Who Does God Say I Am?

If I have learned anything in the last 22 years it is that people love labels.  They give them to us when we’re born, things like our first name, family name, birthplace, race, gender, etc.  These labels follow us the rest of our life.  Some labels we take on ourselves like our education, our career, our faith, hobbies, achievements, where we live, who we associate with, where we go to church, etc. Often these are the labels that we use to define ourselves.  All too often I meet someone new I ask them about themselves and the first response is typically education or career.  These are very defining labels.

But there are also negative labels, things that we let doctors label us with, things that people say to hurt us, things that people say unintentionally that still hurt us and things that we think about ourselves.  These aren’t typically the labels that we use when meeting people, no these labels are tucked away in the back of our minds.  They are our darkest secrets, and they only come out to haunt us. These labels if allowed can begin to take a permanent residence in our minds.  We begin to believe the lies spoken over us and they begin to have free reign of our lives.

“Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me”.  This is probably the biggest lie we learned as children, if anything words will hurt you more.  I can recover faster from physical harm than I can from hurtful words spoken to me or over me.

When given all of these labels, we often lose sight of the most important labels.  We lose sight of what God says about us! He has a lot to say about us! And I like His a lot more than those other labels, take a look and tell me what you think?

• You are His child .

But to all who have received him–those who believe in His name–he has given the right to become God’s children (John 1:12).

• You are a branch of the true vine, and a conduit of Christ’s life.

I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me–and I in Him–bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing (John 15:1, 5).

• Your friend is Jesus

I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father (John 15:15).

• You are justified and redeemed.

But they are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24).

• You are no longer who you used to be

We know that our old man was crucified with him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin (Romans 6:6).

• You are not condemned 

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

• You  have been set free from sin and death.

For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).

 You are an heir to Heaven

And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ)–if indeed we suffer with Him so we may also be glorified with him (Romans 8:17).

So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if you are a son, then you are also an heir through God (Galatians 4:7).

• You are accepted

Receive one another, then, just as Christ also received you, to God’s glory (Romans 15:7).

• You are united with Christ

But the one united with the Lord is one spirit with him (1 Corinthians 6:17).

• You are Righteous

God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we would become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

• You are free from the World’s labels!!

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female–for all of you are one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).

• You are Free

For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).

• You are so Blessed

Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).

 You are Chosen

For He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love (Ephesians 1:4).

• You are Forgiven

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace (Ephesians 1:7).

• You have a seat saved in Heaven

… And He raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus … (Ephesians 2:6).

• You are Bold and Confident 

… In whom we have boldness and confident access to God because of Christ’s faithfulness (Ephesians 3:12).

• You have Peace

And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

• Your needs are met

And my God will supply your every need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

• You are Loved ❤️️

We know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you … (1 Thessalonians 1:4).

And don’t you ever forget them!! This is just a small list of the good things God has labeled you, you can find many more in His Word!  Whenever you’re feeling down or the enemy is reminding you of labels that have spoken over you just remember these things.  Pray these words over your life, write them somewhere you can see them everyday, and memorize them.  Because they are true, you have all of these things, and they cancel out any negative words anyone has or will ever speak over you!

Peace I Leave With You

Do you want comfort or peace? I had this very interesting question brought to me the other night during a small group discussion.  And it got me thinking…while these words sound similar they are actually very different.  One is temporary, it is based on circumstances and emotions while the other is a state of mind.

Many people today live a life of comfort.  Nice house, nice car, good job, ideal family, etc.  Most people live comfortable lives, yet despite all the comfort they have very little peace.  They suffer from stress, anxiety, fear, debt, and a lack of contentment.  They have a lot of things that they want but very little of what they actually need.

Jesus himself lived a life of very little comfort and yet He was the Prince of Peace.  Luke 9:58 says: “But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”  Jesus didn’t even have a place to lay his head a night, no place to call home and yet he brought enough peace to share with the world!  And not the temporary peace that we get from our circumstances and the environment around us, but an eternal peace that resonates in our heart.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

That’s the kind of peace I want, an eternal peace one that isn’t determined by my temporary circumstances.  How do we get God’s peace?  Well, like all spiritual things it’s a choice we have to make.  John 14:27 listed above says ” Do not LET your hearts be troubled”.  It’s a choice, we choose to get worked up about things that have no eternal value.  You have to decide today that even if life gets uncomfortable we are still going to have the peace of God.  God always knows best and He will never bring you where He wants you and abandon you.

I know that trusting what you can’t see can be very difficult, it’s a daily struggle of mine.  There is nothing I fear more than uncertainty.  But knowing that even in the discomfort of uncertainty I can still be at peace, is a pretty amazing.  Even if I lost everything that I had I could rest in peace knowing that God still loves me and has the absolute best for me.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

ALL things, not some things. Not just the good things or just the bad things but ALL things.  Draw closer to God and He will take care of you, no circumstance is a waste of time with God.  Even when it feels hopeless God can turn your situations into good.   The more focus you put on God the more peace you will experience.  Talk to Him, study His word, and thank Him!  How often is our lack of comfort nothing more than a lack contentment?  Take a step back and evaluate the goodness He has already bestowed on you.  Just that alone can change your point of view.  Worry will never bring you comfort, only trusting in the goodness of your Savior can do that!

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you.” (NIV) Philippians 4:6-9

We live in an uncomfortable world, but we ourselves do not have to be uncomfortable.  All of this here is temporary and we can have peace in knowing that our home is in heaven.  So trust that God has a plan, build a relationship with Him, remind yourself that these circumstances are temporary and when in doubt PRAY!  He loves you, He really does!  And He has nothing but good for His children.  Choose Peace today…despite how you feel….choose peace!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6