Identity in Christ – Day Four
by Deb Weakly
“At the cross, at the cross, I surrendered my life. I’m in awe of you. I’m in awe of you. Where your love ran red and my sin washed white. I owe all to you. I owe all to you, Jesus.” – Chris Tomlin, At the Cross
1. Call your prayer partner for your 10-Minute Prayer Call! Never underestimate the power of praying with a friend. Done:______
2. Come away with your precious Savior and friend, Jesus! He loves you more than you could ever know and gave all He had for you to be able to live a new life. Pray and ask God to speak to your open heart and whisper to you about His great love for you, his daughter!
3. Read Luke 7:36-50. Write verse 47 in your journal.
The Sinner who Became a Saint
Oh, Jesus. My Jesus. You are the Saviour of the world. You came to forgive us our darkest sins and heal our painful, broken places.
Where, oh where would we be without our Jesus?
Today’s Bible reading features a precious, broken woman who weeps at the feet of Jesus.
Can you relate to this “sinful woman?” I know I can.
Just like the woman in the story, I am a woman who, before Jesus rescued me “from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us (me) into the Kingdom of his dear Son,” had led a sinful life. There is absolutely no comparison between who I was back then and who I am today.
I am completely unqualified to be teaching you about God. I was a woman who you probably would have seen out in public and thought, “ Wow, she is really lost.” You probably would have whispered a prayer for me to come to Jesus, and for Him to somehow save my lost and weary soul.
As with most of us who were completely lost before Christ, there is a painful story to tell.
My story starts with me as a young girl. I was a child from a broken home who was taken by an unknown neighbor to Vacation Bible School. I still remember it all so vividly- the snow cone maker, a flannel board used by the teacher to tell me about the love of Christ, and walking down the church aisle to give my heart to Jesus.
Then my parents divorced and I felt lost, again.
A few years later, I remember going to a church camp by myself and giving my heart to Jesus, again. I learned how to underline verses in my Bible that meant a lot to me. This habit carried over into my adult life and helps me to remember the words of God that touch my heart.
Then the dark years began. Between the ages of 16-23, I tried to commit suicide, lost my mom, and entered into the party scene. These years were the darkest, saddest years of my life. I felt as if I had nothing to live for.
Then, by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, the story takes a turn for the better.
Enter Evangelist Daniel Gage and his wife, Darlene, who owned a hair salon in Friendswood, Texas. I was hired as an assistant hairdresser to Darlene. Each day as I listened to her Christian clients talk about their husbands, children, Bible studies, churches, and lives, I could hardly believe my ears! Their lives sounded SO different from mine. I wanted what they had! I just didn’t know how on earth to get it!
Then God sent me Melissa Lain, a fellow hairdresser at the salon who offered to take me to the Margaret Becker/Imperials concert. It was then that I REALLY gave my life to Jesus! I started my journey learning about Jesus and how much He loved me. What a gift!
Every other week, at this wonderful salon, I would get my nails done by Darlene’s mom, Lena. She would tell me more about the life of Jesus, and how to know Him better by reading my Bible. I am so thankful for my time with Lena.
What wonderful, life-changing encounters God provided for me with each of these Christ-Followers who took their jobs as His ambassadors seriously! Never doubt the eternal impact of faithfully loving “the least of these” whom God providentially placed around you in your world!
Because of the love of Christ and His faithful followers, I am forever changed! Knowing Jesus and His transforming love caused me to completely turn my life around!
When I am in church worshipping, I often cry. I feel overwhelmed at times by the love of God and it leads me to tears. Just like the woman in our story today cried, I cry.
The difference now is that I am no longer the weeping “sinner” crying at the feet of Jesus, I am a saint who weeps because I now know my true identity. (1 Corinthians 1:2 NASB)
I am God’s child. (Galatians 3:26)
I am holy and dearly loved. (Colossians 3:12)
I am forgiven and free from condemnation. (Romans 8:1-2)
I know the transforming power of the cross. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
I cry because I know how God has changed my life and I want to do all I can to tell others the GREAT news about the transforming love of God! (1 Peter 3:15)
My prayer for you, dear Sister, is for you to know how deeply you are accepted and loved by God. For those of us who have given our lives to Christ, we are new. The old has gone, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17) You are no longer the same person you were before!
You are free to live life as God’s daughter, in a white dress made for you by the King of Kings! You are clean! You are new!
Walk in the newness of the life that Jesus has for you! May the Lord bless you and shower you with His pure love!
4.Questions to Ponder: Write the answers to these questions in your journal.
