Would you rather have whatever you are thinking appear above your head for everyone to see or have absolutely everything you do live streamed for anyone to see?
This week, we focused on the understanding that everything we do, and everything we don’t do, stems from how we view ourselves. In order to view ourselves correctly, we need to know WHO we are in Christ. Knowing who God made us to be and how He’s gifted us helps us effectively impact our world for God’s Kingdom.
If a parent, sibling or friend were describing you, who would they say you are? Describe three things about your character or personality that you don’t like. Describe three things about yourself that you like and are proud of.
What does it mean to find your identity in Christ? Aside from just feeling good about ourselves, why is it necessary for us as Christians to find something outside of ourselves that we can lean on for strength, for direction, for purpose; something dependable that will hold up in every situation and is rooted in something that can’t be changed and can’t go away? Why are we not enough on our own?
Why do you think we separate those who pastor and teach from the rest of the congregation? Do you think most people find it easier to listen to a service on Sunday than to be the hands and feet of Jesus throughout the rest of the week? What should we strive for as believers in Christ?
Read Ephesians 4:11-13. Who is giving these gifts? What is the purpose of these gifts? What is the duration of these gifts?
All of God’s people are holy and are expected to serve Him; define the five different giftings God has given His people as described in Ephesians 4:11-13. Do you immediately identify with any of them? How can you discover what your gifts are if you do not see yourself in any of them?
Where are some places you find your identity that are NOT in Christ? (Family, profession, athletics, prankster, life of the party, social media presence, etc.) Read Galatians 2:20 and 2 Corinthians 5:17. If you’ve decided to follow Jesus with all your heart, you’re never going to completely fit in with the world. What part of your current identity is wrapped up in the world? How will you let that go?
There are numerous Bible passages that we can use to find our identity in Christ, but perhaps the first step is to fully understand and believe that you are chosen specifically by the God who created the universe. Read 1 Peter 2:9, Jeremiah 1:5, and Ephesians 1:3-4. Do you fully believe that out of all the millions of people on the earth, God has chosen you, a virtual nobody in the eyes of the world? Is there any part of this that makes you think, “maybe for others, but not for me”?
American Biblical Old Testament scholar Michael Heiser said, “Last, representing God means every job that honors Him is a spiritual calling. Every legitimate task can be part of moving our world toward Eden and blessing fellow imagers-or not. God doesn’t view people in ministry as more holy or special because of their job descriptions. God cares about how each of us represents Him where we are. We either stand against the darkness, sharing the life God wants everyone to ultimately experience, or we don’t. The opportunity doesn’t need to be spectacular; it just needs to be taken.” What part of this quote stands out to you, and why?
Send Out Question
We often define who we are based on what others say about us. We accept the labels slapped on us by people who do not know the inner workings of our heart.
We feel a sense of belonging or acceptance if we have nice things, if we’re talented, if we have an impressive job title, if we have a lot of friends or are in a relationship.
Have you ever wondered if it’s possible for you to be enough just because you are you?
God knows everything about you. He loves you and He says you belong and you are enough to help him advance His kingdom and tell others about Him.
We believe knowing God is how we experience true belonging and acceptance in life.
This week, take some time to really ponder these questions: Where do I fit in? What do I really want? Why am I here? Where do I want to be?
Make a list of all the labels you use or accept as your identity. What labels would you like to remove? What labels would you like to add?
Spend time in scripture this week looking into the verses that God uses to show you who you are.
God says you can be:
His Child: John 1:12
A friend of Jesus John 15:15
Chosen and Adopted; Ephesians 1:4-5
At Peace: Romans 5:1
Redeemed and Forgiven: Colossians 1:13-14
Complete: Colossians 2:9-10
What are other verses you can find to help you discover or remind you what your identity is in Him? (You can look in the index of your Bible, search “identity” in your Bible app or even use Google for scripture suggestions.)