Who am I?

October 4, 2011

Working with students can be a real struggle sometimes. It is my job to not only teach them about Jesus but to do so in a way that will reach them and that they will understand. It can be difficult sometimes to remember what it was like growing up with all the the pressures and the desire to fit in and be wanted.

That is why so many students get caught up in the things that they do. They need to be wanted and find a group that accepts them. Then when they find one that they think they will be accepted into they jump at the opportunities given to them to fit in, even if that means abandoning who they thought they were or the values taught to them growing up. Youth today feel so alone. It is mind boggling isn’t it? With all of the advances that we have anymore, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, texting, and so much more, you would think that students would feel closer to each other but they don’t. This is why they feel the need to fit in even more. They just want to belong.

This does not just stop with Jr. High and High school students though. Often times people go through their whole lives trying to figure out who they are. They try the next big thing or go from one job to another because they still do not know what they want. There are always stories of men who leave their job when they get into their 40s because all of a sudden they realize they are not who they think they are, or who they dreamed they would be by the time 40 came around.

People of all ages struggle with this idea of an identity. What we do not realize is there is a place where we belong. It is in the arms of God. He gives us a new identity and that is what defines us. It is not the job we have or the social group we belong to, but rather what God says of us. Many people understand that God “makes me new” but are unsure of what this new being is:

A better version of myself?

A super spiritual nut?

Some social outcast who is further from fitting in?

And the list goes on. What is this person that we are to be changed into? Let’s take a look at 1 Peter 2:9 and see what it says about our identity.

Chosen Generation: The first thing Peter calls us here is chosen. God chose us! We were not the last ones selected on the kickball field, “oh all right, I will take Jimmy since he is the last one.” NO! God selected us. This shows His love for us. He did not have to. He could have given up on mankind but instead He sent Jesus to die for us and chose us to be His!

Royal Priesthood: In the Old Testament we are told of priests who would do the religious duties of the day. They would sacrifice animals so God would forgive the nation’s sins. They were able to enter into the presence of God. Their had to make themselves pure and holy so they would survive this endeavor but they would stand in God’s presence. Now, as Christians, we also get to go straight to God. We can talk with Him and know Him, even better than the priests of old! God desires a relationship with us and that requires we talk with Him (prayer). We do not need someone to go to God on our behalf, we can do that on our own!

Holy Nation: Now this is not talking about the United States of America. As Christians we are different than the world around us. Our values and our thinking is different than everyone else’s. We are a completely different people. Our citizenship is not of this world. We are citizens of heaven, so we must live like it. The Bible is our guide, not some man made document. Out of love for our God we need to make sure we are following His commands (John 14:15) so that we continue to be holy and we need to keep meeting together with other like-minded people (Hebrews 10:25) so we can keep being encouraged and living the way God desires.

People of God’s own Possession: Not only are we chosen by God but we also belong to God! He loves us so much that He claims us as our own. We are called children of God in the Scriptures. He is our Father and desires to take care of us like only a perfect Father can.

These are wonderful explanations of who we are! If these are true, it changes everything! No longer do I need to look to other people or things to define me, God has already done that! What an amazing definition! There is one more part from this verse that I want to point out. It says “so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him…” We have not been saved simply to be saved. We have been saved so that we can live for God. We proclaim His excellencies! We tell others about what God has done in our lives! We live in a way that will honor Him and point other people to Him. That is to be our response, and with a great new identity, I don’t think it is too difficult a task!

What part of the definition do you struggle with most? How have you overcome the urges to identify yourself with other people or things before God?



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