Our Identity

In one of the devotions in her book, Embraced, Lysa TerKeurst says when the heavens opened and God spoke at Christ’s baptism before his ministry began, God was well pleased with his Son. Jesus’ identity was in being God’s Son not in the great works he was about to accomplish.

Her point in saying this is just as God was pleased with his son before Christ began his earthly minister, God’s pleasure with us is not dependent on what we do.

Before we did a single thing for God, he was well pleased with us. Our identity is found in being a chosen Child of God. His son. His daughter.

Our identity is not found in the amount of good works we do.

It is not found in the number of times we say yes to a request of our time or resources for ministry.

Nor is it found in eloquent speech or Christian-sounding words.

In my present situation as a writer, I remind myself my identity is not found in the number of articles, devotions, blog posts, or novels I have or have not published.

My identity is not found in the number of writing awards I have or have not accumulated. It is not in the number of my followers nor is it in the size of my platform.

I would think in your life you have areas where you can say the same.

When we lean too far one direction in connecting our worth with our accomplishments, it can lead to pride. Lean too far the other direction, it can lead to discouragement.

Our identity is found in God and Christ alone.

God’s voice is the One we want to hear say he’s pleased with us. Sure. Having others say we’re on the right track and doing a good job is nice, but that’s not what defines us.

Do you find it difficult to separate how you view your worth from your works?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Then John agreed to his baptism. Jesus came straight out of the water afterwards, and suddenly the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and resting upon him. And a voice came out of Heaven saying, “This is my dearly-loved son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17 (Phillips)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Keep Our Guard Up

Isaiah 40By Sandy Kirby Quandt

After a two-day drive east last month, Pilot, Pie, and I had dinner with Sissy and Chief at an all-you-can-eat buffet. I’ve been to this restaurant every time I visited my mother when she lived in the nursing home near it. I knew the menu pretty much by heart, and knew there were a lot of items I could not eat, due to being gluten-intolerant.

Maybe it was my distressed emotional state at the death of Mom three days earlier. Maybe it was exhaustion from the drive. Maybe it was pain from the fibromyalgia flares. Who knows? But I did something I should not have done. I let my guard down. I stopped being vigilant. I was careless. I picked up a cute little pot of meat, potatoes, and carrots.

When I put a forkful of beef into my mouth, I discovered it had brown gravy on the underside.

Wheat. Gluten. Pain.

That one forkful was all it took. Within ten minutes the pain I used to live with daily, returned. Sharp. Like a knife plunged into my lower abdomen. I knew the pain would last one to two weeks before subsiding, and it did.

I believe there are times in our lives when we let our guard down. Don’t you?

We stop being vigilant. We’re careless regarding our relationship with Jesus, and doing his will. We pick up the cute little pot of something we have no business messing with.

We become frustrated or tired and choose the path of least resistance. Or we respond in ways we know we shouldn’t. We feel angry or mad and make foolish choices. We are lonely or sad and surround ourselves with toxic individuals.

In her book, The Best Yes, Lysa TerKeurst says there are four times in particular where we need to pay attention, and should be careful of decisions we make during those times.

These are times when we need to HALT. When we are Hungry. Angry. Lonely. Tired.

Choosing what to eat isn’t a major issue for a lot of people, but for people with food allergies, it can be.

On the other hand, choosing whether or not we follow Jesus is a major issue for everyone. It is something we need to make certain we are not careless about.

What do you do to keep from letting your guard down?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

 Be self-controlled and vigilant always, for your enemy the devil is always about, prowling like a lion roaring for its prey. Resist him, standing firm in your faith and remember that the strain is the same for all your fellow-Christians in other parts of the world. 1 Peter 5:8-9 (Philips)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Is This Opportunity My Assignment?

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries recently wrote something I found profound. “Not every opportunity is meant to be my assignment.”

I don’t know about you, but this is an area I’ve had problems navigating. Someone asks me to do something and I feel compelled to comply, regardless of how that something will impact my life or the lives of those around me.

Serve on this committee? Sure thing…even though it means one more evening away from home.

Be an active member of this ministry? Sure thing…even though I do not have the strength or the energy.

 

Volunteer to house, feed, clothe? Sure thing…even though it will stretch my resources to the breaking point.

Take on one more extra task at work? Sure thing…even though I’m barely keeping my head above water as it is.

Attend an event with friends? Sure thing…even though relationships are strained and it will cost me emotionally.

Most of us want to be available to others. We want to be active participants in worthy causes. We truly do. Sometimes, though, in our eagerness to please, we overlook our own needs.

As Lysa states, just because an opportunity arises it doesn’t necessarily mean it is our assignment to complete.

In the third grade, I asked my teacher for extra math worksheets so I could practice. The worksheets were opportunities for me to learn and improve. The math problems were not assignments. And as weird as it may seem, especially given my aversion to math, I really enjoyed doing the extra work. I even audited a math college class for the same reason. It was not assigned. Neither of those opportunities cost me anything I couldn’t afford to give, and I reaped a benefit.

But there have been way too many times I’ve looked at opportunities as missions from God, as the Blues Brothers said, and paid for not seeing the opportunities were not my assignments to take on.

In Lysa’s post she offers 5 questions to ask ourselves in evaluating our situations.

1. Do I have the resources to handle this request along with my current responsibilities?

2. Could this fit physically?

3. Could this fit financially?

4. Could this fit spiritually?

5. Could this fit emotionally?

Important questions to ponder. Wouldn’t you agree?

The next time we are asked to do something, maybe we should use Lysa’s 5 questions to filter our decisions.

Maybe we better think …

Leave your comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

If you want to build a tower, you first sit down and decide how much it will cost, to see if you have enough money to finish the job. If you don’t, you might lay the foundation, but you would not be able to finish. Then all who would see it would make fun of you, saying, ‘This person began to build but was not able to finish.’  Luke 14:28-30 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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One of my posts will appear on Inspire a Fire Tuesday, August 12, 2014. Please stop by and check it out.

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