-What part of Deb’s story do you most identify with?
-Which aspect of your new identity in Christ do you most need to be reminded of today?
I am God’s child. (Galatians 3:26),
I am holy and dearly loved. (Colossians 3:12
I am forgiven and free from condemnation. (Romans 8:1-2),
I know the transforming power of the cross. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
-How has your life changed since becoming a Christ- Follower?
-Ask God to show you how He sees you. For example, God showed me through a dear sister-friend that He sees me in a white dress. I no longer carry the guilt and shame of my life before Christ. God made me new in every way!
5. Faith- Filled Idea:
-Write how God sees you on 3 sticky notes. Keep one at your kitchen sink, one on your bathroom mirror and one in your car.
For example, I would write, “You are in the white dress Deb, forgiven and free!”
Use this to remind yourself of the truth of who you are, and your new life in Christ!
Identity in Christ – Day Five
by Mari Jo Mast
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
– 2 Corinthians 5:17
Happy Morning to you, precious Mom!
1. Light a candle, remembering that Jesus is the true light who lights every man. Ask him to light you, bringing truth and revelation to your heart as you study.
2. Read 2 Corinthians 5: 1-21, and write verse 17 in your journal.
God is the Master Builder!
Years ago, life found me in the deep and depressing throes of lonely motherhood. My husband and I had 6 children ranging from a baby that was only a few months old, to the oldest child being 12. The harsh reality of my many responsibilities as a homeschool Mom amidst all the other duties and training of life left me feeling completely overwhelmed and discouraged, almost beyond remedy. There were many mornings I dreaded getting out of my warm, comfortable bed to face the day. I felt that God gave me more than I could handle, and I wanted to throw in the towel.
Around that time in my life, the Lord showed me a picture of my life. I saw a large, beautiful beach with sandcastles by the shore that I understood I had crafted by my own hands. Everything looked so beautiful from the outside, as I continued to admire and marvel about it, but soon something terrible began to happen. I saw big waves coming! No Lord, don’t let it happen, I cried! But it was too late. Before my very eyes, the waves came and destroyed everything I had made. Everything. Not one castle was left, only the bare seashore remained. The knowledge of what I had just witnessed was unbearably painful.
I wept bitterly, asking Jesus how long it would take to rebuild everything, knowing I didn’t have the strength or ability to do it all over again. The castles I had made in this vision were a picture of a self-made me. It included my family, children, husband, parenting beliefs, dreams, hopes, ideals, lies, wrong teaching, all the things in life I held dear…and now everything was destroyed!
It was then that I heard the voice of Jesus whisper to my heart, “How big and how beautiful do you want your house to be?” I knew in my deepest being that He wanted to give me a brand new identity, one built on Him and Truth. The castles I had built, as beautiful as they appeared, were only a white-washed shell of man-made traditions and ideals constructed by my own strength and the lies I had believed. These unrealistic ideals of myself and my children and everyone around me were terribly flawed and had brought so much disappointment.
My wrong belief system was not able to withstand the raging storms that plagued my life. I needed a new foundation, a new beginning, and Jesus had to wash it all away. I needed Him to teach me his ways and build again. Yes, Lord.
Jesus wants to create a new and beautiful identity in you, because every part of who you were created to be, can be found in Him.
Our children, grandchildren, husband, friends, job, and material possessions…though all of these are so dear to our heart, none of them should stamp or define who we are. All humans, even those who are the most precious to us will let us down and disappoint us. Everything we own will pass away when we die.
When our life is over, the only thing that will remain is what we have done out of who we are in Christ.
Slowly God began to rebuild my house. He is STILL building, but that is alright with me. Because his ways are eternal it takes a longer time, but it is worth it all because He does things the right way! I know that He is not looking for my perfection, He’s looking for my surrender and a willing heart to obey.
Jesus wants to make us into a building of God, a house not made with human hands, that will last forever.
Dear friend, if Jesus is rebuilding new foundations in you, take heart. He will make all things new and better, bringing fresh hope in time!
4. Questions to ponder: Write the answers to these questions in your journal.
1. Are there things in your life that God wants to rebuild?
2. Are you weary of trying to do things in your own strength, realizing it only brings disappointment? What are those things?
3. Let them go. Giving up our own faulty foundations for His secure ones, are painful because it means we have to give up our own ideals to embrace his truth. Everything God does is perfect and better, and he is willing to teach us as imperfect as we are.
