Finding Our Identity in the Nativity

Copy of SD Blog 12-2-19

Acts 17:27-28 (NLT)

“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’”

We were made for another world and have lost our identity. But God has a secret . . . our identities can be found again.

Between 6,000 and 7,000 years ago a decision was made to leave perfection, to leave a God who loved us and to leave an identity in Him. As time went on, God’s people pursued idol after idol trying to fix the desperate need in their souls to find their identity again.

And today people are still on a search for this sense of completeness. Lost in a world with seemingly never-ending options, none of it fulfills us because our Designer made us for Himself, not for temporary things that perish. And the idols and fake identities we choose don’t satisfy. They are merely creations themselves from fallen man.

Two thousand years ago a baby was born, a God-man, to save our souls and restore what had been lost in the Garden. This baby came to give us an identity in Him that we forfeited when we opted for a fallen, broken identity instead.

Those who had ears to hear and eyes to see understood that they could not save themselves and that no identity and nothing in this world could. Still, many did not accept this free gift of salvation and continued the futile search for life in nonliving things, or in people, relationships, achievements, roles, positions to fill this ache in their souls.

And here we are today. Nothing new underneath the sun. Maybe a little more updated, but the struggle is the same. Man searches to be his own God, to find his identity apart from God, and yet he was made in the image of God.

We don’t recognize that the identity theft on the rise today that we bemoan is also happening to our souls. An identity theft that reaches further than our wallet, to our souls. That place where man tries to find that place of peace and fulfillment apart from His Creator.

Still, our Savior came and He is coming again. Will we see what He accomplished in the Nativity? What His birth did for us and how it relates to our identity?

The enemy of our souls is the author of confusion. If he can confuse our identity, we remain preoccupied with self and miss out on a relationship with God and His purposes for our life. Understanding our identity is important. We need to understand who and whose we are to live a fruitful life in Christ. Confusion happens when we don’t have a right understanding of our identity in Christ.

Identity confusion is even causing people to try and choose their identity. Some are confused about their gender, something that truly there is no confusion about. God made two genders. No in between, no confusion:

Genesis 1:27 ESV,

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

While others try to choose an identity from another race or another age. This is foolishness. God made us in His identity, in His image. We are children of God, if we have accepted His free gift:

John 1:12 (ESV)

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

Made in His image, this image was broken because of the sins of Adam and Eve:

Genesis 5:1-3 (ESV)

“This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created. 3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.”

But the birth of Christ restores what sin took away. Christ is the second Adam, sinless, who lived a sinless life so He could pay for our sins and then give us back our rightful identity as a child of God, once again.

1 Corinthians 15:22 (NLT)

“Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.”

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Worshipful Wednesday: Joy Comes in the Morning

Photo Credits: benziher.wordpress.com

Photo Credits:
benziher.wordpress.com

Psalm 30: 2-5, 7-8, 11-12

2 O Lord my GodI cried out to you and you healed me. 3 O Lord, you pulled me up from Sheolyou rescued me from among those descending into the grave. 4 Sing to the Lord, you faithful followers of his; give thanks to his holy name. 5 For his anger lasts only a brief momentand his good favor restores one’s life. One may experience sorrow during the nightbut joy arrives in the morning. 7 O Lord, in your good favor you made me secure. Then you rejected me and I was terrified8 To you, O Lord, I cried out; I begged the Lord for mercy: 11 Then you turned my lament into dancingyou removed my sackcloth and covered me with joy. 12 So now my heart will sing to you and not be silentO Lord my God, I will always give thanks to you.

Psalm 31:7; 15, 23

“I will be happy and rejoice in your faithfulness, because you notice my pain and you are aware of how distressed I am.  15 You determine my destiny!  Rescue me form the power of my enemies and those who chase me.  23 Love the LORD, all you faithful followers of his!  The LORD protects those who have integrity, but he pays back in full the one who acts arrogantly. 24 Be strong and confident, all you who wait on the LORD!”

What kind of God turns our sorrows into dancing, sets captives free and brings us joy the next morning after weeping? Jesus, our living Savior.  He promised us troubles and He promised to be our refuge in the midst of them.  It is when we are delivered from searing pain that we can rejoice like no other when that trial has ended.  Sure, we might hobble like Jacob after he wrestled and complained with God, but we will rise changed and made more in His image.

Even the sorrows which seem unending have an end, and God is there throughout and knows the end completely.  This great God, the Creator of all the earth is the One Who knows our destiny – even before the foundations of the world were established.  That is a God I want to worship.  One Who takes pain and transforms it into beauty.  He is the one who rescues us and restores our lives and offers hope to those who are willing to believe Him and hold onto His promises in faith.

How do we access this incredible joy?  Relationship.  Have we sinned?  Confess the sins before our loving God and find mercy.  Have we been sinned against?  Forgive and cast our cares on the One Who truly cares for us.  Are we trapped in a behavior that we feel we can never overcome?  Study His Word and pray that God would enable us to overcome.  I will often burst into song or weep for joy when I read of God’s goodness.  This is worship and brings us joy, too.  He has joy for us today, and the joy of the LORD is our strength and His mercies are new each and every day!  Praise God!

Lord, thank You that You hear our cry and long to answer us.  Help us to run to You and never cease bringing our cares to You.  Thank You that You notice our pain and are a compassionate, loving God.

Visit http://www.pledgemusic.com/seeingdeep to hear songs which minister God’s grace, as well.