Friday, February 18, 2011

Just Who Do You Think You Are??

When you hear that question, it’s usually said with an accusatory tone, followed by a confrontation of the uncomfortable kind. In this week's message we were met with kind of an uncomfortable confrontation. But in a good "uncomfortable" if there could be such a thing. "Uncomfortable" meaning....a new way to think about who we are in Christ.

Identity crisis 101. Where do you find your identity? Ever think about that? With what or who do you align yourself? The statement from a previous message is still ringing true for me from last week's message..."Knowing who you are also means knowing who you are not." There is such freedom in that statement.

When you know who you are then you will know what to do. Does anything else speak of Holy confidence like this? The foundational truth is we were made in the image of Christ. As believers, when we accept Christ as our Savior, then we are God's "adopted" sons and daughters. Once we accept and believe that we are God's, it's obvious that we will know what to do...what is right.

2 Corinthians 5:17, 19-21 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! …And [God] has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Truth 1: You are an ambassador sent by God from Heaven to Earth as Christ’s Ambassador. My thought...."What is an ambassador? What does that mean?"

John 15:16, 19 " You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last...As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” To think that God chose me to represent Him to everyone? That is both a huge responsibility and honor. Yeah, even little 'ole you! There are a lot of days that I don't feel like an ambassador to anything.

Truth 2: You were not elected by people but chosen and appointed by God. My thought..."Good thing..I don't think I would be recommended by anyone for anything."

Eph. 2: 10 "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

Truth 3: You never represent yourself. You are always representing God. My thought... Whoa....I better straighten up!

2 Corinthians 10:8 "I may seem to be boasting too much about the authority given to us by the Lord. But our authority builds you up; it doesn't tear you down. So I will not be ashamed of using my authority."

So....Just who do YOU think you are? This question, in the context of this message, makes me think about how Jesus chose his apostles or disciples. “Apostle” means messenger or authorized representative. He didn't choose these twelve to be his associates and companions because of their faith. We know from Scripture their faith faltered. He didn't choose them because of their talents and abilities. No one stood out with unusual ability. The disciples represented a diverse background of occupations, skills, and experiences. It seems that they didn't have any more leadership potential than those who were not chosen. The one characteristic they all shared was their willingness to obey Jesus.

You are God's ambassador sent from Heaven to Earth to bring the message of the Gospel. Being a good ambassador is simply a matter of following Jesus with a willing heart. We are chosen by Him. We are chosen for Him.

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