Today is Thursday, January 10, 2019.
34 days until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training!
“At the age of eleven or thereabouts women acquire a poise and an ability to handle difficult situations which a man, if he is lucky, manages to achieve somewhere in the later seventies.”
P.G. Wodehouse, British humorist and novelist, 1881-1975
The word of the day is impresario. It means, “a person who organizes or manages public entertainments, especially operas, ballets, or concerts.”
I’m getting a little bit later start, this morning. C bought a new breakfast nook table Sunday, and it is being delivered today, so I decided to use my “floating holiday” today, to be at home when the delivery is made. We also paid them extra to have it assembled.
Not much else going on, so on to the devotional.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.
2 Corinthians 2:14
Today I am grateful:
1. For a random day off from work.
2. For people work delivering and assembling furniture.
3. For time to work on music for Sunday (and other times).
4. For coffee. Not that it makes me feel that much different. I just like coffee.
5. That I get my significance and value from God.
Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge of and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.
(The Book of Common Prayer)
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.
This morning, I want to write a bit about gratitude point number five, “That I get my significance and value from God.”
This is a thing that I have known for a long time. Of course, as most of us are aware, “knowing” something and truly knowing something are completely different things. Have I confused you, yet? I have had the head knowledge for a long time that my true identity comes from God. It does not come from what I do for a living. It does not come from my talents (or lack thereof). It does not come from my hobbies, the things I like and don’t like. It comes from God.
Back when we were doing “huddle,” we were introduced to some shapes. I’ve not been a huge fan of “Life Shapes,” but there are a couple of them that I have grown to like. This one is what I call the “identity triangle.” The triangle has been used for a number of purposes, but today it will serve for my topic.
As you can see, the Father is at the top of the triangle. If you follow the arrow down and right, you get to “identity.” My identity comes from God. Following the next arrow over to the left, you get to “obedience.” The order is of utmost importance. If identity comes out of obedience, instead of the other way around, we wind up with strict legalism, or “works salvation.” But when identity comes first, from God, then moves on to obedience, it all flows from grace.
Yesterday I had an epiphany of sorts. No, I did not get a visit from some Magi. In this context, “epiphany” means “a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something.” Also, “an intuitive grasp of reality through something (such as an event) usually simple and striking.”
Yesterday, there occurred a confluence of a couple of “streams” in my life. Two events crashed together in a thunder of crisis. And I emerged victorious. Sounds like I’m writing poetry, doesn’t it? I’m not really at liberty to discuss the two events, and the nature of them is not that significant. All that matters is the result.
You see, yesterday, I came to the startling realization that I do not get my significance from any human relationships or activity. It does not arise from any kind of performance or approval. It doesn’t come from how others think of me. It doesn’t come from whether I am included in any events or activities.
It comes from God through my relationship with the Trinity. As in the triangle above, I get my identity from the Father, through Jesus Christ, and am maintained by the Holy Spirit.
Something I have known for a while suddenly clicked yesterday. And it was liberating.
So consider this today. Your identity is not in what you do or who you know or who likes you or doesn’t like you. It’s not even dictated by your “pet sins.” Your identity comes from God and God alone. Let’s see what God says about us.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
1 John 3:2
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
I could go on and on and on. But hopefully, by now, you get it. We are children of God. Recently, I had a DNA test done to try to gain a little more insight into my heritage. I’m not sure it was worth the money we paid for it, but it was still interesting. We get our DNA from our parents. But my “spiritual DNA” comes from one source only. From God our Father. And it is NOT diluted through centuries of family relationships. It is pure in all of us.
I get my identity, my value, my significance from God and God alone. You get your identity, your value, your significance from God and God alone.
Don’t let anyone ever tell you differently, most especially our enemy.
Father, I don’t have enough words to thank You for the revelation I received yesterday. My prayer, now, is that You will help me remember this tomorrow, when I feel slighted by someone, or when I fail to be what I believe You have called me to be. Thank You for the freedom that comes from this truth.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Soli Deo Gloria!