Hello, My name is Jeremy. If you and I were meeting for the first time you would expect this next sentence to contain a list of things that make me "me". Usually this would include information about my job, my hobbies, maybe my family and kids, mostly it would declare what I love most. Yet, unlike most identifying statements that you would find in an introductory meeting I have to tell you that I am not defined by those things. My identity does not come from my:
- marital status
My identity is not wrapped up in what I put in my resumé.I have to declare, for the sake of my head and heart, that my identity is none of those things. My identity is elsewhere. It is true. My identity is found in how Jesus defines me. His Word uses terms like "beloved", "adopted", "justified", "brother", "friend", "forgiven", "accepted". The gospel brings to bear some amazing things on my life. God the Father looks at me in love and declares me to be His own. What is the basis of this? It's not me to be sure. In fact Jesus' Word tells me that I was once an enemy, a child of wrath, at enmity with God. I hated God. That doesn't sound anything like a beloved, justified son. Yet the Son of God took on my shame, became my curse, died my death so that I could be identified and declared to be righteous. He transferred me from death to life. So who I am isn't wrapped up in what I do or do not do, my success or failures, my wealth or poverty. My identity is wrapped up and kept in Jesus. No matter what happens in my life, today or this year or until the day, I die I will be defined by Jesus and who I am declared to be in Him. I hope that helps you understand who I am a little better. And for the sake of our introductory conversation, what is true of my identity can be true of yours as well. Lay hold of Jesus, rest and trust in Him to give you a new identity in Him and not in your resumé. Do you really want your degree posted on your tombstone? I want mine to read "Beloved Child of God, Loved Much, Forgiven Much." That is where my identity lies.