4. Ask Jesus to reveal more about himself to you. Maybe most of your house is securely built on him, yet you feel there are a few things that still seem shallow and unsure. Ask him to reveal His truth to solidify those areas and surrender completely to his best.
4. Identity in Christ Faith-Filled Idea:
Be brave and ask God to knock-out anything in your identity that may be unstable and false. Share with a friend. Don’t be afraid to ask God to reveal and replace lies with truth. Dive in and trust Jesus who is waiting to embrace you with open arms and set you free to be the true YOU!
P.S. If you do not know Jesus yet, today can be your day! Pray and ask the Father to reveal Him to you. If you know a trusted friend who is already a believer, ask her to help you. By reading the Bible, you will get a better understanding about who Jesus is, especially the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. As you follow and search the stories that reveal his character, you will begin to find Him and He will speak your name with a new purpose! He will show you what you were created for and who you are really meant to be! He will write brand new things on your heart, and set you free from all the bondages and lies of your past!
Identity in Christ – Day Six
by Daphne Close and Rachel Jones
“We aren’t called to be like other Christians; we are called to be like Christ.”- Stacy L. Sanchez
1. Oh, how he loves us! Go to a quiet place and be with your Savior today. Read his Word and meditate on His scriptures. Pray and ask Jesus that you will find your identity in Him and not in other people’s opinions. What the world thinks does not matter!!!
2. Read 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, and 2 Corinthians 10:12. Write the beautiful encouragement found in the second half of verse 12 in your journal, “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.”
Pray and ask God to show you any areas where you may be comparing yourself, your marriage, children or circumstances to others. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to see yourself the way He sees you, and to move forward in the life He has for you.
What Really Defines You?
Have you ever been sitting with a group of moms as they discuss new dishes to cook while you are wondering what frozen meal to make tonight?
Have you had your child say something rude, and then become so embarrassed because another mom heard and judged your parenting?
Does it seem to you that all your mom friends on Facebook have a happier family than you do?
Do you feel like your children would be better off with someone else as their mom?
Does any of the above statements really matter? Is this what really defines us?
I am here to tell you that not a single one of these scenarios have anything to do with your true identity, which is your identity in Christ.
What is identity?
Oxford dictionary defines identity as, “the fact of being who or what a person or thing is
In this simple definition, you see that your identity is not about what you do.
Your actions, outward appearance, or strengths & weaknesses are not your identity.
As a Christ-Follower, there is only one way to identify yourself, and that is who Jesus declared you to be.
In 2 Corinthians 5:21, Paul tells us that because Jesus became sin for us, we are righteous. Our identity is righteousness. Peter later says in 1 Peter 2:9, “but we are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness and into His wonderful light.”
Isn’t that amazing? We are righteous, chosen, royal, holy, and we belong to God! Wow! If we truly understood who we are in Christ, and all we have because of Him, we would find it easier to simply be ourselves, knowing that God dwells in us and gives us everything we need to live the individual life to which He has called us.
God tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:12 that we are to be who God created us to be, and not compare ourselves to anyone else.
So how can we as moms change our thinking? I know in my life this has been difficult. I am constantly comparing myself to other moms and wondering if I am doing enough. However, my own mother gave me some great advice a long time ago.
She said, “There will always be someone ahead of you and someone behind you.”
This really opened my eyes to stop focusing on others, and start focusing on myself and how God sees me. When we spend time looking at others and worrying or comparing, that blocks out God and how He sees us!
I realize this is easier said than done. I realize this is going to take us praying to our Father and crying out to Him. But dear friends, it is so worth it! Colossians 1:10 says, “and we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord [read: not others] and may please Him in every way.”
The Lord is pleased with you! I pray that you feel this deep in your spirit today and that you live in freedom and peace knowing you are righteous and holy.
3. Questions to Ponder: Write the answers to these questions in your journal.
Do you like yourself? Pray about this and write in your journal five things you love about yourself.
Why do we care what other people think? Is it be appear better than them? To get attention? For validation? I challenge you to really think and pray about this.
4. Faith Filled Idea:
Go outside and find a smooth, flat rock. Paint it one solid color that makes you happy. Let it dry and then grab a dry erase marker. Using the marker, write words or phrases reflecting how God sees you.
You can simply copy the ones I listed in the study if you’d like. Once dry, set this rock on your dresser or kitchen counter to remind you of the way God sees you and has guided your life until now. You are His and not the worlds.
This is called your Ebenezer stone. Samuel uses it in 1 Samuel 7:12 to show how the Lord had helped him.
** Don’t forget to do your Mom Tips! These ideas really will help you to be more organized in your home!