of the Philly Phanatic, said, "[Giannoulas] was the first and the funniest, and I have nothing but respect for him. But if you're not careful, you can lose yourself in that suit."

Ted himself says, "I have plenty of Chicken stories. I'm afraid I don't have any Ted stories." ["Chicken's Salad Days Over", Chicago Tribune, (8-26-02), (Sports Section)]

Many people live life being someone God didn't create them to be. They lose themselves in other things instead of finding their identity in Christ.

Do you remember the "WWJD" (What Would Jesus Do) craze? There were bracelets and amulets and t-shirts. Youth Ministers got a "WWJD" fever. Though today most Christians see the phrase as a cliche, there is a reason for its almost universal acceptance. At the heart of the sentiment lies a deep truth of the Christian endeavor. We are to put on Christ and be like him. The you that you were before Christ is dead. You were born into a new life, the life of Christ. As Paul says in Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

What suit are you wearing? What role have you clothed yourself with? It will define your identity. Galatians 3:26-27, "So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."

Put on Christ, be clothed in him and let His identity become your own. This is who God created you to be. 

Prayer: Our Father, it is easy to forget who we are, who you created us to be. We get lost in the wrong identity and forget it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us. Help us to put on Christ today, to take his nature and character on ourselves and become part of the Divine personality. We love you and find our fulfillment in You. In Jesus name, amen.