Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 19, 2018
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2
When I look in the face of an infant grandchild, I see the influence of several individuals with different last names over successive generations. The eyes of the mom, the forehead of the dad, the checks of the grandfather and the lips of the grandmother. Without understanding who or what brought her into the world, the precious baby already has an identity that will mark her the rest of her life. Just as physical identity is defined by traits passed on by the parents, so our true core identity is defined by the image of God: the Father’s wisdom, the Spirit’s strength, the Son’s love. Our unchanging identity in Christ defines what we do, what we have, how we feel and what others think in place of the futility of defining ourselves with temporal ever changing categories.
Paul describes followers of Jesus as dearly loved children who are to walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us. Dearly loved to walk in the way of love, wow! What freedom to be who God made us to be: loved dearly by our Father in heaven, so we can love others on earth with His same selfless love. Like a beloved child of caring parents, we follow God’s example in how we treat others. Who we are in Christ is defined by God’s image in us and His influence on us. We live attractive lives when our life is defined by our loving Lord.
“When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong” (Ephesians 3:14-17, NLT).
You are free to be who God made you to be. Feelings come and go. They are an indicator of what’s in your heart, but your emotions do not define the core of who you are. What you do at home and work is important and even necessary, but what you do will change one day, so make sure your identity rests in your unchanging Savior Jesus Christ. When your career platform of influence shifts to another stage, remember whose you are, respect yourself and serve selflessly.
What others think about you is probably more or less than you deserve, but God knows what’s in your heart. You are His precious child created for doing good. So, do good with and for the Lord. The possessions you enjoy are nice, but they will only have their proper place in your life if Jesus possesses your heart. If all you have disappeared, would your identity fly away with your stuff or would you rest secure as a beloved child of God? In Christ, you are a dearly loved child who walks in the way of love. Be generous with your possessions and you will free their influence in defining you. Who are you? A dearly loved child of God, who walks in love!
“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God” (Ephesians 3:18-19, NLT).
Heavenly Father, I want to be and do what You want me to be and do. Give me the grace to live out how You made me, in Jesus’ name, amen.
What life defining category such as: what I do, how I feel, what others think and what I possess, do I need to release and replace with my identity totally in Christ?
Our true core identity is defined by the image of God: the Father’s wisdom, the Spirit’s strength, the Son’s love. #WisdomHunters #whoareyou?
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