How does a Christian discover positive personal identity?

As human beings, most of our sense of personal identity is found through relationship with someone or something else.

Typically, people try to determine positive personal identity through their appearance, their job, their talents and abilities, family relationships, friends, and even denominational affiliation.  But in all these things we are building our house upon a shaky foundation because these things can change with the wind.

For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever. (1 Peter 1:24-25)

We can lose our job. Our appearance can change. Our friends may reject us. Our talents and abilities may decline with age or injury. All of these things are temporary and can eventually be shaken apart.

And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.  (Hebrews 12:26.27)

There is only one way to determine our identity that cannot be shaken. And that is through the Word of God. And the Word of God says that by faith we are now children of God! All lasting positive personal identity is found through that relational truth.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12,13)

God’s original plan for mankind, as initiated with Adam and Eve, was that we would realize that our identity is determined entirely by the fact that man was created in God’s image and through the unhindered realization of God’s unconditional love for us.

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)

Mankind was originally designed to discover a sense of personal value and purpose through the fact that we are created in the image of God.  And this is the kind of relationship that God is trying to re-establish with us. A relationship where we would not feel that we need to compete in order to feel acceptable – where there would be no problems with feelings of low self-esteem, low self-worth, jealousy, insecurity etc.

The truth is, that only one eternal and unshakable relational truth could ever actually determine our personal worth or value to God: We are His children, created in His Image and loved by Him unconditionally. And He is our Father!

Caring for the Temple vs America’s obsession with food.

1st Cor 6:19-20 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

For the last couple of years I have had considerable acid reflux from a diet that was in many ways unhealthy. Through this, the Lord has revealed to me that trying to eat as healthily as possible is precious worship to God because we are all His priests and it is the appropriate and responsible care of the Temple where His Holy Spirit dwells. If we deliberately desecrate His temple with an idolatrous food obsession that we very well know is harmful to our bodies, then certainly, at the very least, we are choosing to turn away from the fullness of His blessing in our lives.

Romans 12:1
CJB I exhort you, therefore, brothers, in view of God’s mercies, to offer yourselves as a sacrifice, living and set apart for God. This will please him; it is the logical “Temple worship” for you.

CSB Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship.

CEB So, brothers and sisters, because of God’s mercies, I encourage you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God. This is your appropriate priestly service.

Kingdom Wealth as Spiritual Currency

Matthew 6:33-34 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

It is important for Christians to understand that “Kingdom wealth” is oftentimes experienced in the form of spiritual currency which is given to us as a token in place of that which we are willing to surrender unto the Lord. Prioritizing the Kingdom of God over the kingdom of the world is the gateway to this treasure.

This currency is most profitably redeemed as an increase in anointing accompanied by increased authority within both the kingdom of man and the Kingdom of God.

Kingdom wealth is not something to be hoarded and kept in reserve for an anticipated time of trouble. It is, instead, an entirely fluid spiritual currency that is provided to believers through their willingness to prioritize the immediate will of God for their lives.

Prioritizing the immediate will of God for our lives frequently involves a sacrifice of self-denial through which the storehouses of heaven are opened and the wealth of the Kingdom is both wonderfully and disproportionately allotted in favor of the believer.

This heavenly treasure of increased anointing and authority must then be utilized daily as the Spirit gives inspiration. It is for each day alone, just as manna was given to the Israelites in the wilderness. Manna represented a total dependence upon God from one moment to another in the Israelite’s lives. So it is for us today. If we attempt to store up the manna of our spiritual currency for future needs it will only grow foul and wormy, for it is meant to be spent in its entirety as we follow the immediate will of the Lord for each and every day.

More will be provided us tomorrow.

Mathew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

Perspective

Why doesn’t God do what we think He should do based on our understanding of the Word?

No matter how biblically knowledgeable we may be, it will inevitably be the case that we are viewing every situation from a very limited perspective. We are finite beings. Therefore, we will never be able to take into full account every aspect and attribute of our infinite God regarding any situation. This is why it can be so difficult for us in certain situations to understand why God doesn’t act according to the way we believe He should. We are always seeing the situation from our limited perception while God is always seeing it from a perfectly balanced and undivided perspective.

God is One. He cannot at any given time, act from one of His attributes while the rest remain inactive. All that God does, must at all times be in unity with all that God is. Everything about God is always in perfect balance. For example: Since there can be no conflict within the attributes of God, justice must always be entirely present with mercy and love must always be entirely present in judgment.  In fact, everything about God is always actively present in every situation.

Although we may feel disappointed at times by what we view as a lack of action on His part, we should be comforted to know that everything He does is always for the best of reasons whether or not we can understand it.

Would we really want it any other way?

But we preach Christ crucified…

When Paul wrote his letter to the Corinthians he was also speaking across the centuries to the church of today. I hope that His words will inspire us and bring conviction to our hearts where we may have become more fascinated with man than with Christ.  Vast internet kingdoms have arisen which seem more interested in spiritual power encounters, impressive sermons and grand prophetic declarations than they are with actually living the christian life of sacrifice and humility. Sacrifice and humility are important elements of Christian life associated with “Christ crucified.”  And these are the elements that are most closely connected to both the power and wisdom of God.

1 Cor 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

A message to those who move in the prophetic realms

Rev 19:10 an angel declares, “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
But is this really what is happening in the church today? How often is the prophecy we are hearing actually connected to the testimony of Jesus?

From the Barnes Commentary: “the testimony of Jesus Is the spirit of prophecy” – The design of prophecy is to bear testimony to Jesus. The language does not mean, of course, that this is the only design of prophecy, but that this is its great and ultimate end. The word “prophecy” here seems to be used in the large sense in which it is often employed in the New Testament – meaning to make known the divine will, and the primary reference here would seem to be to the preachers and teachers of the New Testament. The sense is, that their grand business is to bear testimony to the Saviour.

Our next Open Worship Night

Join us again at North Mill Spring, NC starting at 6:30 pm on Friday, May 5th for an evening of open worship! It will be a mix of contemporary and original praise and worship songs and some new arrangements of traditional Christian music and music inspired by the Spirit!  Some of the instruments played are acoustic guitar, congas, base guitar, keyboard and harmonica. Bring your instrument or just come and enjoy!  Lots of space. Its about 45 minutes from our home in Hendersonville, NC.  Leave a reply if you would like to join us! Here is a picture of the space below.

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